anonymous on August 29, 2011

What can I take for a low libido?

I fear that I have a low sex drive. My girlfriend tells me that it’s not normal for a man to want sex only once a week or once every two weeks. Is there a medication or natural supplement that will make me want sex more often?

answered by David Sobel, MD, JD on August 29, 2011

Thank you for your question…I’ll do my best to help. But first, when it comes to sex, keep in mind that what’s “normal” or “average” isn't an exact science. The more important question is probably what’s normal for you, and what’s normal for your partner?

We all have different sex drives, and even our own libido can ebb and flow. So a good first step is talking with your girlfriend about each other’s sexual needs and desires, and how you can make each other feel happy and satisfied. Bringing a counselor into the mix can be helpful.

That said, low desire can also be a sign of low testosterone. So I would encourage you to see your doctor, too, to get your hormone levels checked. Additionally, low libido can be related to depression.

The good news is that these physical and emotional conditions can be treated with medication, or a combination of medication and counseling…which, in turn, can boost your sex drive.

When it comes to herbal remedies or natural supplements, there are a number of over-the-counter treatment options that promise to drive libido. For example, lots of men turn to DHEA supplements (a precursor to testosterone). But, unfortunately, there’s no solid data about how well these supplements work.

So, again, I would suggest that you speak with your doctor about the best treatment options – if any – for you. And remember, even natural products can interact with medications or have side effects, so it’s important to keep your doctor in the loop if you decide to try supplements or other remedies.

Thank you again for writing to us, and I hope that you and your girlfriend soon reach a place of mutual satisfaction in your relationship and sex life.

Related info:

David Sobel, MD, JD

Dr. Sobel is a Colorado-based urologist and Director of the Denver Center for Men’s Health. His areas of expertise include men's sexual health and all areas of urology, including urologic oncology, treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy, stone disease and incontinence. Dr. Sobel was educated at the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and completed his residency at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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