What is Libido?
Libido is another term for sexual appetite or drive. Usually, a person’s libido is activated by brain functions, hormones and behavior, regardless of their sex, and tends to fluctuate according to mental state, hormonal changes, and stress. In recent studies, certain medications can affect sexual appetite too.
When a person has high libido, they’re more likely to desire sexual intimacy and seek intercourse with a partner or though masturbation. This is normal and healthy, however if there is an overly high libido that interferes with quality of life, or ability to function, this may be a precursor of a hormonal imbalance or neurological disorder. However, when libido reduces or dips, and interest in sex is absent, which may put a strain on intimate relationships; usually there will be a cause. Once the cause is determined, both extremes can be treated.
How Does Libido Work?
Our central nervous system which contains neural pathways involved in sexual desire are similar in males and females and include cerebral, spinal, and peripheral components. Libido is directly correlated to physical responses: when sexual desire is high, blood flow to the penis resulting in an erection signifies sexual desire, as does lubrication and enlargement of the labia.
What is Overly High Libido?
There are differences between a healthy libido which is normal and a very high libido. Aside from contributing to a satisfying sex life, the former has a health benefit that includes less mental stress, better mental health, healthier relationships, boosted confidence, better sleep and more exercise.
When a sex drive or libido is overtly high that it feels out of control and interferes with daily life that there may be cause for concern.
What Are The Symptoms of High Libido?
Symptoms of high libido may include, your sex life begins to impact your life, relationships, health and work, a high sexual desire that takes over your thoughts and behavior, sex is used to cope with mental challenges such as depression and anxiety, high sex drives affects your relationship, and lastly when you feel empty or unfulfilled after having sex.
If you have a persistent sexual urges that cause you to feel uncomfortable or are out of your control, you may have hypersexual disorder and may need treatment.
What Are The Common Causes of High Libido?
A high libido is nothing to be ashamed of which may commonly have an underlying medical causes such as an abnormally high levels of the mood-regulating neurochemicals dopamine, serotonin, or both. Certain medications that are used to treat epilepsy or dementia may alter parts of the brain that can impact on sexual behavior.
Is There Any Treatment For Overly High Libido?
Once the cause of overly high libido is determined, treatment can be targeted to manage the problem. For example, if a medication is to blame, the dosage may be changed or a different drug prescribed.
Likewise, once identified and treated, an underlying brain disorder may no longer affect sexual desire. Other strategies, including psychotherapy and increased physical activity, may help as well.
What is Low Libido?
Lower Libido is more common than overly high libido in our population. Lower libido is often a warning sign of other underlying causes such as hormonal or physiological. Often when the causes are established, it’s very easy to treat and to restore sexual interest.
What Are The Common Symptoms?
There are no definite / clinical criteria to diagnose low libido. Usually when patient are unhappy with their sex life, or their partners have a higher sex drive, then the physician will investigate to rule out medical conditions. Common symptoms of lower sex drive are loss of desire for a partner, disinterest in masturbation, few or no sexual fantasies, stress or concern about lack of interest in sex.
What Are The Common Causes?
Most common causes for decreased libido are hormonal shifts. Both sexes can experience a sudden dip in libido, in response to a reduction in hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Most common causes of decreased libido in men are low testosterone levels. Low testosterone also may play a part to decreased muscle mass, increase energy levels and in certain patient erectile dysfunction. Once low testosterone is diagnosed and treated, libido will return to normal.
Other common causes for low libido are pain during sexual intercourse. Often times, female patient experiences pain during intercourse, which is often cause by decreased lubrication of the female vaginal tract. This is however easily treated with vaginal gels. Other common causes of decreased libido in females are vaginismus which means the vaginal wall contracts during penetration, and makes it painful for females. This too can be treated. Other potential causes are diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, prescription drugs such as antidepressants, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, drug use, low self-esteem, body image issues and relationship problems may play a part in decreased sex drive.
Is There Any Available Treatment?
The most important factor in treating low libido is in identifying the cause. In most cases, a combination of various approaches may be needed to enhance sexual drive.
Important factors include lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise, following a healthy nutritious diet, managing stress well, quit smoking and reduction of alcohol consumption, having an open communication regarding your sexual needs with your partner and behavioral therapy.
For certain patients a sex therapist may be needed to assist you and your partner to identify emotional causes of lack of sexual drive. Often, therapists also offer practical tips and techniques to enhance desire and enjoyment in the bedroom.
Medication can be used in certain cases once all investigations for hormonal profile is done by your physician. Common medications that are known to assist in sexual desire are Flibanserin and Bremelanotide (Vyleesi) in females. On the other hand for males, once low testosterone is ruled out, if there is erectile dysfunction, treatment can be offered to treat this as well.
If hormonal causes are suspected then hormone replacement therapy may be offered by your physician. Testosterone replacement therapy, which can be delivered via injection, topical gel may be used to increase testosterone levels which in results increases libido.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms visit DTAP Clinics @ Kuala Lumpur for consultation and treatment.