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Unable to arouse myself – what could be the problem?

We receive a variation of this problem every single day on our Q&A section which means that low libido is becoming a big problem in this day and age.

Written by Nirmalya Dutta |Published : April 30, 2014 6:51 PM IST

libidoWe receive a variation of this problem every single day on our Q&A section which means that low libido is becoming a big problem in this day and age. So what leads to low libido?

There are a variety of reasons for a lack of sexual appetite. It can either be physiological or psychological in both men and women. Physiological refers to changes in the body which can lead to a lack of sexual desire. Diseases and conditions that can affect your sex life:

Diabetes: Diabetes causes nerve damage which makes a person less sensitive to touch. That's why 50% with diabetes are likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction and low testosterone, which are big reasons for a low sex drive.

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Heart Disease: Sex is essentially all about blood flow and if there's one thing that can affect your sex drive, it's the organ that controls blood flow. Any form of heart disease could affect your natural sex drive.

Medications: The oral contraceptive pill is a medicine that's famous for sending women's libidos for a toss. Other medicines like statins, blood pressure medications, anti-depressants, anti-psychotic drugs and even cough and cold medication could lead to low libido since they interfere with your body's normal functioning.

Obesity: Obesity has a direct link to hormonal imbalance and lower testosterone levels which can lead to lower sexual desires in both men and women. Another issue is that increased body fat leads to more sex hormone binding globulins (SHBG) in the system. SHBG is a natural chemical that binds to testosterone, which means that there is less of the sex hormone left to handle the demands of a normal sex life. There has also been evidence to suggest that obesity in young boys can lead to fatigue and development of male breasts. In young girls it can lead to PCOD, irregular menstrual cycle and thyroid problems

Low libido can also be due to certain foods or beverages that we consume on a day-to-day basis:

Artificial Sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners contain a substance called aspartame that affects our body's serotonin levels (happy hormone) which tends to afflict our mood or libido.

Cornflakes: Dr John Harvey Kellog actually made this cereal as part of a bland diet to lower people's sex drives and prevent masturbation so it's best to stay away from cornflakes before a lovemaking session.

Cheese: High fat dairy products like cheese which interferes with the production of mood lifting toxins in your body like progesterone, testosterone and oestrogen.

Chips: Your favourite chips are rich in rancid oils and other bad fats which can interfere with your ability to make love.

Coffee: Coffee before sex can stress you out by spiking her stress hormones such as cortisol which is bad for your libido.

Soy: Soy contains phytoestrogens that competes with the male sex hormone and actually causes fertility issues, male breast growth and body hair loss.

Cold drinks: Cold drinks are infamous for causing obesity, dental cavities, diabetes and other conditions that are bad for your sex life.

Alcohol and smoking: Now while a few drinks might up the libido, a drink too many can actually make you drowsy and less sensitive to your surroundings. It also hampers the production of testosterone so the next time you're planning a romantic night, keep a check on the amount of alcohol you consume. Even smoking can lead to low sex drive in both men and women.

Junk food: Junk food just doesn't lower your chances of having sex by making you fat it's also in hydrogenated fats which lowers your testosterone levels which hampers libido in both sexes.

While these are the physiological conditions that cause loss of libido, there are various psychological reasons which can cause similar problems.

Psychological

The brain is the most powerful sex organ and there are various psychological conditions that may ruin your libido.

Stress

One of the primary reasons for the low libido in homo sapiens sapiens is the modern day society he has built around himself or herself. There's just too much pressure on people these days. Stress, obesity, smoking, drinking, a junk food culture and a sedentary lifestyle has created a dangerous cocktail where people simply don't have time or inclination to have sex.

Depression

Depression is a serious debilitating condition which makes it feel like you have the entire world's weight on your shoulders. To top that, anti-depressives, whose job is to boost your mood by altering the balance of brain chemicals are also involved in sexual response which leads to sexual dysfunction.

Body image issues

According to psychotherapist and clinical counsellor Rachel Hercman, 'A strong component of sexual satisfaction is being comfortable in one's skin. If a woman is convinced that she is unattractive, it will be difficult for her to present and she will not be able to fully enjoy the sexual experience. Moreover, she may feel inhibited in having sexual needs. She may think to herself, 'How can I seek or experience pleasure when I look like this?' She may be passive and focus on her partner's pleasure instead of her own, and she may be hesitant to initiate sexual activity.' Body image issues exist for both men and women and can be another reason for not wanting to have sex.

Bipolarity One of the hallmark symptoms of bipolarity is a manic phase where one exhibits high activity with a depressive phase which shows low activity. So during the manic phase, a sufferer will have an extremely high libido whereas in the depressive phase he or she will exhibit an extremely low libido.

Check out these articles for a comprehensive list of tips:

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