There is technically no “normal” level when it comes to sex drive. But if you have noticed a significant drop from your usual levels of desire or ability, it may be explained by one of the following.
1. Thyroid disease
Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, is linked to a variety of symptoms which might include sexual dysfunction. Due to the disruption in hormone production, some women may find their vaginal lubrication decreases which can result in painful intercourse.
Though the condition is less likely to affect men than women, it could still cause equivalent problems such as premature or delayed ejaculation. Of course, if a hormonal balance is not restored by administering medication, a reduction in energy and overall sense of well-being can occur among other symptoms — all which play an important role in sex drive.
“During the menopause transition, the physical effects of falling estrogen levels — including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness — can undermine sexual motivation and drive,” stated the North American Menopause Society.
Apart from the onset of menopause, testosterone decline was considered to be another accompanying symptom of aging. Keep in mind not all people lose sexual desire in old age, especially since a natural decline may not cause noticeable symptoms. But a testosterone deficiency could cause reduce sex drive for both men and women.
3. Stress and fatigue
Being worried and working yourself too hard can end with both men and women feeling too tired for sex even if they have the drive for it. But in some cases, fatigue can also take a toll by reducing libido as well.
“A lot of women are satisfied with their relationships and enjoy sex once it’s underway but are just too tired and stressed to feel sexual desire,” explained Laurie Mintz, a University of Florida professor of psychology.
And since arteries may narrow as a response to stress, this could lead to symptoms of erectile dysfunction in men.
4. Certain medications
It is known some pharmaceuticals may impact desire as well as ability, especially if a person is taking several medications. Antidepressants, birth control pills, antihistamines, anti-seizure meds, and opioid pain medication might cause sex drive-related side effects for some people, according to Prevention. These include disruptions in hormone production, inducing a difficulty in achieving orgasm, and affecting mood.
To deal with this, one can speak to a doctor about the effects and find out if there is a possible alternative. Sometimes, interventions like exercising can help elevate mood as well as libido.
5. Low light
Have you been getting enough sun lately? In 2016, Italian researchers found light therapy was able to help restore better sexual satisfaction in men who were facing problems related to their sex drive.
“The increased levels of testosterone explain the greater reported sexual satisfaction,” said Andrea Fagiolini, a professor at the University of Siena in Italy. “In the Northern hemisphere, the body’s testosterone production naturally declines from November through April, and then rises steadily through the spring and summer with a peak in October.”