Low libido

Low libido is the term used to describe a lack of interest in sexual activity. Sexual desire or libido is produced by a combination of biological, personal and relationship factors.

Sexual desire is different for each person and may change over time depending on what is happening in a person’s life. Low libido may not be seen as a problem for some men; however, if a man loses interest in sex for no apparent reason, and it is a concern for him, talking to a doctor may be helpful.

What causes low libido?

Low libido can be caused by acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) medical or psychiatric conditions, particularly depression.

Men with low levels of testosterone (androgen deficiency) can have problems with low libido.

Prescription medicines, such as antidepressants and blood pressure medicines, as well as frequent alcohol or marijuana use can lower feelings of sexual desire.

Other factors that can affect libido include:

  • stress or tiredness from work
  • too little or too much exercise
  • feelings of dissatisfaction with the relationship.

It is often difficult to separate how much a man’s sexual interest is affected by biological or psychological factors, especially when there is chronic illness, chronic pain, fatigue or body image problems (e.g., following surgery for cancer).