Losing Your Libido?

Getting older doesn’t mean your sex drive has to slow to low gear. Libido is half psycho-emotional and half physiologic.

The psychoemotional component of libido and performance is demonstrated in the power of fantasy. Fantasy stimulates arousal. Depression and stress affect this component most strongly. So as a baseline, stress and depression must be evaluated. The effect is even worse when the stress or depression results from issues within the relationship.

Physiologically, libido and performance are the result of a delicate balance between the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. Of course both depression and stress contribute to imbalance here as well. However, so do deficiencies in key neurotransmitters and nutrients. If norepinephrine levels are too high, serotonin and dopamine levels too low, or the GABA levels too high, libido and performance will suffer.

Deficiencies in arginine can affect performance by decreasing vasodilation in the penis, thus reducing erectile strength. Taking arginine can induce a flare up of herpes, so only take it under the supervision of medical professional who specializes in men’s health.

Structural changes in the arteries and nerves supplying the genitalia can also contribute to poor performance. These changes are most often due to high blood pressure, diabetes, neuropathy, and atherosclerosis (high cholesterol).

Unfortunately medications designed to help the above diseases as well as those designed to help stress and depression may also diminish libido and performance.

Perhaps most importantly, low testosterone or high estradiol levels in men can contribute to low libido and performance. No amount of medication, supplements, or botanicals can shift libido and performance in the presence of low hormone levels.