Low libido in young males means decreased interest in sexual activity. It is common to lose interest in sex from time to time, and libido can vary through life. However, low libido for a long time may cause concern for young men. It can sometimes be an indicator of an underlying health condition.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) and low libido shouldn’t be confused. However, they can co-exist. To be able to deal with the potential causes, a couple must communicate and be honest. There are many treatment options available. These include psychotherapy, hormone replacement, or lifestyle changes.
Although low libido may sometimes be due to one factor, it is often caused by multiple factors that contribute in their ways. Low testosterone, medications, and depression are some of the most common causes of low libido in young males.
6 Reasons for Low Libido In Young Males
1. Low Testosterone
Testosterone is a crucial sex hormone for men. It is responsible for male traits such as body muscle and facial hair. This hormone is also responsible for maintaining sperm and sex drive. Your testosterone levels will peak in adolescence or early adulthood and then drop to about 1% to 2.2% per year starting in your 30s.
Normal testosterone levels vary. However, adult men are considered to have low testosterone when their levels fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), according to American Urological Association (AUA).
Low testosterone is more common in older men than it is in younger men. A drop in testosterone levels in younger men can be due to chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or heart disease.
Low testosterone levels are not associated with erectile dysfunction, contrary to popular belief. However, it can affect sex in some other ways. This condition can also cause:
- Face and body hair loss
- Reduced muscle tone
Low testosterone is treated most commonly with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). TRT is effective but can be dangerous. These include blood clots and prostate growth, as well as worsening sleep disorders like insomnia. TRT could also increase the risk of heart disease in older men.
Talking to your doctor is a good idea if you suspect that your testosterone levels may be low. Hypogonadism can only be diagnosed after you have checked your testosterone levels on at least two occasions.
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2. Side Effects of Medication
Certain medications may cause low sexual desire in young males. This could include whole classes of drugs that can alter a man’s sexual drive in varying degrees. These are some of the most common culprits:
Long-term use of over-the-counter drugs such as Tagamet (cimetidine) can lead to serious health problems.
The treatment may include stopping or changing the drug. However, this is not always possible for some chronic medications. It may be possible to adjust the dose. Do not alter your medication or dosage without talking to your doctor first.
Low libido in young males and depression may be linked. Depression can lead to a decreased sex drive and may even make things worse. Antidepressants are effective in treating depression but can also exacerbate sexual desire problems.
Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing a lower sex drive while taking antidepressants. You may be able to switch to another medication such as Remeron (mirtazapine), or Wellbutrin, which can help. Discuss your mood with your doctor. Talk about the effects of medications on your sexual drive. We will help you fix depression without medication.
4. Chronic Illness
Chronic illness can cause high levels of fatigue and pain that can be another reason for low libido in young males. For the following chronic conditions and diseases, this can be particularly true:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Heart disease
- Kidney failure
There is seldom a clear line between treatment and cause when it comes to chronic disease and loss of sexual function. Chronic illness can increase the risk of depression. It can also directly affect hormonal, neurological, and vascular functions that are central to male sex drive.
The medications taken to treat chronic conditions (such as cancer or heart disease) can also directly affect the male libido. It is difficult to determine the exact cause and to find a solution. Sometimes multiple doctors are needed.
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5. Sleep Disorders and Stress
Stress can drive you to distraction and affect sexual desires in men. However, it is more dangerous for the body. Cortisol is a hormone that triggers stress. It functions almost like an internal alarm system. Cortisol can cause ED by constricting blood vessels and contributing to ED. It can also cause a rapid drop in testosterone.
Stress can also be linked to sleep disorders like insomnia, making it more difficult to have sex and increasing your risk of becoming fatigued.
A medication may be necessary if the stress is linked to an anxiety disorder. Be aware that some anti-anxiety medication (the SSRIs), can cause a decrease in your libido.
6. Lifestyle Factors
Low libido in young males can be caused by lifestyle factors. These are easier to fix if you change or stop your behavior.
- Alcohol or drug abuse: High levels of alcohol consumption can lead to lower testosterone levels.
- Too many (or too few) exercises: A lower level of libido can be linked to high-intensity exercise.
- Obesity: Excess weight directly affects hormone function and metabolism, leading to a significant reduction in total and free testosterone. On the other hand, exercise and weight loss improve mood and energy and enhance sexual function and self-image.
- Smoking: This directly increases the chance of ED and indirectly impairs sex arousal, according to a 2012 University of Texas Austin study.
Although these lifestyle choices can have a negative impact on your libido, it’s best to consult a doctor before you blame a single lifestyle element.
How is it treated?
Treatments for low libido in young males include:
- Healthier lifestyle choices. Get regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a healthier diet.
- If the medication you are currently on is affecting your sex drive, it’s time to switch to a new drug
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy
If the problem is psychological, your doctor might recommend therapy. Low libido can indicate a need for closer relationships with your partner. Talking with a therapist can be helpful, whether you are alone or together. Antidepressants may be helpful if the problem is depression.
These were some of the reasons for libido in young males. Get to know your body and let your doctor know what you feel. Don’t be afraid to speak up. This is the only way to determine if the root cause of the problem lies in the physical, psychological, or combination of both.
About Dr. Neha Mehta
Dr. Neha Mehta is an RCI registered Psychologist, certified Relationship Counselor, and a well-known Child Psychologist practicing in Haryana.
Dr. Neha has 10 years of enriching experience in the field of counseling. She’s an accredited Psychologist by NIMHANS and International Affiliate with American Psychological Association.