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The Best Pills to Increase Male Sex Drive & Libido

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Reviewed by Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Written by Geoffrey Whittaker

Published 05/31/2018

Updated 03/01/2024

Your sex life: The one place where opportunities for optimization are always welcome. As a man, your sex drive plays a critical role in how frequently you and your partner have sex, how sexually compatible you feel and how satisfying your entanglements are.

Every man’s sex drive is different. Some guys can go days, weeks or even months without thinking about sex, while others can’t go ten minutes. 

If your sex drive is lower than you want it to be, the problem could be an underlying lack of interest in sex caused by a weaker-than-normal libido (aka sex drive). 

Though recommendations for libido-increasing pills sprawl across the internet, the science behind many of these supplements is lacking. Other options may be less obvious but more effective.

Below, we’ll explain everything you need to know about pills for increasing sex drive and improving sexual performance. We’ll also bust a few myths about common supplements for “boosting libido” and share simple techniques you can use to increase your level of interest in sex and have a more enjoyable time in the bedroom with your partner.

While we suspect you wanted to see some numbers, we’re sorry to tell you that there’s no such thing as a “normal” sex drive for men or women, and as we’ve covered in our guide on how often couples have sex, interest in sex can vary hugely from one person to another. 

What that means is that a “normal” sex drive is really a question of whether you find your level of interest in sex to be sufficient, insufficient or excessive for your well-being.

Libido is a cloudy subject, as it’s regulated by a multitude of issues. Your sex drive might feel “off” because of dietary deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, mental health issues or just the weather.

As for the question of libido in relationships, there’s more nuance here. You shouldn’t panic if you and your partner occasionally go through periods where you just don’t have sex that often. 

But if you rarely feel interested in sex, or if you find it difficult to have satisfying sex due to issues like erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation (PE), it could be a sign that something’s not quite right. 

That could signal sexual dysfunction, and problems like low libido.

The supposed health benefits of many natural remedies and supplements aren’t backed up by much science — and many ignore the fact that low libido might be caused by a medical condition that health supplements can’t or won’t address.

As we’ve covered in our guide to the efficacy of male enhancement pills, scientific evidence to support these claims is very limited. More worryingly, many non-prescription pills for boosting sexual performance are tainted with hidden ingredients, including some that may be harmful.

One reason these pills are so widespread is that, as supplements, they can be sold without a prescription. This makes them a quick, easy-to-access option guys can try without investing any time into a doctor’s visit. 

However, the results usually aren’t impressive, and the risks associated with these products are very real.

That said, some natural aphrodisiacs claim to boost testosterone or reduce the effects of mental health issues like depression and anxiety that may be spilling over from work or other parts of your life into the bedroom. 

“Male enhancement” supplements are typically herbal supplements promoted as being able to increase sex drive and improve sexual function. 

Some male enhancement pills also claim to boost penis size, increase ejaculation and generally enhance a man’s ability to have sex. 

Other natural remedies may not have an explanation at all, instead relying on buzzwords (like “pills that make you horny,” “sex drive pills,” “dietary supplement,” or “testosterone booster”) and discreet packaging to sell products.

Instead, they often just refer to themselves as a “natural male enhancement.”

So, if male enhancement supplements generally aren’t effective at improving sexual function, what products are? Is there one pill you can take to increase your "horniness" levels (what doctors would call sex drive, or libido)?

A few medications have been proven to increase sex drive or improve aspects of sexual function in men, including ED medications, over-the-counter and prescription drugs for premature ejaculation and hormonal medications like testosterone.

Some of these medications are only available with a prescription, meaning you’ll need to talk to a healthcare professional before you can use them. 

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What are the proven options for libido management and regulation? It really depends on what problems you’re trying to deal with.

For instance, a guy struggling with intimacy issues probably doesn’t need testosterone — he needs mental health support to work through those issues. A guy who’s eating very poorly could be experiencing a vitamin deficiency.

Depending on what ails your libido, the following options might help you get back into business.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone is the male body’s main sex hormone, as well as the most important hormone for regulating your sex drive.

