Low libido or reduced sexual desire can affect both men and women. It is not unusual for a person’s interest in sex to fluctuate over different periods of their life due to hormonal changes, age, and stress.
However, low libido can be a problem if it causes stress, affects a person’s overall well-being, or leads to anxiety about one’s relationship.
Causes of Low Libido In Men and Women
- Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can cause vascular and nerve damage. These effects can result in erectile dysfunction in men and decreased blood flow to the genitals in women. Women with diabetes may also experience higher rates of yeast and bladder infections, which can make sex painful or uncomfortable.
- Osteoarthritis: People who experience joint pain and stiffness might find it more difficult to participate in sexual activities.
- Heart disease: Heart disease can lead to damaged blood vessels and decreased circulation. This damage can reduce blood flow to the genitals, decreasing arousal or lubrication.
- High blood pressure: High blood pressure can also affect blood circulation.
- Cancer: Treatments for cancer, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, can all affect libido.
- Obstructive sleep apnea: Research shows that untreated obstructive sleep apnea can cause symptoms of low libido.
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), now known as female sexual interest/arousal disorder is a sexual dysfunction that causes a lowered sex drive in women.
Symptoms associated with HSDD include:
- No interest in sexual activity
- No sexual thoughts or fantasies
- Disinterest in initiating sex
- Difficulty getting pleasure from sex
- Lack of pleasurable sensations when the genitals are stimulated