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BIOLOGY

When Do Men Lose Their Sex Drive? The Causes and Solutions

Discover the factors behind diminishing sex drive in men, learn about the various age-related changes, and explore effective solutions to regain and maintain a healthy libido.

July 21, 2023
Medically-reviewed and fact checked by Ryan Lester, PA-C

For men, in particular, there's a pervasive belief that sex drive automatically declines with age. But is this really true?

This article will examine the scientific aspects of the male sex drive, discussing prevalent beliefs regarding its changes over time and the ways in which it occurs.

This guide provides valuable information for understanding male sexual desire, whether for personal knowledge or to support others. We will analyze the variations in men's sexual drive revolving around age and how that relates to declines in testosterone production and, inevitably, sexual drive and function.

Does Sex Drive Decrease With Age?

Studies have shown that around the age of 40 is when males will start noticing a decrease in their sex drive. The decline can be due to various reasons, further analysis is required to give us the full scope of the answer.

Different types of medical conditions, a change in the regulation of hormones, and even particular lifestyle choices can all decrease sex drive.

The precise timeline for a drop in sex drive ranges from individual to individual. Decreased sexual libido can range from just a few short years to decades.

Studies also suggest that certain medications commonly prescribed for conditions such as depression or anxiety might lessen sex drive by intervening with hormones in the body or diminishing brain chemicals connected to arousal.

Stress is another important factor that may cause reduced interest in sex due to physical symptoms or psychological worries about performance during intercourse.

There are various methods to address a decreased interest in sex, including consulting with a clinician about hormone treatments or identifying sources of stress and other potential areas of lifestyle improvement.

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a vital hormone that helps govern muscle growth and development, strength, sex drive, sperm production, mood, and cognitive function. 

Testosterone is typically produced in the testes and helps to sustain libido and sexual desire.

A man's sexual desire and performance largely depend on the amount of testosterone in the body.  One’s genetics also play a role in how much testosterone is needed for a man to feel best. 

Peaking during adolescence and early adulthood, natural levels of testosterone tend to drop steadily after age 30 for most men. Low testosterone levels may arise due to specific medical conditions or natural aging in men.

From erectile dysfunction and low libido to depression and fatigue, low testosterone levels can cause a mixture of problems for men. Physical changes that could occur may involve hair loss, reduction in muscle mass, reduction in strength and poor bone density.

Medical help should be sought if there are concerns about testosterone levels and possible deficiencies.

Does Low Testosterone Cause Low Libido?

Low levels of testosterone can undoubtedly be a significant cause of lowered libido. Testosterone is responsible for the various physical changes in puberty, affecting a man's sexual behavior. It also plays a vital role in maintaining sexual desire and performance.

Male testosterone levels peak in a man's late teens/early 20s and gradually decrease thereafter.

This decrease in testosterone levels is often so gradual that most physical effects are not immediately noticeable until age 40 or later. At this point, even if a man has relatively normal hormone levels, his libido can significantly suffer due to reduced testosterone production.

The lack of sufficient testosterone can cause men to experience difficulties achieving or maintaining an erection, lower sex drive (or libido), and experience more difficulty climaxing during intercourse.

These symptoms can also arise and be caused by other mental health illnesses, such as depression, or can be brought on by work and relationship issues.

If a man notices such symptoms, he should consult with a clinician who can assess his symptoms and recommend treatment options. These may include hormonal treatments like testosterone replacement therapy or Clomid, which can aid in testosterone production in men.

The best way to determine your testosterone levels is to get them evaluated with a simple blood lab test. The Wellcore Assessment kit provides one of the simplest and painless methods of collecting and assessing the testosterone levels in your blood. They created the only practically painless, at-home, self-administered hormone optimization program available to everyone. 

Correlation Between Low Testosterone and Low Sex Drive

A couple having an intimate moment

Low testosterone, sometimes known as "low T," is the principal male sex hormone that regulates libido, muscle growth, strength, fat distribution, facial and body hair, mood, and cognitive function.

When men's testosterone levels begin to dip below healthy levels due to lifestyle choices or underlying health conditions, they can experience a reduction in their sexual desire or libido. This may happen alongside other symptoms such as rapid weight gain, depression, anxiety, and certain medications that can cause low testosterone levels.

Fortunately, there are treatments available for both issues. In many cases, addressing diet, sleep, and exercise may help restore balance to your hormone levels allowing you to regain a healthier sex drive while improving energy and focus.

There are also proactive men's health treatment plans that can diagnose and treat any underlying causes of the problem that could be making it worse. In some cases, hormone therapy will also be recommended to ensure optimum success rates when treating hormones and libido simultaneously.

