Treating Low-Libido (Hypogonadism) In Men: Viagra Is Not a Suitable Prescription

Medical practitioners have been trying to explain the role of Viagra as a drug in the sexual space, which has been a subject of much misunderstanding. In this same vein, Viagra is not a prescription for low libido. Viagra is a drug that contains sildenafil; this content is prescribed for erectile dysfunction (ED) and pulmonary arterial hypertension. The common confusion with this drug has led to various unnecessary medical conditions.

Impotence

Impotence

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If not Viagra, then what?

Every healthy male is expected to have sexual activity at least 56-112 times a year; that is once or twice a week. To attain this consistency, they must have a high or at least normal mental willingness for sexual activity (libido).

This urge is controlled by a hormone called testosterone, which is secreted by the male testes. The least level of testosterone needed in the male body, according to the American Urological Association (AUA), is 300 nanograms per decilitre; a drop from this (due to medications, age, chemotherapy, dysfunction of the pituitary gland, metabolic disorders, hormonal disorders, primary hypothyroidism, etc.,) would result in hypogonadism and a subsequent drop in sexual interest. This is the major cause of low libido in males.

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In the absence of hypogonadism, other factors can cause low-libido directly or cause hypogonadism which in turn leads to low libido. Chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes, chronic heart diseases, high cholesterol, cancer, etc., are associated with chronic pain; this mentally turns off your mind from sex-related activities. Medications like chemotherapy, hormones for treating prostate cancer and other diseases, anti-depressants, etc., have adverse effects on testosterone levels which can contribute to low libido. Sleep disorders, like Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in non-obese men, lead to a reduction in testosterone levels and subsequently, low interest in sexual activities. Hard drugs like opium, marijuana, tobacco, and smoking generally, reduce the testosterone level in the body. Heavy alcohol consumption reduces the level of testosterone in the long run. Not exercising at all has effects on the sexual urge, but extreme exercises which lower the cortisol levels more than expected reduce sexual urge in a very large manner. Low self-esteem plays a high mental role in sexual experience; lack of confidence in sexual performance is enough to discourage a person from engaging in sexual activities. Stress is another factor, as it causes hormonal variations and narrowing of arteries, leading to less sexual desire. The age factor is almost a natural cause of low libido. As men grow older, the whole process of getting excited takes more time compared to the days of their teens.

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On the other hand, some males have a high or average amount of testosterone, but cannot have an erection or a full erection; this situation is erectile dysfunction (ED), a.k.a impotence. It occurs when the reception process is being stopped or blocked and it can also be from relationship issues. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a common cause of ED; a symptom here is when the male has an irresistible urge to move his legs. The role of sildenafil in Viagra is to aid this erection process and hold an erection to last throughout sexual intercourse. Sildenafil relaxes the muscles of the penis and aids blood flow into the two chambers of the penis. After this is done, the penis becomes rigid and able to penetrate the vagina.

However, the reason why Viagra is not enough for low libido or not necessary at all is that it does not help in the production of testosterone. Before the effects of Viagra kicks in, the male must be sexually excited; i.e interest in sexual activity due to high testosterone is the condition for Viagra to work. This means that a male with hypogonadism might use Viagra, and have no result.

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That being said, there are other productive ways to improve low-libido in men. There can be a medical approach and a psychological approach towards treating low-libido, but the overall first step is finding the root cause of the condition. Medically, if the cause is from medications, talk to a doctor and obtain a new medication if possible. A healthy lifestyle that entails less alcohol, more sleep, less stress, no smoking, no drugs, etc., is a big step forward. Depending on the intensity of the condition, testosterone therapy can be prescribed. Psychologically, therapy is highly recommended.

Conclusion

Low libido is a discomforting sexual condition that should be addressed on time and with the right prescriptions. Viagra is used to treat a related sexual disorder, but not hypogonadism. Misuse of Viagra would lead to many complicated health conditions including priapism. Sexual life is part of health, therefore all measures should be checked.

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References

Low Libido: Why It Happens and How to Treat It (webmd.com)

 

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