One of the most common causes of a loss of sex drive is low testosterone — a condition that can develop with age as part of a general decline in hormone levels. 

Testosterone isn’t typically available in pill form. Your healthcare provider may suggest another form of testosterone, such as testosterone cream or a testosterone injection if you have clinically low testosterone levels

Testosterone is a prescription medication, and it can potentially cause side effects. Our guide to testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) goes into more detail about the benefits of testosterone therapy for your sex drive, along with its potential risks and adverse effects. 

Clomiphene, a different medication that does come in pill form, is used to treat infertility in women. However, because of the way it works in the body, it can also be used to treat low testosterone. The benefit of clomiphene is that it doesn’t have many of the same side effects as TRT.

Natural Supplements

While we’re not generally fans of natural supplements that increase libido in men (see above reasons why), limited studies have shown that certain ingredients might help boost your libido.

Maca, ginkgo biloba, ashwagandha and other natural ingredients mentioned in banner ads may have only shown promise for libido in limited testing or animal testing — and the studies aren’t always high-quality.

The question isn’t whether you can find evidence in a study, but whether that study can tell you how to consume the ingredient in a safe and effective way. Most supplement research doesn’t go that far, and the herbal remedies that promise big results haven’t gotten FDA approval for their claims.

That said, here’s one study that looked at a supplement’s effect on libido: Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) was associated with better libido in a group of 60 men between 25 and 52 over six weeks.

We don’t want to repeat ourselves, but it’s worth noting that in the world of proven options for better sex, you can’t discount medications for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. It’s important to note that these medications don’t have a direct impact on libido. However, since they improve performance, they may improve your confidence, willingness and interest in engaging in sex.

Addressing the health problems associated with ED (like high blood pressure, heart disease or obesity) could also get you back up and running.

Although ED medications won’t directly increase your sex drive, they can have a positive impact on your self-confidence in bed, especially if you often struggle with erectile dysfunction.

Your sexual drive is at least partly psychological, and an increase in confidence could have a real impact on your sexual appetite and level of sexual energy. This confidence boost may result in you and your partner having sex more often. 

Treating ED may also help reduce your risk of recurrent depression, anxiety and other mental health issues associated with ED and PE.

Since sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) became available to the public in 1998, the FDA has approved three other oral medications for ED:

  • Tadalafil (the active ingredient in Cialis®)

  • Vardenafil (the active ingredient in Levitra®)

  • Avanafil (a newer ED medication available as Stendra®)

There are also other medications available for ED.

We offer several ED medications online, following a consultation with a licensed provider who’ll determine if a prescription is appropriate. 

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Premature ejaculation is a common sexual performance problem that can have a negative impact on your self-confidence in bed, potentially reducing the amount of sex you have.

In fact, research has found that men affected by PE are more likely to report low levels of sexual satisfaction, as well as feelings of shame, anxiety and low self-esteem.

Like ED medications, treatments for premature ejaculation don’t appear to directly increase your sex drive. However, by enhancing sexual performance, they could offer a confidence boost that makes you more motivated to have sex with your partner. 

Currently, several options are available for treating PE and improving sexual stamina. These include:

  • Topical premature ejaculation treatments. These treatments work by reducing your level of sensitivity during sex, helping you last longer in bed. For example, our Delay Spray for Men uses lidocaine to control sensitivity and increase stamina.

  • Prescription premature ejaculation pills. Some medications, such as sildenafil, sertraline and paroxetine, can give you more control over your ability to reach orgasm and ejaculate when used as needed before sex. 

We offer a range of premature ejaculation treatments online, with prescription products available following a consultation with a healthcare provider.

Various factors play a role in your sex drive, erectile function and general level of sexual performance. These include your physical health, your psychological well-being and the level of connection you feel with your partner.

While medication may help increase your confidence in the bedroom and make you feel more interested in sex, it’s not the only piece of the puzzle. 

In addition to using medication, try the following techniques to improve arousal and boost your sex drive:

  • Get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Sleep plays a critical role in your sexual health. In fact, research suggests that sleep disorders are often associated with sexual performance issues such as erectile dysfunction. Our list of sleep hygiene tips shares techniques you can use to improve sleep if you’re prone to issues like late sleeping or insomnia.

