- How to Tell If Your Testosterone Is Low
- Ways to Increase Low Testosterone
- When Your Partner Has Low Testosterone
- The Effect of Relationship Status on Testosterone Levels in Men
- Do Differences in Testosterone Explain Relationship Quality?
- Treatments for Low Testosterone
- 4 Ways to Boost His Low Sex Drive
How to Tell If Your Testosterone Is Low
By now you may even “know” the symptoms of low T from listening to all the commercials — sexual symptoms like erectile dysfunction and loss of interest in sex, and non-sexual symptoms like low energy, depression, obesity, and a flabby body. But how do you know if you really have low T or if you’re just an aging couch potato?
“Men usually show up at my office because of erectile dysfunction. If they have low libido, low energy, or metabolic syndrome, I do a blood test to check for low testosterone,” says Joel Lilly, MD, a urologist at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Metabolic syndrome includes obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and it is a risk factor for low testosterone (a hormonal imbalance in men) as well as diabetes.
Obesity may be one of the biggest risk factors for low T and can cause low T at a younger age. A study published in the journal “Clinical Endocrinology” looked at testosterone levels in 25 obese young men. Even though they were all under 20 years old, their testosterone levels were already between 40 to 50 percent below normal for their age.
Could It Be Low Testosterone?
When a drug company gives a disease a nickname, you might well start to get suspicious. “Low testosterone as the cause of symptoms like lack of energy and erectile dysfunction is probably not as common as the TV ads would lead you to believe, but it is fairly common, especially in older men,” says Dr. Lilly.
Testosterone levels naturally decrease as you get older. Low testosterone is found in 20 percent of men between age 60 and 70, 30 percent of men between 70 and 80, and half of all men over 80.
But Michael Wald, MD, PhD, CDN, wasn’t over 60 when he was diagnosed with low testosterone, nor was he obese. He was diagnosed by a neurologist who was seeing him for multiple sclerosis. Many symptoms of multiple sclerosis, especially sexual dysfunction and low energy, are similar to symptoms of low T.
“My main symptom was fatigue. I was tired all the time. I had no energy. My neurologist made the connection between MS, fatigue, and low testosterone,” says Dr. Wald, who is the director of nutritional services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco in New York. Wald was diagnosed with low testosterone four years ago, when he was 43.
Testing for and Treating Low T
Your doctor probably won’t test you for low testosterone unless you have symptoms because there is no reason to treat low testosterone without symptoms. In most cases, the diagnosis can be made by your primary care doctor. The Endocrine Society recommends testosterone testing for men with these primary symptoms:
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction that does not respond to ED medication
- Depressed mood
- Low energy
- Thin bones (osteoporosis)
“I usually order a total testosterone blood test. If that’s normal, I don’t go any further. If the testosterone is low, I do more testing to confirm the diagnosis,” says Lilly. Total testosterone levels fluctuate during the day. The best time to get a true reading is in the morning. According to the Endocrine Society, 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) is the low limit of normal.
If your total testosterone is low, your doctor may repeat the test or order another type of testosterone blood test called free testosterone. “My neurologist measured free testosterone, which is the best test,” says Wald.
Before treating low T, your doctor may do a few other blood tests to check your prostate and red blood cell levels. That’s because testosterone is not safe for men with prostate cancer and it can increase your red blood cell count. Your doctor will want to recheck these blood tests occasionally if you stay on treatment.
“You can raise anyone’s testosterone level with testosterone replacement, but that doesn’t mean you should,” says Lilly. “Men with borderline levels may not need treatment, and even with lower levels, not all men will respond to treatment. I usually try treating for a month or two. If there is no response, I stop treating.”
Testosterone replacement isn’t for men with breast cancer or prostate cancer. Side effects can include fluid retention and swelling of the prostate gland. The big worry you hear about is an increased risk for prostate cancer. “I always check the prostate size and repeat the prostate blood tests during treatment, but the actual risk of prostate cancer from testosterone replacement is very low,” says Lilly.
Options for treatment include skin gel, injections, and skin patches. About 70 percent of men choose the gel and about 17 percent choose injections. “I have been getting testosterone injections for four years,” says Wald. “I had some fluid retention in my hands and some acne as side effects, but these went away after the dose was lowered.”
