Libido is the desire to engage in sexual activity, sometimes referred to as sex drive. Throughout life, it is normal for libido levels to vary. However, in around 5% of men, low or absent libido becomes chronic. Although the incidence of low libido increases with age, age itself is not a cause of low libido.

Depression affects an estimated 6 million men in the United States alone. Depression causes low or absent libido in most victims. The changes in brain chemistry cause victims to feel apathetic and to be unable to anticipate sexual pleasure. Unfortunately, the most common medications used to treat depression can also cause sexual dysfunction. In addition to causing erectile dysfunction and low libido, they also affect feelings of closeness and love towards romantic partners. One study revealed that selective serotonin inhibitors (SSRIs) strongly inhibited feelings of love in men, while women were more adversely affected by tricyclics. Individuals suffering from low libido while being treated for depression can often find relief by switching to a different medication.

Unhealthy Lifestyle
Excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, excessive stress, and a poor diet can all adversely affect libido. Men troubled by low libido often find that simply adopting healthier habits clears up the problem.

Low Testosterone
Testosterone is a hormone that is vital for sex drive and sexual performance. In most men, testosterone levels peak around age 20 and then gradually decline by around 1% per year after the age of 30. Some men experience a more dramatic age-linked decline than others. In addition to low libido, low testosterone levels can cause loss of energy and depression. Men suffering from lower than normal testosterone can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy from places like Chicago Weight Loss Clinic.

Relationship Issues
Although there is a pervasive myth in our society that men don't need or care about relationships when it comes to sex, in actual fact, men who are in a healthy, loving relationships tend to have a much higher sex drive. Conversely, men who are having relationship issues can and do suffer from loss of libido. Relationship counseling or even finding a new partner can often relieve the problem.

Loss of Confidence
Although most men affected by erectile dysfunction have a healthy libido, some men suffer from a loss of confidence after repeated failures. This loss of confidence can cause a drop in libido. Other men can suffer similar losses in confidence due to physical changes such as weight gain or hair loss that can adversely affect libido.

Systemic Disease
In some cases, loss of libido is related to the development of a severe systemic disease, such as cancer or kidney failure. Diagnosis and treatment of the underlying disease can relieve the problem.

Men should not accept that loss of libido is a normal part of aging, because it isn't. The treatment for loss of libido will depend upon the underlying cause. Men experiencing chronic loss of libido should consult a qualified physician.

Author's Bio: 

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber