Light and moderate physical exercise may be linked with higher sex drive but findings of a new study have revealed that strenuous exercise is associated with lower libido.
In the new study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise on Feb 13, researchers surveyed a group of men about their exercise habits and sex lives and found that those who engaged in frequent and strenuous physical exercise were more likely to have lower libido.
Experts said that regularly engaging in long and intense workouts results in men not having reserve energy or even testosterone, level of which is linked with libido, for sexual activities.
Based on their findings, study researcher Anthony Hackney, from the University of North Carolina, and colleagues, said that men suffering from sexual disorders should also be assessed for the intensity of physical exercise that they engage in.
"Exposure to higher levels of chronic intense and greater durations of endurance training on a regular basis are significantly associated with a decreased libido scores in men," Hackney and colleagues wrote in their study.
"Clinicians who treat male patients for sexual disorders and, or counsel couples on infertility issues should consider the degree of endurance exercise training a man is performing as a potential complicating factor."
It isn't just engaging in strenuous exercise that can negatively influence sex drive though. A number of other factors already been identified early to have an effect on sex drive.
Some medications for high blood pressure and other common illnesses can influence libido and may even cause sexual dysfunction. Blood pressure medications such as ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers, for instance, may prevent erection.
Hair loss medications such as the one used by President Donald Trump to treat male-pattern baldness also pose risk for the same side effect. Use of the hair loss drug propecia is known to cause decreased libido and erectile dysfunction. Sometimes, these unwanted side effects continue after treatment is discontinued.
Individuals suffering from depression experience a reduced interest in activities that they used to find pleasurable such as sex. Experts said that depressed individuals could lose interest in sex because of their mental condition.
"In depression, the chemical soup often isn't right," said Russell Stambaugh, spokesman for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. "The brain is important for sexuality because of the chemistry, but it's also important for ideas. It helps how you experience pleasure and how you define it."
For those taking medications for their depressive symptoms, antidepressants particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are also known to cause low libido.
Men with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) tend to have lower testosterone levels, which in turn causes decreased sexual activity and libido. In one study, researchers found that nearly half of male participants with severe sleep apnea have very low levels of testosterone at night.
Alcohol And Drugs
Too much alcohol can impair the nervous system and cause fatigue which can make arousal difficult. Marijuana, on the other hand, suppresses the pituitary gland that regulates testosterone production.