The reduction of sexual desire (libido) can affect both men and women and it may be caused by medical conditions as well as psychological and emotional problems. It is also characterized by prolonged alteration of sexual desire that has psychological repercussions and may be detrimental to relationships.

Decreased sexual desire is often linked to professional and personal stress or important life-changing events such as pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. However, an unexpected decrease in libido, especially when it is long lasting or recurrent, could also be an indication of an underlying medical, personal or lifestyle problem. In other words, in some cases, the decreased sexual desire may be a temporary condition that is related to transient problems such as stress, while in other cases it may be a secondary symptom of other conditions that generally coincide with hormonal imbalances.

Decreased sexual desire can also be accompanied by other sexual disorders. For instance, persistent failure of erections or sexual performance can lead to a reduced sexual libido in men. 


What diseases can be associated with decreased sexual desire?

The main diseases related to low sexual desire include the following:

  • Sleep apnoea
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Graves' disease – Basedow
  • Hashimoto
  • Mood disorders
  • Cirrhosis
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Male hypogonadism
  • Depression
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Endometriosis
  • Reduction of testosterone
  • Pituitary tumours (pituitary gland)


It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list and it would always be better to consult your doctor if symptoms persist.


What are the remedies against decreased sexual desire?

Based on the reported symptoms, the doctor will decide the most appropriate treatment for each individual. In some cases, when the problem is a symptom of a relational or psychological disorder, a doctor might recommend individual and couple psychotherapy. If the basis is a physiological condition, often linked to hormonal imbalances, the doctor will evaluate the most suitable treatment for each individual case based on symptoms and diagnostic tests. For some men, adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as eating healthy, exercising regularly, reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and/or limiting alcohol, can help resolve the problem. Other treatment options may include changing certain medications, treating an underlying condition, and testosterone replacement hormone therapy if the man has hypogonadism.


When to contact your doctor?

It is recommended to contact a doctor before the condition becomes a problem in aspects of quality of life as well as a problem in the relationship with the patient’s partner. It is also recommended for men to visit a urologist and women to visit a gynaecologist. The doctor takes note of the reported symptoms, especially those related to the sexual sphere: pain or discomfort before and during sexual intercourse, erectile problems, vaginal dryness, as well as effects of any medications.