5 ways to maintain male libido

The thrill may be gone, but it doesn’t mean it’s gone for good

A series of lifestyle factors and physical conditions can contribute to a man’s libido. So it’s crucial to talk to your doctor if you’re worried that your sex drive has dropped.

“Libido loss doesn’t usually happen suddenly or overnight – it’s not like catching a cold,” says Brent Laur, the coordinator of Men’s Vitality at Medcan. “The problems with this complex issue range from physical and medical to psychological and social.”

Many men want to know if their lowered sex drive can be reversed by medication. While testosterone replacement therapy could be an option for some men, a physician needs to assess whether a hormonal imbalance is rooted in a medical issue before considering this treatment (this would involve blood testing that confirms low testosterone levels). The following guidance can help improve a man’s desire and sexual performance.

Manage your stress for better sex. The anxiety of relationship or work difficulties, as well as untreated depression, will naturally affect sexual desire because of an overproduction of the “stress hormone”, cortisol. Known as the cortisol-steal, cortisol is produced at the expense of the production of testosterone. If you make breathing exercises, meditation or yoga part of your routine – even for 10 or 15 minutes a day – your hormone and nervous system has the chance to rest and recover, potentially lowering cortisol levels and increasing testosterone levels.

Laur recommends speaking with a psychologist in person or by video to see how you can manage stress in a healthier way and make stress work for you.

Get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. If your partner says you gasp in your sleep, snore heavily, or if you don’t feel well rested when you waken in the morning then a sleep apnea investigation and treatment strategy may be what you need. If you don’t feel well rested in the morning, it may be worth checking out.  Follow our prescription for improved sleep.

Achieve your best health. Unmanaged or poorly managed conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol can negatively impact a man’s libido. Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes can reduce blood flow to the body, including the genitals, wreaking havoc on libido as well. Getting to your best health may start with introducing more exercise, improving your eating habits, or losing weight with the support of a weight management program. Treating sleep apnea, weight loss and exercise can increase testosterone levels.

Keep your alcohol intake in check. While alcohol may increase desire, it decreases sexual performance. One drink is defined as:  a 12-oz beer (5% alcohol), 5 oz glass of wine (10 to 12% alcohol) or 1 ½ oz of spirits (40% alcohol). Men are recommended to reconsider drinking habits if you are drinking more than 15 drinks a week. Too much alcohol can act as a depressant. The largest sex organ is the brain so ensure that it is kept healthy, active and restored.

Eat more plants and limit saturated fats.  Pistachios, broccoli and watermelon have been linked to a reduction in erectile dysfunction, which appears to serve as an early sign of cardiovascular disease. Men who ate 3 to 4 handfuls of pistachios a day for 3 weeks noticed a reduction in erectile dysfunction (improved blood flow, firmer erections). Another nutrient often linked to libido is zinc, which can be found in high levels in oysters and scallops. But this doesn’t mean to start taking a zinc supplement. In high doses, zinc can suppress the immune system, so best to check with your registered dietitian. Finally, the best thing you can do for your sex life is to cut back on red meat and butter. The regular eating of  fatty cuts of meat, saturated fats and junk foods can down-regulate dopamine receptors, which can lead to you not enjoying sex.

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