Libido 101

It’s crucial to maintaining a good sexual relationship, but yet we rarely talk about it. And “it” is: your libido. You’ve probably heard of libido before, but you might not know exactly what it is. To put it simply, your libido is your desire for sex or sexual experiences. So, your libido is what keeps your sexual relationships fired up. Though the strength of the libido can vary from person to person, it can also be impacted by age, health, and other personal factors. Some people experience a very high libido, and others have quite a low one.

What Causes Your Libido?

Sexual desire is usually related to hormone levels in the body. That’s why, for men, the libido usually peaks in their teens and twenties, when testosterone levels are the highest. According to menshormonalhealth.com, testosterone levels in males usually range between 250 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter) and 850 ng/dl. In a 1996 study referenced by MHH, the average total testosterone experienced by men under the age of 25 was around 697 ng/dl. By age 30-34, that level was already down by 100 ng/dl.

Women also can experience highs and lows in libido strength. For many women, their libido depends on the part of their monthly menstrual cycle that they are currently experiencing. While women can feel sexual desire at any time during their cycle, many women report peak libido during ovulation, according to Psychology Today. Ovulation is the time in the menstrual cycle when women are the most likely to conceive if they are sexually active. Therefore, women experience a natural strategic desire to copulate when the chances are highest for them to become pregnant.

How Does Age Affect Libido?

Most people experience some form of sexual desire from their teenage years on, though for some it can start as young as adolescence. And, though the sex drive usually tapers off as people get older, even elderly people can experience sexual desire and satisfaction. The most important part of satisfying sexual desire is that it is done safely. So, those who are getting on in years should be sure that their hearts are healthy enough for sexual activity. But, even if sex is not an option, that doesn’t mean a person’s sex drive doesn’t exist.

What Causes Low Libido?

Anyone can experience times in their life when they don’t feel particularly desirous for sexual intercourse. And, those reasons should be respected by all involved sexual partners. However, chronic lack of sexual desire can harm even the strongest relationships. Low libido can be caused by a number of factors, both physical and psychological. So, libido is affected by stress level, amount of sleep, and even how many opportunities are available for intercourse. Likewise, a low libido can be an indicator of poor hormonal regulation, like low testosterone levels.

Some methods exist to counteract low sex drive. For men, testosterone supplements and injections may be a viable option if your physician suspects low testosterone is the culprit. Natural supplements rarely have negative side effects and can provide just the right amount of desire to produce more confidence in the bedroom. For women, hormonal birth control can impact libido, because it is a hormonal regulator. If you’re experiencing concerns over your sex drive, talk to your doctor about your options. And, remember that sex is just one aspect of a healthy relationship.

Todd Ruggets
Todd Ruggets

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