Authors like Freud describe it as an energy that comes from instincts and directs human behavior, not just in the sexual sphere.
With this thought, libido can be the search for pleasure in simple gestures, such as drinking water when you are thirsty.
Although it can designate other sources of pleasure, talking about libido is mostly related to sexual desire and interest.
These cravings are controlled by hormones like testosterone, oxytocin – known as the love hormone – and dopamine.
They assist in the sexual response, acting on the release of sensations such as pleasure. Its level can vary according to the emotional situation in which the person is.
What can cause a drop in libido in men and women?
Several factors can cause the lack of libido, that is, the decrease or lack of sexual desires.
Hormonal changes, situations of stress and anxiety, use of some medications and even
hypothyroidism may be related.
Other causes that can alter libido levels are low
self-esteem , problems in professional life, depression and even poor diet.
In general, it can be transient, as in momentary situations that after closed stimulate the return of the libido to normal, or temporary, in which it is necessary to undergo treatment to solve the problem.
Read more: What is low self-esteem?
Specifically, the drop in libido in men and women can be caused by:
Reduction in testosterone levels
In both men and women, the drop in libido can be directly linked to the reduction of testosterone levels in the body.
In men, this condition can be caused by the use of medications that have the side effect of decreasing the hormone, such as some antidepressants, and even
In the female organism, contrary to what one might think, there is also the production of testosterone, however, in a much smaller amount than men.
In this case, this hormone is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands, and helps in the regulation of libido.
When there is a drop in the levels of this substance, there may be changes in sexual interest.
Menopause and Andropause
Also called climacteric,
menopause usually occurs from the age of 40 and marks the end of the reproductive period in the female organism.
In this phase of life there is a progressive decrease in the functioning of the ovaries, in addition to a reduction in the sex hormones testosterone, estrogen and
As a result, there is usually a decrease in sexual interest.
Andropause, also known as male menopause, usually occurs in men aged 40 to 55 years.
Its main characteristic is the drop in testosterone levels and can trigger less sexual desire.
Psychological issues can also influence the condition, both in men and women.
Stress environments, interpersonal conflicts and tension at work are some factors that can promote a decrease in sexual desire.
This is because, in these cases, there is the release of the hormone cortisol, also known as stress hormone. When released in large quantities, they can alter libido levels.
In addition, anxiety and depression can also be linked to the problem, as they affect the person’s interest and disposition in general.
Alcohol and cigarette consumption
Excessive use of substances such as alcohol and cigarettes can induce a decrease in libido.
In general, they affect the functioning of hormonal production and can cause, in addition to decreased sexual desire, male impotence and poor performance in intercourse.
The abuse of these drugs also affects regions such as blood vessels, causing them to harden.
This hinders the access of blood to the genital regions, and can help with dysfunction, which can be associated with psychological pressure and gradually generate greater disinterest or lack of desire.
Birth control pills
One of the origins of reduced libido in the female body may be the use of hormonal birth control pills.
Some studies indicate that substances present in this type of medication can influence the levels of the hormone testosterone in the body.
This is because, in general, contraceptives stimulate the increased production of the Sex Hormone Transporter Globulin (SHBG) protein by the liver.
This protein binds to testosterone, decreasing its action in the female body.
The postpartum period and breastfeeding can be causes of a decrease in female libido.
This is because, in this phase, there is an increase in prolactin, a hormone that stimulates the production of breast milk.
With this increase, there is an incentive to inhibit sex hormones by the body, which can lead to decreased libido.
What to do to recover male and female sexual desire?
There are different ways to treat the drop in libido, and it is necessary to identify the cause of the problem to start treatment.
In general, the most appropriate option is to first seek medical help, which will assess the clinical condition and indicate the best therapeutic resource for each person.
Some of the ways that can be recommended to solve the problem are:
If the condition of falling libido is caused by psychological issues such as stress, anxiety or depression, follow-up with professionals in the field, such as psychologists or psychoanalysts, is recommended.
Sex therapy for couples can also be indicated when the loss of desire is due to conflict in the relationship.
Exchange of medicines
Medications such as antidepressants,
anxiolytics and antihypertensives can have the side effect of decreasing libido, as they cause changes in the central nervous system and even a reduction in testosterone in some cases.
If the cause of the drop in libido is the use of these medications, the responsible physician can evaluate the possibility of changing the medication.
One method that can be used to combat the drop in libido is hormone replacement with testosterone and / or estrogen.
It is generally used in cases where there is a significant decrease in the levels of these hormones in the body. With their increase, in general, there is also an increase in libido.
The method consists of synthetically restoring doses of testosterone or estrogen in the body.
The application can be made by means of gels, adhesives, tablets or injections, the form of administration being variable according to the needs of each patient.
Another resource that can act as an adjunct in the treatment of the problem is the practice of physical exercises.
The performance of activities such as
weight training or running stimulate the release of testosterone, being beneficial for combating the lack of sexual desire.
However, it is worth remembering that the exercises should be done in a moderate way, because when practiced in a very intense way, they can cause the opposite effect.
Betting on a balanced diet is one of the steps that can help in reversing the drop in libido.
This is because excessive consumption of fatty foods that are not beneficial to health can affect the production of sex hormones in the body.
Thus, it is worth investing in foods such as:
These foods have nutrients in their composition that help with hormonal balance and formation, such as
vitamins B6 and E, zinc and even phytoestrogens – substances produced by plants, which have an action similar to the female hormone estrogen.
In this way, they can be coadjuvants to stabilize the libido.
Natural remedies to increase libido
There are different natural recipes that can help in increasing libido.
Herbal medicines are generally used – medicines that have an active ingredient from medicinal plants – and medicinal herbs themselves to elevate sexual desire.
Peruvian Maca is a medicinal plant native to Peru, well known for its aphrodisiac properties.
It is believed that its consumption stimulates the production of sex hormones by the body and, thus, helps in increasing libido.
The part used is the root and can usually be found as a supplement, in capsule or powder form.
To make use, if it is in the form of a supplement, it is usually indicated to take 2 capsules a day, along with 1 glass of water. Despite this, it is important to follow the packaging recommendations.
If powdered, it can be diluted with liquids or added with meals. 2 teaspoons a day are recommended.
Tribulus terrestris is an herb with medicinal properties, originating in hot climates.
It is believed that one of its characteristics is to be a sexual stimulant and, therefore, it can help in the increase of libido.
Its consumption can be made through capsules, dry extract or tea.
For dry extract, it is recommended to ingest 3 times a day, dosages between 85mg and 250mg.
As for the capsule version, the ideal is to follow the recommendation on the product label. However, it is generally recommended to take 1 tablet, 3 times a day.
Tribulus terrestris tea can be prepared with: 1 spoon of chopped leaves for every 200mL (1 cup) of water. Tea can be consumed in doses between 3 to 4 cups a day.
Muira puama is a plant originally from the Amazon, known for providing several benefits to those who consume it. Among them, the increase in libido.
Its commonly used parts are the bark and the root and it can be found in the
fresh version , in capsules or in powder.
For use in the natural version, just infuse 20g of the peel for every 1 liter of water. Ingest approximately 4 cups a day.
As for use in capsules, usually the recommended intake is 2 capsules per day. However, it is always worth following the recommendations on the packaging.
To prepare in the powder version, just dilute 2 tablespoons in 1 liter of water, bring to the fire until boiling and, after that, let it rest for 5 minutes.
Finally, the drink can be consumed at room temperature or cold.
Falling libido is a problem that can occur with anyone.
If it manifests, it is important to seek medical help, which will investigate the origin of the condition and indicate the most appropriate treatment for each person.