Many different types of medication can cause loss of libido, such as:
- Anti-anxiety – such as benzodiazepines, for example, diazepam
- Anticonvulsants – such as carbamazepine, and phenytoin
- Antidepressants – such as SSRI’s, SNRI’s, TCA’s and MAOI’s
- Antifungals – such as ketoconazole and fluconazole
- Antihistamines – such as diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine
- Some types of hormonal contraception
- Drugs used to treat the prostate – such as tamsulosin, and finasteride
- Drugs used to reduce stomach acids – such as cimetidine
- Cancer treatments – including chemotherapy and radiotherapy
- Drugs used in heart disease – such as B-blockers, ACE inhibitors, thiazide diuretics, and statins
- Opioid analgesics – such as oxycontin
- Steroids – such as prednisone
- Anabolic steroids – such as stanozolol, and oxandrolone
Alcohol can affect every part of the sexual pathway, according to Dr Lee.
She said: “It causes erectile dysfunction in men and is often linked to poor arousal in women with vaginal dryness and difficulty with orgasm.”
Low and fluctuating oestrogen levels around the time of menopause, often have a negative effect on sexual function, frequently resulting in vaginal dryness, poor lubrication, and painful sex.
Dr Lee explained: “Changes in testosterone levels can also dampen libido.
“Unpleasant menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats can interfere with sleep causing tiredness, stress, and anxiety.
“Men can also suffer from low testosterone levels, which can occur with ageing.
“However, the relationship between testosterone levels and sexual desire in men is complex and not well understood.”
Around one in four adults claim they are too tired for sex.
Dr Lee explained: “It may be that loss of libido and tiredness are symptoms of the same condition – when you are tired you don’t want to have sex, and when you don’t want to have sex, you feel tired!
“Loss of libido is very common in those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), who are so overwhelmingly fatigued, they don’t have the energy for anything, let alone sex.”
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