The Benefits of Testosterone Replacement
If you get diagnosed, treated, and respond well to treatment, there could be some real benefits for you, such as:
- Increased energy
- More interest in sex
- Better erections
- Improved mood
- Loss of body fat
- More body muscle
“There is increasing evidence that testosterone replacement could help reverse metabolic syndrome in men with low testosterone. That would be worth fixing,” says Lilly.
These days, Wald has plenty of energy. He writes two regular columns on nutrition called “Ask the Blood Detective” in local newspapers, has written several books, and is interviewed frequently on news shows. He also manages a full-time medical practice. “I have run three marathons and many half-marathons. My best time for the marathon is three hours and forty-four minutes,” Wald says proudly.
Ways to Increase Low Testosterone
Testosterone is a sex hormone that your body makes. Normally, men produce more of it than women do. Some men may have low amounts of testosterone. This is known as “low T.” Your hormone level decreases as you get older. Certain medicines and health conditions may affect it, as well. Examples of this include:
- cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy
- testicular cancer
- injury to your testicle(s)
- hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels)
- problem with your nervous system
Path to improved health
Low T can affect your physical and mental behavior. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms, such as:
- low sex drive
- low sperm count
- erectile dysfunction
- changes in mood
- muscle or bone loss
- decreased strength
- weight gain
- hair loss
- trouble sleeping
- trouble focusing.
The symptoms listed here can be caused by health issues besides low T. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and review your lifestyle to determine the problem. In addition, they may run a blood test to check your levels. Men usually have between 300 and 1,000 nanograms (ng) of testosterone per deciliter (dL). If your test results show a low level, you may need to increase the hormone. This can be done naturally.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is most common. This involves using man-made hormones. There are several forms that your doctor can prescribe. They include gel, a patch, or an injection. TRT is not an option for men who have certain health issues. This includes prostate or breast cancer. TRT also may not help men who have low T due to advanced age.
TRT often is done in combination with other lifestyle changes. These changes promote overall good health. If you are obese, you should lose weight. You can do this by eating better and getting more exercise. Aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Try to control your stress levels. This allows your body to focus its energy on testosterone production.
Men low in testosterone should eat foods with zinc and vitamin D. These can help balance your hormones and produce more testosterone. Adult men should get about 11 milligrams of zinc per day. Zinc is in meat, poultry, seafood, and shellfish. Beans, nuts, and whole grains are good sources. These foods, plus dairy, also contain vitamin D. Adult men should get about 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin D per day. You also should eat less sugar and saturated fat.
Things to consider
Your doctor may want to perform other tests to find the cause of low T. This will help them decide if you need other treatment, as well.
There are benefits and risks to TRT. The goal of therapy is to get rid of symptoms of low T. The treatment has been known to improve men’s sexual drive and mood. However, studies show that it may increase your risk of plaque buildup and heart disease. Talk to your doctor more about specific concerns. Make sure they know if you are at risk of any other health conditions.
Questions to ask your doctor
- Will I always have low testosterone?
- How long does TRT last?
- Should I take a supplement(s) to increase my testosterone?
Hormone Health Network, Testosterone Therapy in Men
National Institutes of Health: MedlinePlus, Could You Have Low Testosterone?
National Institutes of Health: MedlinePlus, Testosterone Therapy May Have Benefits, But Risks Too
When Your Partner Has Low Testosterone
Low testosterone affects millions in the United States, causing mood swings in men and problems with sex drive — which can have a direct impact on their partners as well. If your partner has low testosterone, there are ways you can help him and steps you can take to keep your relationship healthy, starting by understanding low testosterone yourself.
How Low Testosterone Affects a Relationship
Contrary to popular belief, low testosterone (or “low T”) symptoms affect more than just a man’s sex drive and ability to have an erection. This vital sex hormone also impacts his psyche, which means low testosterone can affect his mood and energy levels, too. “All of this can have significant effects on a relationship,” says Michael A. Werner, MD, a board-certified urologist in private practice in New York. “Men with low testosterone are often irritable, anxious, and even depressed.”
The sexual difficulties and mood swings in men affect both people in a relationship when a male partner has low testosterone. You may feel confused, unwanted, and frustrated when your sexual bond is failing. “The reality, whether we like it or not, is that the physical relationship is central and critical to most romantic relationships,” says Bat Sheva Marcus, PhD, MPH, founder and clinical director of the Medical Center for Female Sexuality with offices in Westchester County and Long Island, N.Y. Dr. Marcus has counseled many couples dealing with low-testosterone-related issues. “There might be problems with sex, there may be differing expectations, but the ‘wanting’ each other needs to be there,” Marcus says. “If it’s not, that desire is almost irreplaceable.”
