For men, Libido is your sex drive and it is different from ability to get an erection or be able to achieve a successful pregnancy. Women’s libido is also different from orgasm or her ability to have an egg unite with a man’s sperm. In women, gynecologic conditions may make engaging in sexual intimacy difficult or painful and ultimately impact her libido.
Libido is the name Freud gave to our sex drive. Libido is a multifactorial situation which is influenced by hormones, psychological and physical factors, romance, and the opportunity for fulfillment. It is normal for libido to decline with age going much faster for women after menopause than for men in middle age, which has about a 1% decline each year. But nearly all couples in their 60s and 80% of couples in their 70s continue to find enjoyment with engaging in sexual intimacy.
Hormonal deficiency is a common cause of deteriorating sex drive in both men and women. The solution is very simple and consists of replenishing the deficiency with testosterone in men and estrogens in women. However, hormones won’t solve the problem if there is some other underlying reason for the sex drive going into the tank.
So what is a man and a women with a loss of severe decrease in their sex drive to do? If you are suffering from fatigue, your sex drive deficiency may be a result of anemia, thyroid deficiency, or kidney disease. A few blood tests will make the diagnosis and help your doctor put your libido back on track.
Next talk to your doctor about all of your medications including, over the counter medicines, herbal medications and supplements. If the problem is related to medications, you can usually note the onset of libido problems that occurred shortly after staring a medication that can plummet your sex drive.
If you have heart disease or have suffered a heart attack and you or your partner is fearful that sex will worsen your cardiac problem or cause another heart attack, speak to your physician. A good rule of thumb is that if you can climb two flights of stairs without chest pain or severe shortness of breadth, then it is probably safe for you to engage in sexual intimacy with your regular partner.
If you are a woman and are going through the menopause, that doesn’t mean that you have bury your sex life forever. As a matter of fact, menopause for many women enhances their sex life as they are no longer worried about conception and fear of pregnancy. Some women do lose their sex drive after menopause and this may be a result of estrogen deficiency. Talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy.
I suggest that if you are a woman, try estrogen first. That works for most women as it reduces their hot flashes and pumps up their libido. However, testosterone may also be effective for women in small doses as it is for men who require larger amounts of testosterone in order to restore their libido. Testosterone is available for men and women in a topical gel or a small rice-sized pellet inserted under the skin and replaced every four to six months.
Women may lose interest in sex after menopause because of vaginal dryness (VD). This VD isn’t treated with antibiotics but with topical estrogen creams or vaginal rings impregnated with estrogen or vaginal pellets of estrogen. If a woman can’t take estrogens, then there is always lubricating creams and jellies such as the old standby, K-Y Jelly that alleviates VD and the discomfort associated with the loss of lubrication.
If you are a man and are suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED), this may also impact your sex drive as well. Certainly check your hormones because if low testosterone is the problem, then replacement therapy with gels, injections, or pellets will restore your sex drive 85% of the time.
For both men and women: get lots of exercise. Regular exercise promotes good health. It not only makes you feel good all over, but restores the blood supply to the pelvic area in both men and women.
How about aphrodisiacs?
You will probably receive unsolicited E mails and mail from companies offering an improvement in sex drive and creams and lotions to make a man’s penis bigger. Absolutely none of these studies have withstood scrutiny by medical professionals and probably are a waste of your time and hard earned money. I am an amateur magician and what they have to offer would be real magic if they worked the way the marketing materials described. A loss of sex drive has a problem since the beginning of recorded history and every society and culture have been looking for the magic elixir or potion that can restore the fountain of youth. The ancients have ground up dried beetles (Spanish fly) and rhinoceros horns but to no avail, except that Spanish fly can make you sick. Included in the myths of aphrodisiacs include oysters. They, too, will not restore a man’s libido or potency. According to the FDS, there is no scientific proof that any over the counter aphrodisiacs work to treat decreased libido problems. According to Dr. Ruth Westheimer, “The largest sex organ is not between our legs but between our ears.”
A few words about Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis. These are prescribed medications for the treatment of ED and will not resolve problems with libido or sex drive. The drugs are very effective for ED but will not cure loss of sex desire.
Bottom Line: Problems with a man or woman’s libido is common to many middle aged men or women. Many of the problems are related to hormone deficiency and can be effectively treated.