One of the many reasons lots of couples do not find successful solutions to their erectile challenges is because they somehow confuse libido with erection. Many do not understand that low libido is not the same as erectile dysfunction; so today we shall be looking into this in its fullest details.
Basically, the word libido is used to describe the basic desire for sex or sex drive or the instinct energy or force. In one word, libido is a person’s sex drive. Every living animal has libido which is most times seasonal but the human’s sex drive or libido is ever present. The libido in both men and women is directly tied to their testosterone. Men have about 40 times as much testosterone as women, and this is why men are generally thought to have a more intense sexual drive and more aggressive sexual behaviour. Males reach the peak of their sex drive in their teens, while females reach it in their thirties. The surge in testosterone hits the male at puberty resulting in a sudden and extreme sex drive and sex desire which reaches its peak in early adolescence, and then drops slowly over the man’s lifetime. In contrast, a female’s libido increases slowly during adolescence and reaches its peak in her mid-thirties.
Continue reading after the cut.....
Continue reading after the cut.....
Actual testosterone and oestrogens level, which affect a person’s sex drive vary considerably. For instance, a woman’s desire for sex is correlated to her menstrual cycle, with many women experiencing a heightened sexual desire in the several days immediately before ovulation, which is her peak fertility period. This cycle has been associated with changes in a woman’s testosterone levels during her menstrual cycle. Testosterone levels have a direct impact on a woman’s interest in sex. Testosterone levels rise gradually from about the 24th day of a woman’s menstrual cycle until ovulation or about the 14th day of the next cycle, and during this period, the woman’s desire for sex increases consistently. The 13th day is generally the day with the highest testosterone levels. In the week following ovulation, the testosterone level is in its lowest and as a result, women will experience less interest in sex.
Also, during the week following ovulation, progesterone levels increase, resulting in a woman experiencing difficulty achieving orgasm. Although the last days of the menstrual cycle are marked by a constant testosterone level, women’s libido may boost as a result of the thickening of the uterine lining which stimulates nerve endings and makes a woman feel aroused. Also, during these days, oestrogen levels also decline, resulting in a decrease of natural lubrication. Menopause is still considered by the majority as a factor that can cause decreased sex desire in women. This is because the levels of oestrogen decrease at menopause and this usually causes a lower interest in sex and vaginal dryness which makes intercourse painful. However, the levels of testosterone increase at menopause and this is why some women may experience a contrary effect of an increase in libido and sex drive than when they were in their child-bearing age. Psychologically, the fear of another pregnancy, the pressure of pregnancy, bearing and rearing of children, the stress of being a wife, mother is another major reason for low libido in women. The effect of badly performed female circumcision itself is a reason for low libido also. Aside this psychological effect of rape, wife abuse, ill-informed religious doctrine, barbaric customs and tradition can be a reason for female low libido. Breastfeeding, badly performed episiotomy leading to bad and tight scare formation is another leading cause of low libido in women.
Sometimes, it is difficult for some couples to identify low libido and that is why many men confuse it with erectile dysfunction. Loss of libido doesn’t usually happen suddenly – it’s not like having malaria or typhoid fever where you wake up one morning and you notice fever, aches and tiredness. It can be a gradual process. Though difficult to define precisely, it is a lack of interest in sex for several months.
Please note that frequency of sexual activity is not the best measure of sexual interest, so many circumstances can get in the way of an encounter, even if the desire is there. But if you are in a committed marriage relationship and having sex less often than the norm, let’s say about once a week, well, you might ask yourself whether you are happy with things as they are.
If you’re not happy about your loss of libido, researchers agree that it is best to tackle it fast. To help identify the early warning signs, see whether you answer the following questions true or false: Does touching take place only in the bedroom? Sex does not give you feelings of connection and sharing anymore, one of you is always the initiator and the other feels pressured and reluctantly gives in, you no longer look forward to sex, sex is more mechanical and routine than passionate, you almost never have sexual thoughts or fantasies about your spouse, you now have sex once or twice a month at most. Now if you answered true to many or most of these questions, you may be on your way to losing sexual desire.
Understanding the various causes is the first step to finding the appropriate resolution. Husbands don’t like to talk about it; neither do their wives. But loss of libido in men or inhibited sexual desire stresses a marriage more than any other sexual dysfunction. Losing interest in sex may not be as common an occurrence for men as it is for women: It affects about 15-16 per cent of men, and at least double that many women. But when men lose interest in sex, it scares them more than women. This is because their masculinity is so linked to their sexuality and that awareness is in itself very threatening.
Loss of libido also makes men unhappy about the rest of their lives than it does women. Only 23 per cent of men with loss of libido say they still feel very happy about life in general versus 46 per cent of women. Simply put, it bothers men more because their erection and their ejaculation is like life to them.
Generally, stress leads to loss of libido. Stress such as job stress and self-esteem are also big factors. If a man’s performance at work is challenged, and he doesn’t feel he is achieving or doesn’t feel self-worth, he often numbs himself sexually. Desire is a healthy form of entitlement when husbands don’t feel deserving, and they shut down automatically in all things. Many medical conditions can cause loss of libido. As a matter of fact, the quality of the relationship is an important part of libido to all men. Although it is generally believed that quality of marriage relationship is more important to women, the percentage is the same. The difference is just in the way it is being displayed both by women and men. It is not only women who respond happily to a good marital relationship, men do also. Problems such as anger and disappointment often seen in the bedroom are a signal to other problems in the marriage relationship.
Age is one of the most common causes of lowered sex drive. As people age, their sex drive often lessens, but there are many other reasons. Sometimes, a lowered sex drive may be the result of an illness or drug abuse. Alcoholism is an especially common cause of lowered sex drive. Certain medications may cause a lack of libido in both men and women such as antidepressants, contraceptives, some anti diabetic drugs, some antihypertensive drugs and some anti erectile dysfunction drugs.
Some physical factors that can affect libido are endocrine issues in males; even the frequency of ejaculations affects the libido. Being very underweight or malnourished can cause a low libido due to disruptions from normal hormonal levels. Anaemia is particularly a cause of lack of libido in women due to the loss of iron during their menstrual cycles. Smoking, alcohol abuse and drug abuse may also cause disruptions in the hormonal balances and therefore lead to a decreased libido.
Low libido shouldn’t be confused with erectile dysfunction. This is the reason why some medications such as some aphrodisiacs, herbs or enhancers normally prescribed for ED don’t usually heighten, increase, improve or boost sex drive. Ironically for some categories of husbands, the wrong kind of respect can cause loss of libido. For some husbands, the very love and respect they have for their wives especially after the birth of a baby can become an obstacle to sexual desire. A lot of husbands find it difficult to be sexually aroused to the mother of their children, especially after witnessing normal vaginal delivery, and the stress of birth pains. Sometime the resulting exhaustion of the co-care of a baby or young children with their wives also sap out the libido of some husbands. This can sap libido for men as surely as it does for women.
To be continue....
- Funmi Akingbade/Punch
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