So when Paul, a PE teacher, suddenly lost interest in having sex, Susan feared he was having an affair. If I made an advance, Paul would say things like “I’m not in the mood”,’ says Susan, now 57, from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands. I’d think: “Is there something wrong with me? Is he going off with somebody else? We’d always said if we met someone else we’d be upfront. I was preparing myself for him telling me he’d met another woman. It was only when Susan, a site manager for a school, found Paul, now 59, in their bedroom in floods of tears that she realised something altogether different was going on.
By this point, the symptoms had been going on for a few months,’ she says. He said he couldn’t understand what was wrong with him. Not only had he lost his sex drive, but he was exhausted all the time, had put on a lot of weight and was suffering from extreme mood swings. Susan forced her husband to see his GP, who ordered a blood test to check Paul’s testosterone levels. Paul says: ‘My testosterone levels were almost non-existent, which the doctors think was a result of a bad bout of flu I’d had that had knocked out my ability to produce it. LORRAINE CANDY: Will I get cancer, my son asks. He was prescribed three-monthly testosterone injections, which he now has to have for life.
It was after the second jab that Paul noticed his sex drive returning and his other symptoms disappearing. It was an amazing feeling when my libido came back,’ he says. Now, four years after his problems began, Susan says she and Paul make love up to five times a week. She adds: ‘For months it felt like I’d lost my husband, but six months after starting the injections he was a new man. It was like having the Paul I first met back again. Paul adds: ‘It’s definitely difficult for a man to admit he is having problems in the bedroom.
I’m so glad it could be sorted – those months were the worst period of our marriage. Paul might have felt alone, but he’s certainly not. There’s evidence that more and more men are suffering from a low libido. The common perception is that men constantly think about sex and are always ready to make love.
But a recent survey for online pharmacy ukmedix. 62 per cent of men turn down sex more frequently than their female partner, with a third admitting they had lost their sex drive. Another poll revealed one in four men is no longer having sexual intercourse at all – and the figure rises to 42 per cent for men over 55 – while a quarter said they had been affected by erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives. Dr David Edwards, a GP specialising in sexual issues, says the impact of low libido on a man and his relationship can be devastating. He says: ‘Sexual problems are the most common cause of men crying in my surgery. I saw a man recently and his low libido had destroyed his previous relationship.
He’d suffered with it for 12 years, and only came to me because his current partner said she would leave unless he sought help. Lucy Bowden and Stuart Brown certainly know how a low libido can push a couple to the edge. After seven months living together, they’d begun having blazing rows about trivial things such as who’d failed to buy teabags. Both knew the real problem was much more sensitive – Stuart had virtually stopped wanting to make love.