  • If you don’t exercise regularly, start. Regular exercise increases blood circulation throughout the body. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule is also associated with improvements in general sexual functioning. Stay active by getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, as well as two muscle-strengthening workouts.

  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Though the link between specific foods and sex drive isn’t very strong, eating a balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of common sexual performance issues such as erectile dysfunction.

  • If you smoke, try to quit. Smoking can contribute to sexual disorders in several ways, including by damaging your blood vessels and reducing libido.

  • Avoid using illicit drugs. Many recreational drugs can have a negative effect on both sex drive and sexual performance. Avoid using illegal drugs, and talk to your healthcare provider if you think you may have a substance use disorder.

  • Work on your connection with your partner. Sex is all about trust, and the closer you feel to your partner, the more interested you’ll likely be in having sex with each other on a frequent basis. Try to set aside plenty of time to spend with your partner, whether it’s relaxing at home with a movie or a weekly date night.  

Our guide to natural techniques for improving your erections lists other habits and changes you can make for better sex and a higher quality of life.

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Many factors play a role in your sex drive, from your levels of testosterone to your connection with your partner and past sexual experiences. 

If you’ve recently noticed a loss of libido, a mix of medication and changes to daily habits may help reinvigorate your sex drive and improve your relationship.

  • The best male libido supplement is one that works for you, but what works to treat low sex drive, improve sexual desire and bring you the satisfaction you want will be proven treatments. 

  • Research shows that sexual wellness is related to your overall health, including your weight, level of activity, diet and other factors. 

  • Lifestyle changes like improving your diet and reducing your cholesterol have evidence of improving men’s sexual health.

We offer a range of ED medications and treatments for premature ejaculation online, following a consultation with a licensed healthcare provider who’ll determine if prescription treatments are appropriate for you.

20 Sources

  1. Tainted Sexual Enhancement Products. (2022, June 13). Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/medication-health-fraud/tainted-sexual-enhancement-products
  2. Ghofrani, H.A., Osterloh, I.H. & Grimminger, F. (2006). Sildenafil: from angina to erectile dysfunction to pulmonary hypertension and beyond. Nature Public Health Emergency Collection. 5 (8), 689-702. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7097805/
  3. Dhaliwal, A. & Gupta, M. (2022, April 19). PDE5 Inhibitors. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549843/
  4. Xia, Y., Li, J., Shan, G., Qian, H., Wang, T., Wu, W., Chen, J., & Liu, L. (2016). Relationship between premature ejaculation and depression: A PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 95(35), e4620. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5008563/.
  5. Nassar, G.N. & Leslie, S.W. (2022, January 4). Physiology, Testosterone. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526128/
  6. VIAGRA- sildenafil citrate tablet, film coated. (2017, August). Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/spl/data/40578e70-350a-4940-9630-55d90989c146/40578e70-350a-4940-9630-55d90989c146.xml
  7. Liu, Q., et al. (2018, August). Erectile Dysfunction and Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 15 (8), 1073-1082. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29960891/
  8. Cho, J.W. & Duffy, J.F. (2019, September). Sleep, Sleep Disorders, and Sexual Dysfunction. The World Journal of Men’s Health. 37 (3), 261-275. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6704301/
  9. How Much Sleep Do I Need? (2017, March 2). Retrieved from ​​https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html
  10. Preventing Erectile Dysfunction. (2017, July). Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/prevention
  11. Jiannine, L.M. (2018). An investigation of the relationship between physical fitness, self-concept, and sexual functioning. Journal of Education and Health Promotion. 7, 57. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5963213/
  12. How much physical activity do adults need? (2022, June 2). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
  13. Mima, M., Huang, J. B., Andriole, G. L., Freedland, S. J., Ohlander, S. J., & Moreira, D. M. (2022). The impact of smoking on sexual function. BJU international, 130(2), 186–192.
  14. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.-a). Definition & Facts for erectile dysfunction - NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/definition-facts.
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35166438/.
  16. Kotta, S., Ansari, S. H., & Ali, J. (2013). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Pharmacognosy reviews, 7(13), 1–10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3731873/.
  17. Steels, E., Rao, A., & Vitetta, L. (2011). Physiological aspects of male libido enhanced by standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum extract and mineral formulation. Phytotherapy research : PTR, 25(9), 1294–1300.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21312304/.
  18. Cormio, L., De Siati, M., Lorusso, F., Selvaggio, O., Mirabella, L., Sanguedolce, F., & Carrieri, G. (2011). Oral L-citrulline supplementation improves erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction. Urology, 77(1), 119–122. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21195829/.
  19. Hong, B., Ji, Y. H., Hong, J. H., Nam, K. Y., & Ahn, T. Y. (2002). A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report. The Journal of urology, 168(5), 2070–2073. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12394711/.
  20. Kotta, S., Ansari, S. H., & Ali, J. (2013). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Pharmacognosy reviews, 7(13), 1–10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3731873/.
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Dr. Mike Bohl is a licensed physician, a Medical Advisor at Hims & Hers, and the Director of Scientific & Medical Content at a stealth biotech startup, where he is involved in pharmaceutical drug development. Prior to joining Hims & Hers, Dr. Bohl spent several years working in digital health, focusing on patient education. He has also worked in medical journalism for The Dr. Oz Show (receiving recognition for contributions from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences when the show won Outstanding Informative Talk Show at the 2016–2017 Daytime Emmy® Awards) and at Sharecare. He is a Medical Expert Board Member at Eat This, Not That! and a Board Member at International Veterinary Outreach.

