Why Older Men Often Need a Libido Boost
Medically reviewed by Leann Poston, M.D. on 9/28/20
There’s a common occurrence in men of middle or older age that doesn’t get talked about enough and is often associated with shame or embarrassment. It can lead to decreased satisfaction in relationships and has even been known to break up marriages. Usually, it has nothing to do with a man’s partner and everything to do with biology and aging. And, unlike some of the problems associated with getting older, you CAN actually take steps and make changes in your life to do something about this problem. We’re talking, of course, about the reduction in libido or sex drive that many men experience after their 30s. Typically, this results in a lot of men who feel they need a libido boost.
Before we go further, it is worth noting that some causes of decreased libido and associated symptoms may indicate a more serious physiological or psychological problem. While that is not the case for the vast majority of men, some diseases and disorders can manifest with decreased sex drive, desire, or sexual fulfillment. Whether it is due to depression or another physical pathology, it’s always worth discussing with your doctor if it concerns you. This is doubly true if you’ve tried options to boost your libido with no success, and the condition persists or worsens.
However, for most men, decreasing libido is a normal consequence of getting older, and the result of several biological processes taking place. We’ll explore these in more detail below. We’ll also provide some information on what you can do about it – affordably and safely – to help when you need a libido boost to reclaim your energy, stamina, and desire in the bedroom!
Natural Causes of Decreased Sex Drive in Men
There are several natural, age-related causes of decreasing sex drive in men, all of which can prompt you to need a libido boost. These primarily can be broken out into two overall groups of causes: hormonal and others. As with most systems in the body, there is some overlap, as hormones and chemical signals ultimately govern almost everything we do. For our purposes, we’re talking about the direct or proximate cause. So, when referencing hormones, we’re talking about changes in levels of hormones – not their secondary effects that work on another system, which leads to decreased X or Y, which in turn decreases sex drive. Those issues we’ll discuss under the “other” category of natural causes.
Hormone levels naturally decrease as we get older. Two key hormones in the body play an important role in sex drive – the familiar male sex hormone, testosterone, as well as the pituitary-gland-produced human growth hormone.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone that governs genital differentiation into a male during fetal development. It is responsible for triggering bodily development at puberty, governs sperm production, sexual arousal, and many other processes in the body. Production naturally peaks between puberty and around 30-35 years of age, after which it starts to decrease. This coincides with a natural decrease in sex drive, increased incidence of erectile dysfunction, and other sex-related changes in the body—that rate of decrease averages around 1% per year for men, or 10% per decade (Feldman et al, 2002). By your mid-50s, you may have lost 1/3 of your testosterone levels!
At the same time, human growth hormone levels also decrease with age. As the name implies, human growth hormone is critical to growth and development during youth. It also plays several other important roles in youth and adulthood, including governing energy metabolism, influencing immune response, promoting lean muscle development and retention, cellular regeneration and repair, and more. Like testosterone, the levels start to decrease in your 30s, at around 1-2% per year, or 15%, on average, per decade (Iranmanesh et al., 1991; Giustina & Veldhuis, 1998). You can end up with less than half of your youthful human growth hormone levels by the time you reach your mid-50s.
Taken together, these two hormonal changes can make a very noticeable, very real impact on your sex drive and sexual performance. Decreased arousal or interest in sex, decreased erectile function or poor erection quality, decreased energy, decreased stamina – all of these factors combine to make sex less frequent, more difficult, and less enjoyable for a lot of men as they age. Naturally, this means that many men feel they need a libido boost, especially as they get older.
Other natural or endogenous factors also come into play that can result in a decreased sex drive associated with male aging. Some of these factors, and their influence, will naturally vary from person to person. However, briefly, these include:
- Changes in cardiovascular function, especially as associated with heart conditions, obesity, and/or diabetes, which may make it more difficult to achieve and maintain an erection, naturally leading to performance anxiety and a de-emphasis of sex in a man’s life.
- Changes in blood flow, which is critical for erectile function as well as other aspects of sexual arousal and desire.
- Decreasing energy levels and changes in energy metabolism can result in less energy for sex, less enthusiasm, and less stamina.
