5 surprising sex-drive killers
Your desire for sex can be affected by many different things. A low testosterone level is one of the most common. In fact, the first clue that you have low testosterone could be a loss in sex drive.
Testosterone is the main male sex hormone. One of its most important jobs is to keep you (men and women) interested in having sex. But there are other causes of low sex drive that may surprise you.
Common prescription drugs
Certain medicines can be sex drive killers for both men and women. If you are on any drug and feel that your interest in sex isn’t what it used to be, talk with your health care provider.
High blood pressure
For sexual arousal and sexual function, you need a good supply of blood to your genital area. However, high blood pressure can decrease blood flow to the penis and the vagina, dampening your desire.
In women, high blood pressure can lead to vaginal dryness which can make sexual intercourse painful. In men, too little blood flow to the penis can cause ED.
Being overweight can sap your energy and make you feel less attractive. Both are bad for a healthy sex life. Obesity can be especially bad for men. That’s because of the link between low testosterone, ED, and obesity.
The good news is that losing weight can help reverse these effects.
If you have sleep apnea, you stop breathing in short spurts many times during the night. You probably snore loudly, too. As a result, you’re often tired during the day. That can kill sex drive.
Lack of sleep for any reason may cause a drop in your testosterone. A study at the University of Chicago found that limiting young, healthy men to five hours of sleep a night for just one week could drop testosterone levels by up to 15%.
The nicotine in cigarettes constricts blood vessels. This limits blood flow to your genitals. Like high blood pressure, constricted blood vessels limits sexual arousal. Too much alcohol is a sexual downer, too. If you want a healthy sex drive, also watch out for:
- Marijuana. With long-term use, the active ingredient in marijuana builds up in your testicles. This can reduce both testosterone and sexual desire.
- Anabolic steroids. People sometimes use these man-made hormones to build muscle. The problem for men is that your brain thinks these steroids are testosterone. It then shuts down testosterone production in your testicles. This can lead to big muscles, along with shrunken testicles and low sexual desire.