By Dr Inderjeet Singh, Sexology
Stress and sex are a bad combination. It is common that stress causes a person’s sex life to suffer. Listed below are few ways in which stress can affect your sex life:
- Negative Body Image: The hormones associated with stress are capable of affecting your metabolism. If you gain weight or feel sluggish, it makes you feel bad about your own body, which in turn hinders your desire to initiate sex. A lower self-image leads to less amount of sex and in turn, creates relationship problems. One of the main sources of stress can be your relationship; if you cannot nurture it, it might lead to elevation of stress.
- Negative Effect on Libido: Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by stress. It is needed by the body in small doses and over short periods of time. Increase in stress over a period of time results in increased levels of cortisol, which lead to suppression of sex hormones. Lower amount of sex hormones results in lower libido.
- Excessive Drinking: It is of common knowledge that people drink to relieve stress. Maximum times, increased stress levels lead to excessive drinking. Men have difficulty having erections after they drink too much. In women, excess alcohol causes dehydration, resulting in reduced lubrication. These problems lead to dull sex.
- Impact on Fertility and Menstrual Cycle: In women, stress affects the pituitary gland which is responsible for the thyroid, ovaries and adrenal glands. Improper functioning of the ovaries can adversely affect the menstrual cycle. Periods might become irregular or menstruation might stop. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a sexologist and ask a free question.