- Muscle and tissue changes that result in decreased flexibility, resiliency, and mobility, which may reduce variability or increase the physical toll that sex can take on the body, thus reducing desire.
- Higher levels of health risk associated with the exertion typical of moderate sexual activity, which can even result in doctors recommending against sex for older men.
Lifestyle and Other Causes of Decreased Sex Drive in Men
There are also lifestyle and other factors that can come into play and contribute to changes in sex drive. Some of these naturally overlap with the physical, internal changes discussed above. It also stands to reason that improving on these factors when you need a libido boost can start to move the needle on your sex drive. These factors include:
- Decrease in overall physical health, which can be caused by decreased exercise, poor diet, medical conditions, etc.
- Stress from work, family, relationships, etc. which may relegate sex and sex drive to a lower priority level than in youth.
- Increased likelihood that men will be on one or more medications, possibly long-term, many of which have side effects that can have an impact on sexual performance or desire.
- Increased chance with age of having psychological or physical issues that may decrease sex drive.
- A greater likelihood of having less time for sex, with growing and aging families and other priorities.
How Decreased Libido Can Manifest
There are numerous ways in which decreased libido can manifest and overlap with other sexual health and relationship issues. This will vary from individual to individual, and of course, also depends on their relationship situation and what their sexual “normal” was in their younger years. For most men, however, these changes tend to concentrate as a decreased desire for sex, less frequent sexual encounters, performance issues or anxiety, and erectile dysfunction or decreased erectile function.
All of these manifestations are naturally somewhat related to one another. Most are a combination of physical and psychological responses that can negatively reinforce one another. Less interest in sex and decreased energy or stamina can lead to less satisfying sexual encounters, which in turn may further de-emphasize sex as a priority. Likewise, erectile dysfunction or dissatisfaction with sexual performance associated with aging and body changes can be masked by some men via less interest in sex. This may not be a true decreased sex drive, but a psychological or coping mechanism to avoid confronting and addressing erectile dysfunction. These are just two example scenarios – there is a myriad of different combinations and degrees to which all of these factors can come together to result in a decreased libido.
The important takeaway here is that lifestyle and inherent physical effects associated with aging are real and impact the sexual health, happiness, and fulfillment of many men as they get older. Through a combination of physical and psychological effects, how these problems manifest – and the degree to which they cause concern or frustration – will vary from man to man. In almost all cases, however, men who are being honest with themselves will admit that they would rather have their sex drive and sexual performance return to the way it was in their younger years, rather than simply accept this “new normal” that they are experiencing. They need a libido boost rather than simply giving in to the march of time.
While no one can turn back time, there are concrete steps you can take to address the problem and improve your sexual desire and performance. Some are lifestyle-focused, whereas others are medical or psychological in nature. Still others can round out your efforts with medical therapies, medications, or supplements. We’ll explore all three of these action items in more detail below.
Need a Libido Boost? Try Lifestyle Changes
The surest way to improve your libido, erectile function, and sexual health is by following the same advice that is ideal for your physical and psychological health overall – get healthy! If you need a libido boost, this is the best place to start. While that’s easier said than done, most people are well aware that the following steps can make a big difference in their overall health, and the same holds true for their sexual health.
- Be sure to exercise regularly. Most governments recommend between 2 and 3 hours of mild to moderate exercise a week.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. This doesn’t mean embracing the latest fad diet or cutting out things you enjoy. Just decrease the amount of unhealthy, processed foods, and increase whole grains, fruit, vegetables, etc. There are many well-balanced diet options out there, and we highlight some in the other articles on our site. But you don’t even need to follow a formal plan – just aim to eat healthier.
- Lose extra weight – obesity increases estrogen levels in men, which competes with testosterone and can decrease testosterone levels even further. Aim to maintain a healthy weight as you get older, and occasionally – through diet and exercise – work to drop any added pounds that have accumulated.
- Find a work-life balance. This is also easier said than done, but it is critical to maintaining psychological and physical health. Being a workaholic may have material rewards, but usually comes at a cost to your relationships and health.