What Else Can Cause a Low Sex Drive

Loss of sex drive, or reduced libido, can be a distressing issue that impacts many people. It is important to remember that a hormonal imbalance doesn't always cause a low sex drive and can instead have emotional and psychological roots.

Other causes of decreased libido include age, stress, drug interactions, and way of life decisions. As men age, their testosterone levels reduce in the body naturally, often leading to a gradual decline in sex drive.

Desire and performance in the bedroom can also be negatively impacted by stress. Certain medications may lead to decreased sexual interest by affecting hormone levels or other body systems.

Additionally, other factors can impact a man's libido. These can include an individual's sexual orientation, identity surrounding their gender, or relationship issues with their partner.

In addition to these emotional issues, harmful behaviors can reduce libido. Unhealthy diets, smoking, porn addiction, and alcohol abuse are all lifestyle choices that can lead to sexual dissatisfaction.

Therefore, reducing or eliminating these habits is vital to improving physical and mental health to restore an enjoyable sex life. Seeking professional medical advice may help individuals find the right solution for their needs, ultimately leading them back to satisfaction in the bedroom.

Stress and Low Sex Drive

Stress is a natural reaction to certain situations and typically makes us agitated, anxious, and overwhelmed. Our bodies react by pumping adrenaline into our system to better manage the situation in front of us. This is known as the fight or flight response.

This state of hypervigilance can be beneficial in some situations, such as helping us to avoid danger. At the same time, it can come with side effects that may not be as desirable.

As we experience heightened stress levels, our arousal increases via the fight or flight response. In these moments, our brains are conditioned to focus on survival instead of pleasure; due to this stress response, heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate increase while non-essential functions like sexual drive decrease automatically.

People experiencing stress often feel guilty or ashamed, which negatively impacts both mental health and intimacy in relationships. High levels of worry have also been linked with lower testosterone levels. All this together may contribute to an eventual reduction of libido.

As a result, stress reduction is an excellent first step when you experience a drop in libido since it can sometimes be the source of the issue.

How to Increase Your Libido

A healthy libido is crucial in one's relationship and overall well-being. While some people worry that their desire for intimacy is too low, others may feel frustrated when it seems too high. There are various methods to enhance your libido level, regardless of your circumstances.

A couple having an intimate moment in the ocean

Exercise & Healthy Habits

Regular physical activity and healthy habits can be beneficial in increasing libido. Exercise helps improve circulation, leading to better blood flow throughout the body and the genitals.  It also typically results in improved sleep.

An improved lifestyle also leads to many benefits, such as increased energy and stamina.

Quality Time

Spending quality time with your partner can help build intimacy, trust, and passion, thus increasing the desire for physical intimacy. Quality time can include anything from staying in to watch a movie or going for an evening stroll together.

Quality time does not necessarily have to be expensive or even involve going out; it can be simply being in each other's company, engaging in meaningful conversations, watching movies together, and participating in activities you enjoy.

Sleep

Sleep is the safest performance-enhancing drug and your best health insurance policy.  In addition to hormones, sleep plays a vital role in supporting cardiovascular, brain, and immune health.  The most common, often preventable diseases that contribute to sexual dysfunction and reduced libido have a causal link to a lack of sleep.  If possible, give yourself at least an 8-hour sleep opportunity in bed each night.

Meditation

Practicing meditation helps reduce stress and tension in your life. When it comes to sexual desire, the psyche significantly impacts both arousal and performance. Both have a detrimental effect on libido.

Practicing mindfulness meditation can help clear one's mind and restore inner peace while reducing feelings of stress and worry that could hinder libido.

Healthy Diet

Eating healthily helps to boost energy levels and improve circulation, which can help to increase libido. Adding nutrient-rich foods into your diet and avoiding refined sugar will give the body the vitamins and minerals necessary for proper hormone balance. It will also help to increase an individual's physical endurance.

Other healthy fat-containing foods that help your libido include avocados, olive oil, and wild-caught fish. We also recommend increasing your intake of water. This can help to flush out toxins that could be affecting your overall health.

Key Takeaways

Losing your sex drive and lacking libido can be part of the aging process for men. Albeit confidence draining, it doesn't have to be a permanent change in your life. To maintain a healthy sex drive, strive for a healthy lifestyle.

To ensure mutual understanding, it is recommended to consult a medical professional and communicate candidly with your partner.

Wellcore's specialized men's health program can help boost your sexual health. Their team of experts is dedicated to providing personalized care. They are available to provide the necessary support to restore confidence and reinvigoration of intimate relationships.

Become more energized, focused, and confident in your sexual performance. Wellcore's hormone optimization program offers comprehensive evaluations and customized treatment plans.

Join millions of men and women who are improving their health by ordering the Wellcore At-Home Assessment Kit today.

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Join millions of men and women who are improving their health by ordering the Wellcore At-Home Assessment Kit today.

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