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Loss of libido: causes, treatment, frequency

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 317 views

Loss of libido (obsolete: frigidity) is what doctors call the loss of sexual pleasure and desire. Both men and women can be affected. The symptom can come on suddenly or gradually. The reasons why someone no longer wants to have sex can be very different. Read everything you need to know about the causes and treatment options for loss of libido here.

quick overview

  • Loss of libido – what is it? Lack of desire for sex and disturbance of sex drive.
  • Causes of libido loss: eg pregnancy/ childbirth , menopause, testosterone deficiency , heart, vascular or nervous diseases, diabetes, liver cirrhosis or renal insufficiency , but also depression, mental stress such as stress or certain medications
  • Treatment of loss of libido: depending on the cause, e.g. B. Therapy of the underlying disease, sex or marriage counseling, life counseling, etc.
  • Which doctor helps with loss of libido? The first point of contact is often the general practitioner, gynecologist or urologist. If necessary, referrals to other specialists were made. Sexual counseling can also be the first point of contact in the event of a lack of sexual desire.

Loss of libido: description

In the case of a loss of libido (also sexual inappetence, hyposexuality, obsolete: frigidity), sexual desire and sex drive are disturbed: those affected no longer feel like having sex. There can be both organic and psychological-social causes behind this. In many cases, the symptom is only temporary.

Loss of libido: frequency

How common a loss of libido is is difficult to put into concrete figures – if only because a certain degree of listlessness is normal for some people, while others consider it pathological. In addition, sexual desire fluctuates depending on age, relationship status, level of education or the role played by sexuality in the country of origin.

In various surveys, an average of around 30 percent of all women between the ages of 18 and 59 express a lack of interest in sex. Thus, decreased libido is the most common sexual dysfunction in women.

In men between the ages of 18 and 59, between 14 and 17 percent report a reduced libido, depending on the age group. Even more often, men only name premature ejaculation among the sexual problems.

Loss of libido: causes and possible diseases

There are many reasons why the desire for sex can dwindle. Possible causes of loss of libido in both sexes are, for example:

  • Hypothyroidism: This is an underactive thyroid . The thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones, which results in a loss of libido, among other things.
  • Vascular and heart diseases: Vascular and heart diseases such as heart failure (heart failure) or high blood pressure (hypertension) can also impair sexual desire.
  • Neurological Disorders: Sometimes diseases that affect the nervous system (such as stroke or multiple sclerosis) are the cause of loss of libido.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes can also contribute to a person having little or no desire for sex – sometimes because of diabetes-related nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy) or vascular damage (diabetic angiopathy), but sometimes because people suffer from the disease emotionally.
  • Cirrhosis of the Liver: In cirrhosis of the liver, liver tissue perishes and gradually turns into scar tissue and connective tissue. The cause is usually chronic alcohol abuse. A frequent consequence of cirrhosis of the liver is loss of libido – due to the dysfunction of the liver as an important metabolic organ, the synthesis of certain sex hormones no longer works properly.
  • Kidney weakness: A reduced libido can also develop as part of kidney failure, since the formation of sex hormones can then also be disrupted.
  • Depression: It is often accompanied by a loss of libido. Sometimes the lack of sexual desire is a symptom of depression, as it sometimes has a severe impact on emotional life. In other cases, drugs for the condition are the reason for the loss of libido.
  • Medications: In addition to antidepressants, other medications can also dampen sexual desire. These include the contraceptive pill, antihypertensives, dehydrating drugs (diuretics), remedies for high blood fat levels (lipid-lowering drugs), heart medication and hair restorers.
  • Social causes: Occupational and family pressures, stress and relationship problems can be other possible reasons for someone not wanting to have sex anymore.

In addition, there are gender-specific causes of loss of libido :

Loss of libido in women

In the first few weeks after childbirth , most women have a reduced libido. This is often related to the fact that the young mothers feel mentally and/or physically overwhelmed – the loss of libido is therefore situational.

Gynecological diseases such as endometriosis , vaginal dryness or pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia) can also lead to women no longer wanting to have sex .

During menopause , the ovaries gradually stop producing estrogen. The level of the female sex hormones therefore falls, which often reduces the libido in affected women.

Loss of libido in men

In older men, reduced hormonal activity in the testicles can lead to a loss of libido. This can be the result of testicular inflammation (orchitis) or surgical removal of the testicles (in the case of testicular tumors).

Other sexual disorders such as erection problems are also possible reasons for loss of libido.

Loss of libido: what does the doctor do?

First, the doctor will talk to you about your medical history (anamnesis). For example, he asks how long you haven’t felt like having sex and whether this condition came on suddenly or gradually. In addition, the doctor will inquire about any previous illnesses, mental stress (such as stress) and possible mental problems. It is also important whether you are taking any medication (such as blood pressure medication, cholesterol-lowering medication or diabetes medication) and whether or how much alcohol you drink.

Various examinations often help to determine the cause of the loss of libido. These include laboratory tests such as measuring hormone levels in the blood , physical tests (e.g. measuring blood pressure), a gynecological or urological examination and imaging procedures .

This is how the doctor can treat loss of libido

If possible, the doctor will treat or eliminate the cause of the lack of sexual desire.

If an underlying disease such as depression, hypothyroidism or multiple sclerosis triggers the loss of libido, the doctor will initiate appropriate therapy. If certain medications are the reason for the decreasing desire, he may be able to switch the patient to a different preparation.

If the loss of libido is not based on a physical but on a psychological or social cause (e.g. partnership problems, stress), sexual, partner or life counseling can also be useful. Get advice from your doctor.

Loss of libido: tips

Don’t put yourself under pressure: If you don’t feel like having sex anymore, then you should talk openly with your partner and not fool him. Go to the doctor and have the cause of the loss of libido clarified. Only then is there a chance to do something about it.

You can read more about how to increase libido in the post ” Libido “.

Loss of Libido: When Should You See a Doctor?

Going to the doctor is particularly advisable if the loss of libido is bothering you or if other symptoms occur that could indicate a serious underlying disease. Even if the partnership suffers from a lack of sexual desire, you should seek professional help.

The first point of contact is often the family doctor, but sometimes also a gynecologist (for women) or a urologist (for men). If a psychological cause for the loss of libido is possible, a psychotherapist can also help. If you are unsure, you can first find out from a sex counseling center how best to proceed in the event of a loss of libido .

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