Sex Drive or Libido is defined as desire for sexual activity or urge for sex; one may or may not act on this urge. It is different from Erectile Dysfunction in which a man has the urge but is unable to have a sustained strong penile erection to perform the act.
The urge to have sex may be spontaneous, may be due to reflection on memorable sexual moments or visual stimulus(i).
The seat of libido lies in the brain which produces the neurotransmitter called Dopamine; it is produced in the mid-brain. This Dopamine initiates several activities which culminate in the production of testosterone; the male hormone responsible for sex drive.
Below are eight factors that can kill your sex drive but are within your control:
Lifestyle is the mode of living comprising taste, attitude, moral standard, habits and standard of living. This includes cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse and/ or heavy smoking can depress libido by decreasing the production of testosterone by the testes.
With determination you can quit alcohol and smoking.
Some forms of strength building exercises like weight lifting are known to increase testosterone levels in the blood.
Diets high in sugar can also affect sex drive; sugar is said to negatively affect testosterone level in the blood. Watch what you eat.
Some medications used in the treatment of depression, anxiety and high blood pressure are known to reduce sex drive. Some of the medications reduce the level of neurotransmitters like dopamine which initiates the production of testosterone.
If this happens, inform your doctor and ask for alternatives.
3. Poor Sleep
Poor sleep is known to reduce sex drive, research has shown that sleep of less than 5 hours a night reduces the blood testosterone level by about 10-15 percent. We are therefore advised to have about 8 hours of sleep every night to maintain an adequate testosterone level.
4. Sexual Turn-off
This can happen if your sexual partner has changed physically, this does kill the love for the spouse but could reduce the desire to have sex with the spouse. Spouses are advised to take proper care of them-selves to keep the hormones flowing.
5. Low Self esteem
Those who are well positioned and have self esteem tend to have high sex drive, power and position are said to increase sex urge. Conversely, those with low esteem tend to have low sex drive or low sex urge. This could be due to reduction in level of neurotransmitters like dopamine which initiate the production of testosterone.
Stress is known to reduce sex drive; this could be due to negative effect on the nervous system resulting in low dopamine level and consequently low testosterone level.
Exhaustion due to long office hours or strenuous manual work can reduce sex drive; this could be due to negative effect on the nervous system resulting in low dopamine level, the neurotransmitter that initiates the production of testosterone by the testes.
Obesity tends to go with low sex drive; according to research presented at the Endocrine Society’s 2012 meeting , slimming down if you are obese can significantly boost your testosterone levels and hence your sex drive.