Which medical problems affect libido pregnancy?
Women Some medical and hormonal conditions adversely affect a woman’s libido. These include diabetes, cardiovascular or blood pressure problems, hypothyroidism, depression, and anxiety. Pelvic surgery and urological or bowel conditions also make a woman less likely to want sex.
Some medication can reduce a woman’s sexual drive and lead to sexual dysfunction if her reduced libido has become a problem for both the woman and her partner. The drugs concerned include certain antidepressants, sedatives, antihistamines, and contraceptive drugs.
Men Various medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, can cause erectile problems (72), and thyroid disease is known to affect some men’s sex drive.
Certain medications can have an effect on male libido and sexual function. Antidepressants are the medicines most frequently implicated in causing sexual dysfunction, and this is because they alter the levels of chemicals in the brain. Antihypertensives such as beta blockers are also known to cause problems; around 25 per cent of erectile failure is believed to be caused by these drugs. Other medicines that can have adverse effects on male sexual function include anti-anxiety and insomnia treatment (decreased sex drive); peptic ulcer treatment (decreased sex drive, impotence); and cholesterol-lowering medicines (impotence).
Resolving problems In many instances, treatment of the medical condition helps to resolve libido problems, so it is important to see your doctor for a diagnosis if you have unexplained symptoms. If you suspect that a prescription (or over-the-counter) medication is affecting sexual desire, check the side-effects listed in the pack and if you are at all worried, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to suggest an alternative. Never stop taking prescription medication without talking to your doctor first.
Both men and women can experience problems with sex. These can be caused by a variety of factors, some physical, some psychological.
Experiencing sexual problems is something few people are prepared to admit to, yet the reality is that many of us do encounter some issue or other with sex at some point in our lives. Whether it be difficulty getting an erection or reaching orgasm, or that you and your partner experience different levels of desire, it is important to address the issues you encounter together to maximize your chances of conception.
The most common male sexual difficulty, and one that affects fertility, is erectile dysfunction (ED). This is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse to take place.
Erectile dysfunction is either physical or psychological in origin. In the former, it is more often found in older men because they are more likely to be suffering from conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and clogged arteries, which are known to affect sexual function. Reduced libido can also be caused by certain medications or medical conditions, such as heart problems and diabetes (71).
Experts estimate that psychological factors such as stress, guilt, depression, low self-esteem, and fear of sexual failure account for 10 to 20 per cent of ED cases. Other possible causes are smoking and drinking, which restrict blood flow to veins and arteries and damage egg and sperm production.
(Viagra) is a well-known drug therapy that helps many men to achieve and maintain an erection.
Treatment If you suffer from this form of sexual difficulty, treatment will depend on the cause of the problem and how long you have suffered from it. If it is a recent occurrence, the chances are that, unless you have recently developed a medical condition (see pages 52-53), your ED is more likely to be psychological in nature. Consulting a urologist (your GP can refer you) will help you discover whether there is any underlying systemic or medical issue. If nothing is discovered, you should look at possible psychological and lifestyle causes and decide if you need to make any changes.
Assess whether you are under excessive stress: identify which areas of your life are causing this and find ways of improving the situation (see Step 5).
Make lifestyle changes: stopping smoking, exercising more, losing weight, and reducing alcohol intake may be enough to solve the problem.
You may need drug therapy, if only temporarily. Sildenafil citrate (Viagra) relaxes blood vessels in the penis to increase blood flow and produce an erection.
Vacuum devices and surgery are more invasive treatment options that would only be considered if all the above had failed. However, they can successfully treat ED in severe cases or where there is a physical cause of the problem.
You should be reassured that, although erectile dysfunction and other problems of impotence are more common as men get older, they are by no means an inevitable part of ageing.
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