With increasing age, a natural fall in testosterone may lead you to experience a lower libido (sex drive) as well as taking longer to achieve an erection, which can be distressing. There are several factors that can contribute to this, but you will be pleased to hear, there are some effective treatments.
As an older man, you may find that you experience a lower sex drive than you are used to, which can be distressing. After the age of 40, a natural fall in testosterone levels can lead to a loss of libido and an increase in the time needed to achieve an erection. There are several factors that can cause male impotence and, you’ll be pleased to hear, there are also some effective treatments.
Testosterone in men
Testosterone is a male sex hormone, produced mainly in the testicles, that plays a large role in the male libido. Women have testosterone as well but at much lower levels. Testosterone isn’t only linked to sex drive; it also helps to develop:
- male sex organs
- body hair
- deepening voice
- red blood cells
Male testosterone levels peak in the late teens and the initial drop does not usually have any significant physical effects before the age of 30. Between the ages of 30 and 40 a man’s testosterone levels fall by about 1% every year; whilst high enough to be measured, the effects are rarely a concern. After the age of 40, however, a low libido in men can be noticeable as testosterone levels decrease even further.
Male testosterone levels peak in the late teens but the initial decline is practically imperceptible before the age of 30. Between the ages of 30 – 40 a man’s testosterone levels fall by about 1% every year; while high enough to be measured, the effects are rarely noticeable. After the age of 40, however, a low sex drive in men can be noticeable as testosterone levels decrease even further.
How to recognise signs of low libido
Low testosterone can affect health and lead to symptoms that directly impact sexual performance, including:
- Reduced sex drive
- Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
- Decreased sperm count
Other symptoms of low testosterone can include:
- Hot flushes
- Poor concentration
- Loss of muscle mass
- Weight gain
Other causes of low sex drive in men
Lowering levels of testosterone is not the only reason an older man can experience loss of libido and erectile dysfunction (ED). Often psychological factors can be responsible for low sex drive, including stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and depression. Relationship problems or sexual issues with your partner can also negatively impact your sexual desire.
If you’re worried about your loss of libido, it is worth reducing unhealthy habits such as:
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of sleep
- Misuse of alcohol and recreational drugs
Underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, underactive thyroid and diabetes, can also bring about a reduced libido. Certain medications can also affect your sex drive, including antidepressants, antipsychotics and medication for seizures. Make sure you check the leaflet that comes with your medicine to see if low libido is listed as a side effect.
How to increase libido
There are lots of things you can do to boost your libido, meaning you can continue having rewarding sex over 60. Follow these tips on how to improve your sex life:
- Eat aphrodisiac foods such as oysters, cocoa, maca powder, watermelon and avocado.
- Spend time with your partner discussing your emotional needs and building intimacy.
- Take time to meditate and release anxiety.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Undertake daily exercise; yoga, tai chi and brisk walking are all good for physical and mental health.
- Make sure you’re well rested; taking naps when you can and having a bedtime routine.
- If necessary, consult a specialist who can advise on medication.
Erectile Dysfunction treatment
If you experience ED then there are a number of treatments available. Suitability for each treatment might depend on the cause of your ED so be sure to get yourself assessed before seeking treatment. LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor offers eleven prescription-only medications for ED:
- Viagra: the best known treatment for ED.
- Sildenafil: the same active ingredient as Viagra (sildenafil citrate) but cheaper.
- Cialis: longer-lasting, Cialis remains active in the body for approximately 36 hours.
- Levitra: similar to Viagra in terms of length of effect. Suitable for diabetics.
- Spedra: a very fast acting treatment that can take effect in under 30 minutes.
- Tadalafil: the same active ingredient as Cialis (tadalafil) but cheaper.
- Tadalafil Daily: the same active ingredient as Cialis daily but cheaper. Enables spontaneous erections.
- Vardenafil: the same active ingredient as Levitra (vardenafil) but cheaper.
- Viagra Connect: As effective as Viagra and Sildenafil, works in one hour.
- Vitaros: Effective ED cream, works in 30 minutes.
For an in-depth comparison of each treatment, see our online Erectile Dysfunction Clinic.