Definition of Libido

The level of sexual desire an individual feels, also called sex drive. Libido represents a complex interaction between the mind and the sex hormones. Low hormonal levels often result in reduced libido.

In men the hormone associated with libido is testosterone; in women both estrogens and testosterone play roles in libido. Numerous medications, serious or chronic illness, long-term alcoholism, and substance abuse may also reduce libido.

Libido typically slows with age.

Symptoms of Low Libido

Indications or symptoms of low libido may include

  • Lack of interest in sex
  • Lack of sexual arousal
  • Inability to reach orgasm
  • Erectile dysfunction in men
  • Reduced vaginal lubrication in women

Hormone supplementation often improves libido when hormone levels are the cause for its decline. Treating health conditions that may cause low libido, or changing medications that can affect libido, is sometimes all the treatment that is necessary.

Libido also often has significant emotional and psychologic components.

Treatment for low libido depends on its identifiable causes.


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