Diagnosing a Decreased Libido

The actual diagnosis of decreased libido is often subjective, which means it differs for everyone. It could help to speak to a medical professional to clarify what is considered normal but the normal range varies so much that it will be difficult even for a medical professional to define it. A man has a low libido if it causes him distress or if it causes his partner distress.

If a man feels his libido is too low or is much lower than what it normally was, he can see a healthcare professional, not to diagnose that he indeed has a decreased libido, but to determine the reason why his libido is so low.

It is important to determine and exclude various causes of a decreased libido so that, if applicable, a specific cause may be treated. Sex drive is influenced by so many different psychological and physical factors it is sometimes difficult to determine a cause. The steps to help determine the possible causes for a decrease libido are discussed.


    Medical history

  • Medical History
  • A thorough medical history should be done by a trained medical professional. The medical professional will determine why the man feels as if his libido has decreased. It is possible that the patient’s libido has stayed the same but he feels as if his libido is low because he is with a new partner that is perhaps not compatible with him. If the doctor agrees that the man’s libido has indeed decreased, a history of medication, diseases, symptoms, occupational stress, relationship history and a psychological history should be recorded. Any aspect that could be a possible cause of decreased libido should be explored.


    Medical Examinations

  • Medical Examination
  • A basic medical examination is done to look at vital signs and exclude various medical conditions like obesity, hypertension and diabetes. A general medical condition always needs to be excluded before reasons are just labelled as psychological. The doctor should do a thorough examination of all the systems of the body. Blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI) and a rapid glucose check should be done. According to the findings of the general examinations, special investigations should be performed.


    Urine analysis

  • Urine analysis
  • A urine analysis can exclude bladder infection. If glucose levels are elevated in the urine, further tests for diabetes should be done. An increase in protein levels of the urine can also indicate kidney pathology.



  • Bloods
  • Basic bloods like glucose, a full blood count, thyroid functions and kidney functions should be drawn. Any other bloods may be drawn if the medical professional feels it is needed. Testosterone levels may be drawn if necessary. There is currently no test to confirm a decreased libido but various bloods can be drawn to exclude other conditions which may lead to a decreased libido.

  • Special investigations
  • Further special investigations should be done according to the patient’s medical history and medical examination. If the patient complains of the symptoms of diabetes and glucose is noted in the urine, a fasting Oral Glucose Tolerance test should be done to exclude or diagnose diabetes. Special investigations can include further blood tests or imaging studies like heart sonar to determine cardiac pathology. If HIV infection is suspected from the history and examination of the patient he should be properly counselled and an HIV test should be performed. Occasionally, patients will be referred to specific specialist according to the findings on medical history and examination.