Dr. Bohl obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine from Brown University, his Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and his Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies—Journalism from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Leadership at Cornell University. Dr. Bohl trained in internal medicine with a focus on community health at NYU Langone Health.

Dr. Bohl is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners, Medical Writer Certified by the American Medical Writers Association, a certified Editor in the Life Sciences by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs. He has graduate certificates in Digital Storytelling and Marketing Management & Digital Strategy from Harvard Extension School and certificates in Business Law and Corporate Governance from Cornell Law School.

In addition to his written work, Dr. Bohl has experience creating medical segments for radio and producing patient education videos. He has also spent time conducting orthopedic and biomaterial research at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland and practicing clinically as a general practitioner on international medical aid projects with Medical Ministry International.

Dr. Bohl lives in Manhattan and enjoys biking, resistance training, sailing, scuba diving, skiing, tennis, and traveling. You can find Dr. Bohl on LinkedIn for more information.

Publications

  • Younesi, M., Knapik, D. M., Cumsky, J., Donmez, B. O., He, P., Islam, A., Learn, G., McClellan, P., Bohl, M., Gillespie, R. J., & Akkus, O. (2017). Effects of PDGF-BB delivery from heparinized collagen sutures on the healing of lacerated chicken flexor tendon in vivo. Acta biomaterialia, 63, 200–209. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1742706117305652?via%3Dihub

  • Gebhart, J. J., Weinberg, D. S., Bohl, M. S., & Liu, R. W. (2016). Relationship between pelvic incidence and osteoarthritis of the hip. Bone & joint research, 5(2), 66–72. https://boneandjoint.org.uk/Article/10.1302/2046-3758.52.2000552

  • Gebhart, J. J., Bohl, M. S., Weinberg, D. S., Cooperman, D. R., & Liu, R. W. (2015). Pelvic Incidence and Acetabular Version in Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. Journal of pediatric orthopedics, 35(6), 565–570. https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/abstract/2015/09000/pelvic_incidence_and_acetabular_version_in_slipped.5.aspx

  • Islam, A., Bohl, M. S., Tsai, A. G., Younesi, M., Gillespie, R., & Akkus, O. (2015). Biomechanical evaluation of a novel suturing scheme for grafting load-bearing collagen scaffolds for rotator cuff repair. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 30(7), 669–675. https://www.clinbiomech.com/article/S0268-0033(15)00143-6/fulltext

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