Sex drive, also known as libido refers to your desire for sexual activity. Normal levels of sex drive are different for each person, there is no standard that anyone should be compared to. Loss of sex drive is a type of sexual dysfunction and means a reduction in your normal sex drive (not just lower than another person's). It is a common thing for people to experience and can be due to many different things, such as fatigue, stress, symptoms of mental health conditions like depression, difficult personal circumstances, relationship difficulties, physical health conditions or side effects of certain medication.
As people age, sex drive can decrease due to hormone changes. The need to take regular medications also increases with age, and the side effects of some medication can affect sex drive. Pregnancy can affect libido in different ways, some women find their sex drive increases whereas others find they have decreased libido during or after pregnancy or whilst still breastfeeding.
There are some simple lifestyle changes you can try to see if they improve your sex drive, such as eating a healthy diet, avoiding drinking excessive alcohol, try to optimise the amount and quality of your sleep, and trying to reduce stress levels.
You should book a routine visit with your doctor if you have unexplained loss of sex drive, if it is prolonged, keeps happening, or occurred suddenly and if it is not improving. You should also see your doctor if it’s affecting how you feel, or affecting your relationship or it has occurred alongside other symptoms. Your doctor is a good person to discuss this sometimes sensitive issue with, as they are fully confidential, they will not judge you and they can help discuss potential causes and what support or treatment could help.
The doctor will discuss with you your current symptoms, any current medication along with your past medical and mental health history. Depending on what the doctor thinks the potential cause they may want to do further tests such as blood tests. Some solutions that may help could be a referral for talking therapy (counselling) or looking at starting or adjusting medication.