Decreased Libido in Men: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

A decreased libido means you have less desire to have sex. It may be hard to get sexually excited or have an erection. Problems such as low testosterone can cause this. So can stress, sexual abuse, tension between you and your sex partner, and some medicines. There may be more than one cause.

Your doctor may do tests to check your hormone levels. He or she may ask you questions about your sex life. Trust your doctor. Try to be honest about your feelings toward sex. Your sex partner may want to take part in your treatment. And you may want to learn about how the body changes as you get older.

Most men can have a healthy sex drive again after the problem is found.

Medicines for depression can affect your sex drive. If you are taking any, ask your doctor about changing them.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take your medicine exactly as prescribed. If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Your doctor may prescribe a medicine to help you keep an erection. This could be a medicine such as Cialis, Levitra, or Viagra. But don't take these drugs if you take nitroglycerin or other nitrate medicine for angina. If you are taking medicine for prostate problems, ask your doctor if these erection medicines are safe.
  • Tell your doctor about all the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol can make it harder to have an erection.
  • Have more foreplay before sex.
  • Reduce your stress before sex by doing something to help you relax.
  • Enjoy other types of sex besides intercourse.
  • Be honest with your sex partner about what you enjoy during sex.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your erection has lasted longer than 3 hours.
  • You took an erection-enhancing medicine (such as Cialis, Levitra, or Viagra) within the past 24 hours and you have angina symptoms, such as chest pain or pressure. Do not take nitroglycerin.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You have erection problems and:
    • Any injury to your back, legs, rear end (buttocks), groin, penis, or testicles.
    • A loss of pubic or armpit hair and an increase in the size of your breasts.
  • You have discharge from your penis or other signs of infection.

Where can you learn more?

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