Does Testosterone Affect Sex Drive

Does Testosterone Affect Sex Drive?

Written By : Rohit Dwivedi, M.D.   ✓ Fact Checked

Testosterone isn’t the only fuel for a man’s sex drive and performance. But low testosterone can reduce your ability to have satisfying sex. Read to find out more.

(Last Updated on June 5, 2024)

Testosterone is the male hormone responsible for strong sexual desire in men.

Sex can be exciting and fun, but it can be frustrating and anxious when you have problems with your sex drive.

Sex drive is often referred to as libido; it can be affected by various factors such as lack of sleep, low testosterone, medication, illnesses, and stress.

However, sex drive varies between individuals; it may fluctuate at different times depending on what the person is going through psychologically, socially, and biologically; for instance if they are tired or stressed, their sex drive will be low.

Most men do not worry too much if their sexual desire decreases in a day or two; however, persistent lack of sexual desire might be a huge problem causing anxiety.

Male hypogonadism is often associated with low libido.

Today, let’s focus on how testosterone affects sex drive.

What Is Sex Drive?

Sex drive is the desire to engage in sexual activity.

There is no exact measure of libido in both men and women; scientists agree that hormones,psychological and social factors influence it.

Diagnostic conditions such as hyperactive libido and hypoactive libido exist.

But, more often, changes in sexual desire becomes a problem if there is a sudden change from what is typical for you and your partner.

Sex Drive between Men And Women Over The Years

Sex Drive

In their 20s, men have the highest sex drive and so is their testosterone levels, while women in their 20s have reduced sexual desire compared to older women.

Scientists state that women’s sexual desire seems to go up as their fertility declines when they approach their 30s.

Men continue to have strong sexual desire in their 30s and 40s.

However, from the age of 35, testosterone levels may decline, affecting sex drive.

On the other hand, women have the strongest sex drive between 27 and 45 years.

Both women and men experience a slight drop in their sex drive in their 50s and above.

What Is The Standard Sex Drive?

When it comes to libido, there is no standard or normal range of sex drive.

Sexual desire differs in men, and it is normal to experience fluctuations in your sexual desire due to daily stresses, relationship issues, work pressures, diseases, fatigue, medications, and psychological factors.

Fortunately, you can increase your sexual desire by staying healthy, exercising, and eating right.

How Does Testosterone Affect Sex Drive?


Testosterone plays a significant role in sex drive.

Research shows that men with high levels of testosterone have a healthy sex drive while low testosterone is associated with a decline in sexual desire.

In a study 1 published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 28 percent of men with low testosterone also had a low sex drive.

Results showed a strong correlation between low libido and low testosterone.

As men age, their testosterone levels drop.

This could explain why older men have decreased sexual interests compared to younger men.

The same case applies to women; low levels of testosterone in women reduce clitoral and vaginal sensitivity, which lowers sexual drive.

Testosterone levels in women decrease with increasing age.

This is why sexual desire declines during menopause.

A 2016 study 2 reported that a 2% Testosterone Solution used to treat male hypogonadism resulted in improved libido and energy levels.

Researchers do not have an exact reason why low testosterone lowers sex drive.

However, they hypothesize that low testosterone is linked to fat gain, insulin resistance, depression, and sleep apnea, conditions that could negatively impact your sex drive.

Causes Of Reduced Sexual Desire

Individuals have different levels of sex drive; hence, there is no definite range.

But if you find that your lack of sexual interest is stressful, it is time to seek medical assistance.

Various psychological and physical factors cause low sexual desire.

Here are some common causes.

Low testosterone

Low testosterone is associated with ageing.

Falling levels of testosterone may lower sex drive in both men and women.

Testosterone replacement therapy and eating foods that boost testosterone may restore normal sex drive.


Stress can have a significant detrimental effect on your sex drive.

It may disrupt normal hormone levels, causing an increase in the release of cortisol hormone, which directly lowers testosterone.

Additionally, stress constricts blood vessels limiting blood flow to the penis.

This results in erectile dysfunction.

This directly impacts on sex drive.

Various studies report that stress negatively impacts sexual desire in both men and women.

If you feel overwhelmed by work, family, financial constraints, divorce, and relationship problems, you can join a yoga class, take meditation classes, see a therapist, or practice breathing techniques to ease up.



Excessive consumption of alcohol for extended periods may result in low sex drive.

Individuals should not take more than 14 alcohol units in a week.

Cut down on alcohol to keep your sex drive up.



Certain medications decrease sex drive by lowering testosterone.

They include antidepressants, blood pressure medications, opioids, anabolic steroids, corticosteroids, antipsychotics, medicines for prostate cancer, and hormonal contraception in women.

Underlying medical conditions

A chronic medical disease may dip your sex drive.

For instance, low sexual desire is associated with diabetes 3, obesity, an underactive thyroid, cancer, and chronic heart and kidney diseases.

See a sex therapist to guide you in making your sex life better.

Lack of quality sleep


Obstructive sleep apnea has been seen to lower testosterone, which results in lower sex drive.

Additionally, studies show that having quality sleep for both men and women increases sexual desire the next day.

Aim to have enough and quality sleep.

Get Things Rolling Between The Sheets

If you are not feeling it between the sheets, jump-start your sex drive with the following tips.

See a sex therapist

If your dipping sex drive is associated with relationship problems, juice it up by visiting a couple’s therapist with your partner.

Sex therapists may offer the best guidance on ways to liven up the bedroom.

Open up to your partner

Do not let reduced sex drive ruin your sex life.

Communicate with your partner and try out new ways to increase intimacy 4.

Lifestyle changes

Cut out too much alcohol, get enough sleep, and manage stress to spice up your sexual desire.

Eat right

Sexual desire is dependent on the proper functioning of the body.

Eat a balanced diet that promotes cardiovascular health, good circulation and improves body immunity.

This will directly support better sex drive.

Also, limit foods that lower libido 5, including fried foods-rich in trans fats, refined sugar, mint, diet soda, licorice, and soy.

Include more vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, fatty fish, and low sugar.

These foods will prevent obesity, blood pressures and type II diabetes that kills sex drive.

Give your body what it needs to be sexually fulfilled.


Testosterone is a vital hormone in maintaining sexual drive.

However, after the age of 30, men experience a decrease in testosterone levels, which may lower your sex drive.

Making some healthy lifestyle choices can liven up your sex drive.

That said, it is reasonable to experience fluctuations in sexual desire as you age, but if you experience persistent low sex drive for a long time, visit your physician for guidance.

Read next: Warning Signs of Low Testosterone

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