Many scientific studies have proven that sex is a great way for relieving stress. Yes, if you enjoy sex with the partner of your choice, you could well drown yourself in it and let go, which apparently acts as a stress buster! But then during studies conducted on this topic, most people say that they are unable to have sex due to stress. It seems that stress and anxiety causes a decrease in your libido leading to a lack of interest in sex. In other words, anxiety affects your sex life badly.
Interestingly this condition differs from person to person and even across genders. Men may experience erectile dysfunction due to sexual performance anxiety or other conditions like a heart disease, obesity or even excessive consumption of alcohol. And women may find themselves with a sexual dysfunction due to hormonal changes and many other such physical as well as psychological conditions.
1. Stress Causes Erectile Dysfunction (ED) In Men
Stress and anxiety can affect the brain signals that control your body’s response. An erection happens when extra blood flow is allowed into the penis stimulating it. If you are suffering from stress or anxiety, it can interrupt the messages being sent to the penis by your brain. This results in an erectile dysfunction. That, in turn, will again cause sexual performance anxiety.
“Sexual performance problems, such as impotence and frigidity, are 70 to 90 percent changeable…” – Martin Seligman
It is a vicious cycle that you cannot get out of, unless you accept the fact and seek help. It is important to know that this condition in most cases is just a temporary thing that can be treated, leading to one having a fully satisfied sex life.
2. Being Stressed & Depressed Reduces Involvement
Interestingly, stress, anxiety, and depression can lead many people to drink habits and end up having excessive drinks. Apart from the well-known bad effects of drinking, it is also good to know that alcohol can affect your sex life.
If you don’t get a control on yourself, you may well end up with a disgruntled partner or even worse, with no partner. You may be surprised to know that apart from the fact that excessive alcohol can limit your body’s responses, it also dehydrates you. And dehydration can lead to a problem in lubrication which in turn means that you have poor sex.
3. Stress & Anxiety Triggers Hormonal Imbalances
Most of us are affected by hormonal imbalances at some point in life or other. Hormonal imbalances are triggered by various factors and they in turn trigger many other issues. However, most of us do not relate stress to hormonal imbalances. But this is true.
Stress makes our body produce a hormone called Cortisol. Though human bodies need this hormone, it is only for short periods of time and in small doses only. Therefore, when our bodies produce this hormone in higher levels than is needed, and that too for longer periods, they aid in suppressing our sex hormones. And as you may well know, suppressed sex hormones would automatically lead to a low libido and sexual dysfunction. So there seems to be a direct link between stress, hormones and our sex life.
4. Stress Causes Delayed Periods In Women
As mentioned above, stress has a different effect on women. We have all heard about the female species of animals going into heat, which means that they become eager for sex. Though this is not applicable in the case of humans, there have been studies that have proved that there is a link between the menstrual cycles and the libido.
It is suggested that during ovulation women are more sexually receptive as this is what is intended for reproduction. But if something affects this fertility cycle, then that becomes an issue too. Most women in their middle ages would have had at least one or two instances when their menstrual cycles either were delayed beyond the requisite periods or did not happen at all. And on the investigation, it has been found that it is linked to stress! Yes, this is because stress affects our thyroid and pituitary glands and ovaries as well.
So if you are stressed, it could affect your menstrual cycles which in turn can result in sexual dysfunction. Apart from this, there have been studies that have proven that women are receptive to sex when they are happy rather than sad or depressed. It is a universally acknowledged fact that women need to be ‘in the mood’ to have sex. It is therefore taken that especially in the case of women, anxiety affects sexuality.
Also Read: Best foods for better sex life
5. Your Self-Esteem Will Become Too Low
Another aspect of stress leading to low or no sex life is its link to low esteem. Sex is most enjoyable when you cherish and enjoy your bodies. Mental conditions like stress, anxiety or depressions can put you in a state where you are feeling low about everything including yourself and your body. It causes you to suffer from low self-esteem. And with this in mind, it is difficult to indulge in and enjoy the act of sex. In other words, anxiety affects sexuality.
6. Time To Make A Change
If you are experiencing a low sex life and can pick the symptoms that this could perhaps be due to stress, anxiety or depression that you are having, it is time to seek help, preferably professional. Timely help can go a long way in treating and curing this problem. And there is nothing to stop you from enjoying a healthy and enjoyable sex life.
A good healthy lifestyle backed by a good diet and timely medical interventions for the treatment of any mental illnesses can ensure that a person can lead a happy life, sexual or otherwise.