For many men with low testosterone, the wanting is there, but they can’t act on it. “Men with low testosterone will commonly report that they still find their partner sexually desirable, but simply have lost the drive to initiate sexual interactions,” says J. Aaron Davis, ND, director of the Low T Center in Indianapolis.
Tips for Coping With Intimacy Issues
As long as you’re committed to working together to maintain your relationship, Dr. Werner says that problems stemming from low testosterone can be solved. Here’s how to help yourself and your partner:
- Don’t blame yourself. If you’re the partner of a man with low testosterone, it’s important not to lose your self-worth or think that your partner’s low sex drive is somehow your fault. “For men with low testosterone, the problem is physical instead of psychological,” Werner says. “If a man’s libido is low, it’s important for his partner not to take it personally. This isn’t a reflection on whether he finds you attractive or on the strength of the relationship.”
- Encourage exercise. Beyond the medical treatments for low testosterone symptoms, Werner is a big believer in the power of exercise. If you can get your partner on the right track or exercise with him, it can really help. “The first step is to begin exercise, even modest exercise, as soon possible,” he says. “When a man realizes that a lot of these symptoms are physical and may reverse with treatment, feeling that there is a solution to his problems gives him a real boost.”
- Be patient. Werner emphasizes that treatments for low testosterone symptoms can be very effective, but they don’t work overnight. “It’s important to remember that many of these symptoms take time to resolve,” he says. “Libido can take up to nine months at good testosterone levels to improve. Efforts need to be taken to address erection issues, whether through medication or other options.”
If you find that you’re having trouble coping on your own, couples therapy may help you both get through this challenging period in your relationship. With sex therapy or counseling, you can each express your respective needs in an open and healing environment, explains Edward Levitan, MD, co-founder and chief executive officer of Visions HealthCare in Wellesley, Mass. You can also explore new ways to be intimate and keep open and honest communication, which is central to keeping a relationship strong.
The Effect of Relationship Status on Testosterone Levels in Men
Researchers have long known that single men tend to have more testosterone than comparable men in long-term relationships, but what about men in new relationships?
A new study finds that testosterone generally remains at “single-man” levels until couples have been dating for more than a year.
“The similarity in levels of testosterone between men in new relationships and single men suggests that men in new relationships are still in a physiological state that aids competition with other men for access to potential mates,” the study authors wrote in Evolutionary Psychology.
“This may be due to the need to maintain and develop their new relationship… However, an alternative explanation for these effects may be due to the direction of causality. In other words, it may be that men with higher baseline levels of testosterone are more likely to terminate their relationships before they become long-term due to their greater propensity to seek new partners.”
The research team recruited 75 heterosexual young men (average age, 22.11 years), took saliva samples to test their testosterone levels and then used questionnaires to gather information about their relationships and their attitudes about sexual behavior.
Analysis showed that paired men had significantly lower levels of salivary testosterone overall than single men (mean, 86.03 pg/dl ± standard deviation, 18.87 pg/ml vs. 110.77 pg/ml ± 39.73pg/ml; p = .017) and men in new relationships (111.23pg/ml ± 37.13 pg/ml; p = .037).
However, there was no difference in overall testosterone levels between men in new relationships and single men (p = .96).
The researchers recalculated the numbers after eliminating potential confounders such as men with children and men whose socio-sexual orientation inventory (SOI) scores indicated a willingness to cheat that belied the concept of a monogamous relationship. None of these changes produced any significant change in findings.
The researchers also checked to see whether any other factors were associated with significantly higher or lower levels of testosterone — factors such as age, relationship quality or SOI scores — and they found only 1.
Among men in long-term relationships, higher levels of salivary testosterone were associated with higher scores on the SOI-attitude scale, which measures how theoretically open people are to sexual experience, and the SOI-behaviors scale, which measures how much sex they actually have.
The study team acknowledged several potential limitations in its work, limitations such as the relatively small cohort and the relative homogeneity of that cohort.
A more important limitation may have been the somewhat arbitrary decision to make a single sharp split between “new” relationships and “long-term” relationships at the 12-month mark. That said, they believe the strength of their findings indicates that the 1-year mark is pretty close to the threshold point in the minds of many men.