- Address any issues in your relationship. Don’t let them fester or resentment or other problems build up. Being honest and open is the best way to ensure you maintain a healthy, happy relationship for the long haul.
- Cut out excessive drinking and any smoking if at all possible. Both have significantly negative consequences for erectile function and sexual health, as well as overall health.
Need a Libido Boost? Addressing Medical and Psychological Issues
It’s also important to ensure you take proactive steps to address any medical or psychological issues that may be affecting you. Resolving these can greatly improve sex drive and sexual performance. For example, depression is well-known to result in a decreased interest in sex, as well as creating distance in relationships and other physical effects. Seeking out therapy and/or medication to address these problems can have a natural effect of returning your sex drive to something closer to normal, and boosting sexual performance and health as well.
This also includes addressing medication side effects with your doctor or healthcare provider. As mentioned above, there are many medications that have side effects that may impact your sexual desire and performance. Being prescribed medications usually means you have a medical or psychological condition, and you should in no way stop taking your medications because of these side effects. However, there are a lot of different medications and treatment options out there. If you experience undesirable (pardon the pun) side effects, then it is imperative you talk to your prescriber about alternatives. Likely, there are other options out there that will address your conditions, with fewer or no sexual health side effects for you.
Need a Libido Boost? Therapies and Supplements
Finally, there are a number of different therapies, medications, and supplements that are available to help increase your sex drive. These loosely fall into a few different categories: testosterone replacement therapies, medications that work through other pathways, and supplement products.
Let’s start with supplements. There is a range of different supplement products on the market today that promise more energy, increased libido, greater stamina, and so on. Most of them have little scientific evidence behind them, and some may include dangerous, unregulated herbal ingredients that can cause serious health issues and side effects. While there is no doubt that some people have experienced positive results with some libido and male enhancement supplements, the vast majority of them are questionable at best.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have testosterone replacement therapies. These can include pills, shots, patches, creams, and other application methods. Their goal is to increase testosterone levels in the body, usually through direct application of testosterone or testosterone-like substances. While there can be little doubt that these methods are effective, there is a high risk of side effects. For most individuals suffering simply from decreases sex drive and testosterone levels associated with aging, these kinds of replacement therapies are usually not recommended, as the side effects – some of which can be deadly – well outweigh the potential benefits.
A happy medium can be found in medications and treatments that utilize non-testosterone pathways to improve sex drive, as well as other aspects of overall health. Among the most promising is CJC-1295, an amino acid compound that triggers the body to produce more human growth hormones. Like testosterone treatment, injections of growth hormone itself are not recommended due to side effects and risks. However, CJC-1295 is a safe, amino acid compound that is not the same as a growth hormone injection. Rather, it is a growth hormone secretagogue – a substance that triggers the pituitary gland to produce more growth hormone naturally.
With CJC-1295, men can achieve similar growth hormone levels as when they were younger. This, in turn, means more energy, greater stamina, more lean muscle, faster metabolism, greater cell replication, and injury repair, and feeling better overall. This can lead to an increase in sexual desire and sex drive. Likewise, sexual performance and erectile function may be increased. Combined with the improved energy, stamina, flexibility, and other effects of increased levels of human growth hormone, CJC-1295 can make a huge impact on an aging man’s sex life.
You can learn more about CJC-1295 from Invigor Medical, and schedule a consultation to talk with a medical professional about whether you are a good candidate for CJC-1295.
While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.
- Feldman HA, Longcope C, Derby CA, et al. Age trends in the level of serum testosterone and other hormones in middle-aged men: longitudinal results from the Massachusetts male aging study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002;87:589–98.
- Iranmanesh A, Lizarralde G, Veldhuis JD. Age and relative adiposity are specific negative determinants of the frequency and amplitude of growth hormone (GH) secretory bursts and the half-life of endogenous GH in healthy men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 1991;73(5):1081–1088.
- Giustina A, Veldhuis JD. Pathophysiology of the neuroregulation of growth hormone secretion in experimental animals and the human. Endocrine Reviews. 1998;19(6):717–797.