It's far less common than erectile dysfunction (impotence) - with which it should not be confused. Most men with lack of libido can achieve erections, but have lost the desire to have sex.
What are the causes of lack of libido in men?
The causes can be either physical or psychological.
Possible physical causes include:
- alcoholism - quite common.
- abuse of drugs - such as cocaine.
- anaemia - unusual unless the man has been bleeding for any reason.
- hyperprolactinaemia - a very uncommon disorder in which too much of the hormone prolactin is produced by the pituitary gland.
- obesity - quite common; simply slimming down will often help.
- prescribed drugs - particularly Proscar (finasteride), a tablet used for prostate problems.
- low male hormone level (testosterone) - contrary to what many people think, this is rare.
- any major 'generalised' disease, such as diabetes.
Psychological causes of lowered male level of desire include:
- stress and overwork
- sex hang-ups
- latent gayness
- serious relationship problems with the wife/partner.
What should a man do about this symptom?
Begin by seeing your GP. Your doctor should usually be able to sort out the cause by discussing the problem with you, by examining you, and by doing a few tests. But if he or she can't sort it out, your doctor can send you to a specialist.
All the above causes of lack of libido can respond well to therapy. The most difficult to treat are those that involve marital problems and/or hang-ups. Drugs for ED, such as Cialis (tadalafil), Levitra (vardenafil) and Viagra (sildenafil), have no effect on sexual desire - only on erection.