“The research in this area has broadened the conditions under which it is predicted that levels of testosterone in men will vary (ie, going beyond classifications based simply on marriage and fatherhood to more precise classifications involving socio-sexual orientation and interest in extra-pair sexual activity),” the study authors wrote.
“However, the underlying evolutionary explanation (changes in testosterone in response to changes in motivation to compete with other men) has remained constant and shows an increased sophistication of our understanding on how this may relate to modern human behavior.”
Do Differences in Testosterone Explain Relationship Quality?
Scientists may have come one step further in decoding the essential factors for an optimal long-term relationship. It turns out that testosterone may play a central role. Specifically, high levels of the hormone may predict poor relationship quality.
Research has established that testosterone essentially has two faces. On the one hand, it is associated with sexuality and competition, and nurturance and caregiving on the other hand. While it seems to facilitate sexual unions, high levels of the hormone have also been linked to difficulties with nurturing relationships. Indeed, a slew of studies has demonstrated that men and women in committed and monogamous relationships tend to have lower testosterone levels by comparison to their single counterparts. Moreover, men who are in romantic partnerships who have lower levels of testosterone display better adjustment to long-term relationships. This includes increased marital satisfaction, decreased inclination to cheat, and decreased probability of divorce as compared to men with higher levels of testosterone.
Multiple lines of research suggest that low levels of testosterone are associated with established relationships. For example, married men typically have lower levels of testosterone than their single counterparts; similarly, men in long-term partnerships tend to have lower levels of testosterone than those in new relationships. What’s more, studies suggest that nurturing environments can diminish testosterone levels. And the converse has also been found, as testosterone has been related to behaviors that undermine close relationships, including decreases in empathy and trust.
Yet to what extent does an individual’s contentment with his/her relationship hinge on his/her partner’s testosterone level? This question was explored in a new study led by Robin Edelstein of the University of Michigan. She and her colleagues reasoned that because of the intertwining nature of relationships, testosterone levels could influence relationship quality through, for example, levels of nurturance or conflict.
In order to investigate this question, she and her colleagues recruited heterosexual couples, with relationship length ranging from two months to seven years (three couples were engaged or married, and two were parents). The researchers were careful to exclude participants with physical conditions that might influence testosterone levels (e.g., Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), and, similarly, women who were on the pill. Participants’ testosterone levels were measured, and they completed three sub-scales of the Investment Model Scale, which assesses relationship quality. The three dimensions were satisfaction, commitment, and investment. The questionnaire included items such as: “I want our relationship to last forever”; “I feel very attached to our relationship—very strongly linked to my partner”; “My partner and I share many memories”; and “I have invested a great deal into our relationship that I would lose if the relationship were to end.” Participants then rated the degree to which they agreed with the statement.
What did the researchers find? Men and women who reported higher relationship satisfaction and commitment have lower levels of testosterone than those who report lower satisfaction and commitment. And though testosterone has previously been linked to men’s relationship quality, this study appears to be the first to establish similar associations among women. Moreover, the results provide new evidence that a person’s relationship quality decreases as his or her partner’s testosterone levels increase, and, curiously, that such associations are stronger among men than women.
The authors note a number of limitations, including the direction of causality between testosterone and relationship quality. Yet they also assert that there is a solid basis to expect that higher testosterone levels would hamper positive relationship behaviors. For example, a recent study suggests that testosterone administration decreases “pro-social emotions” such as trust, empathy, and generosity, which could compromise relationship quality. At the same time, it may be that relationship quality effects testosterone levels. For instance, the authors reference longitudinal and experimental research demonstrating that warm and fuzzy interactions with babies diminishes men’s testosterone. Ultimately, though, the investigators say the testosterone-relationship quality associations are probably reciprocal, with each influencing the other to some degree over time.
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Treatments for Low Testosterone
For most men with symptoms, low testosterone is easy to treat, and in most cases, medication can boost testosterone back into normal range and improve many of his symptoms. Just don’t leave it up to your man to seek help. Left to their own devices, some men are unlikely to make an appointment. “The spouse is often the driver behind decisions to see a doctor,” Sabanegh says. “The man is embarrassed, so the wife has to insist.”
Treatment comes in many forms: testosterone injections given every one to three weeks; patches and gels applied every day or two; or 12-hour “buccal” tablets placed between the gums and upper lip, where they slowly dissolve. The newest treatment, says Sabanegh, is subcutaneous (under the skin) implants. Once in place, they will maintain your man’s testosterone levels for up to six months.
There are potential side effects common to all testosterone replacement therapies. If your guy already suffers from sleep apnea, for example, boosting his testosterone may worsen it. Over the long term, testosterone therapy can have an impact on his prostate. While there’s no clear link between testosterone treatment and prostate cancer, according to Sabanegh, boosting testosterone can accelerate the normal growth of his prostate, an age-related condition called benign prostate hyperplasia. An enlarged prostate can make urinating difficult and can lead to bladder infections.
And if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, he needs to stop his testosterone. “In some men,” Sabanegh says, “testosterone treatment will turn off the body’s own testicular function — both sperm production as well as testosterone production.”
Treatment requires commitment. He’ll be able to get it up and keep it up — his testosterone as well as his, um, manly hydraulics — only as long as he stays faithful to his medication. But that’s a small price to pay for the two of you to get your groove back.
“At this point,” he said, “the kissing and the hugging and the holding, has kind of signified, has come to signify the, desire to go farther.”
Chris’s fear of having sex with Suzan is pretty ironic since she works as an exotic dancer. She performs at a strip club, where men pay big bucks to watch women strut around in sexual ways. Suzan is one of the star attractions — lots of men come to the club just to see her. At one time Chris was one of them. That’s how they met.
Chris says he still finds Suzan sexually attractive but his anxiety dampens his desire for her.
But he hasn’t entirely lost his sex drive. He says “it gets satisfied through masturbation.”
Chris says he knows his predicament sounds odd. “I realize that obviously I look like a schmuck on TV. It’s extremely humiliating to get up and speak publicly about the fact that I’m not good in bed or that I can’t satisfy my wife. I’m not proud of it,” he said.
Suzan says she used to try reaching out to Chris sexually, but she’s given that up. She said it was painful for her to feel rejected by her husband. “I value myself, um my sexuality as a woman. And to have it turned down over and over repeatedly says you have no value as a sexual being. … I need to feel loved. And I feel loved through sexual contact.”
Suzan said the practical aspects of their relationship works fine, but overall she feels the relationship is cold and lonely.
Watching them at home with 20/20 cameras, it sure looked that way. There was no physical affection, and barely any interaction between them. It was almost as if they were leading parallel lives. After dinner Chris went downstairs to play video games, while Suzan sat by herself at the computer, surfing the Web.
Suzan said this is what happens night after night. “That’s the exciting life of a stripper on her days off,” she said.
More importantly, Suzan said she thinks there’s a good chance they’ll break up if things don’t change.
Working It Out
Davis sat down with the Barretts, and Lori quickly revealed how deep her sense of rejections runs.
“Growing up I had a family an extended family that was constantly teasing me about how I looked and it really hurt me a lot, and so when I had my husband … this person I felt loved me, married me, and then did the same thing, rejected me. It’s been very, very hard.”
For Jim, hearing Lori say she felt unloved, rather than just barking at him, provides a different perspective, says Davis. “That’s the catalyst for change, to truly understand what your partner is feeling, to be in their hearts, rather than to sit as so many couples do and point fingers,” Davis said.
Davis says it’s important for high-desire partners like Lori to understand that some people just have low sex drives and her husband is probably one of them What Jim has to do, she says, is to act sexually toward Lori even at first if he’s not in the mood for sex. She says low-desire partners should try to just do it. Use it or lose it.
According to Davis, “The more a person is sexually active, the more it actually stimulates testosterone production, which is one of the primary hormones responsible for sex drive.”
In Suzan and Chris’s case, that’s not so easy, because Chris now is afraid he can’t perform. He knows it hurts Suzan. During their session with Davis, Suzan told Chris, “I don’t understand how you can you love me, and not be there for me physically. How you could let me feel that way about myself?”
Davis’ advice to them is to start touching each other affectionately with the understanding, at first, that they will not have sex. That will take pressure off Chris. Suzan said she’d be happy just to have simple affection, and Chris said he was surprised and relieved to hear that would be enough.
A month later, things were definitely better for Lori and Jim. He had initiated more sexual contact, and she said she made an effort not to nag.
They needed another counseling session with Davis before Chris could really relax and feel it was OK to touch Suzan without it leading to intercourse and the fear of failure that gave him.
The couple says their renewed intimacy has brought other benefits.
Suzan said, “You feel good about yourself. When you feel good about yourself you can show love to your partner. You know it might not last forever until you’re 90 but it gives you a warm, loving basis to go on, you know you feel loved.”
For more information on Michele Weiner-Davis, visit her Web site at www.sexlessmarriage.com.
4 Ways to Boost His Low Sex Drive
It’s 2015-and even though views on sexuality are ever-changing, we’re still programmed (to some extent) to believe that men want sex…constantly. So it’s hard not to take it personally when you’re ready to go and your guy just isn’t in the mood! (Are we right?) The good news: You’re probably not the reason he’d rather watch Netflix and take a nap, says psychologist Tracy Thomas, Ph.D.
According to Thomas, libido can be negatively affected by a myriad of things, including dehydration, sleep deprivation, an imbalance of hormones, stress at work, and performance anxiety. “There are lots of reasons, both psychological and physiological, that his sex drive might be lower than usual,” Thomas says. “For one thing, men are socialized to think they need to be inherently good at things-and they’re more likely to feel like a bad performance might end up defining who they are, sexually. So they’re more likely to opt out of something like sex, rather than risk not being able to bring their A-game.”
Of course, fixing your partner’s sex drive is not quite as easy as fixing your own (Here are 6 Ways to Boost Your Low Libido), but that doesn’t mean you should sit on the sidelines and hope he figures it out. Here, how to assist (and support) your guy when he’s feeling less than frisky.
Give It Some Time
“It’s very rare for a couple to have sustained similar sex drives,” says marriage, family, and sex therapist Kat Van Kirk, Ph.D. “There will always be periods in your relationship when you have a higher or lower sex drive than your partner. It’s important to not catastrophize the situation.” In other words, his low sex drive might just be a natural phase, not something to be concerned about.
Before you jump to conclusions about libido, Van Kirk suggests taking seemingly unrelated factors-if he’s stressing about a possible promotion at work, or even if his favorite sports team is taking a beating-into account. These things can affect his mood, but the effect is probably only temporary. Give him a week or two before you start expressing concerns about your sex life.
Be a Team Player
Everybody has an ego and it’s tied (at least partly) to your virility. So you’re right: A conversation about his low sex drive is probably going to be difficult. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid talking about it, Van Kirk says. Just make sure you come at it from the right place.
“He needs to know that you don’t judge him, or think he’s less of a man, because he’s not jumping you every chance he gets,” Van Kirk says. “Don’t start the conversation by asking him why he doesn’t want to have sex anymore.” Instead of focusing on him, focus on the two of you as a team. After all, in a monogamous relationship, his sex drive is as much your problem as it is his. “Use ‘I’ statements, like ‘I feel like we’re not having sex as often,'” she says. “Ask how you can address the problem as a team, not how you can fix him.”
A 2012 University of Texas study found that women in love are less likely to initiate sex. But if you’re always waiting for him to make the first move, you may find yourself disappointed, Thomas says. (After all, men want to feel wanted too!) According to Thomas, it’s important that you don’t just make the first move to get the ball rolling-you also need to be able to take the lead and express how much you want him without expecting anything in return. “Don’t be the girl who initiates sex and then gets offended when he doesn’t jump into it,” Thomas says. “Pouting or expressing disappointment will only reinforce his fears about performance.”
Instead of blaming him for the fact that you’re not having sex, Thomas says you should continually express your attraction to him. “Everything doesn’t have to come from a sexual place,” she says. “Don’t take inventory-just let him know that you want him.” (And once you get back in the sack, make sure to follow these tips to Have an Amazing Orgasm!)
Consider an Internal Roadblock
Even if your sex life is stellar, it’s never a bad idea to get some bloodwork done. There are plenty of physiological reasons your guy could be lacking libido, Thomas says, including easily-fixed issues like vitamin deficiencies-especially vitamins D, D3, and B12, which all help with energy levels. Even dehydration can zap his energy-an in turn, his libido. Of course, another common sex-drive-sucking issue is low testosterone. “Low testosterone isn’t just something men over the age of 45 suffer from,” Thomas says. “Stress and lack of sleep can drastically lower testosterone, even in young men.” While low testosterone is more common in men over 30, his testosterone levels can be affected by weight, smoking, drinking, and diabetes. If you’re worried, hit up a doctor to get his testosterone levels checked, as well as cortisol (stress), serotonin, and dopamine levels.
- By Sarah Jacobsson Purewal