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Can Stress Decrease Libido

It’s quite normal that when you are stressed, getting intimate is not the first thing on your mind. You might just brush it off telling your partner that you are not in the mood or are too tired or have a headache.

But, did you know that this could be a sign of something much more serious?

We understand that stress is inevitable. You may occasionally be stressed about your job, commitments, domestic responsibilities, education of your children, relationships, etc.

However, if you have been perpetually stressed about something, there is a good chance that the stress has been damaging the quality of your life in several ways.

How Stress Affects Health?

Stress can expedite aging, cause disturbed sleep, result in insomnia, cause emotional instability, anger, frustration and indecisiveness along with so many other issues. It is difficult to enjoy anything in life when you are not at ease or fully present.

Stress can severely affect your personal, professional as well as your sexual life and you might not even realize it. You might lash out at a colleague or a friend while you are stressed and there are chances that you will not be able to satisfy your partner too.

When we get stressed for a short time, for example, before a race or a meeting, our body releases the hormone adrenaline. It causes the flow of blood in the body and to all the essential organs to increase.

We get pumped up with energy and feel very excited.

This is because our fight or flight response gets activated. Once the race or stressful situation is over, our nervous system relaxes and comes back to normal.

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How do Stress Affect Sexual Performance in Men & Women?

Now, imagine you are constantly stressed and your nervous system is continuously activated. It causes the release of the stress hormone called cortisol.

When the level of cortisol in your body rises, the level of the sex hormone, testosterone, falls. Cortisol narrows the blood vessels and prevents the blood from reaching the vital organs of your body even though it might be flowing very fast.

This includes the heart and reproductive organs. It has been found that this condition is one of the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction in men.

How Does Stress Can Lead to Low Libido?

Testosterone, on the other hand, has been directly linked to libido in men and women. When the level of this sex hormone falls in the body, men might suffer from erectile dysfunction and also feel sexually disinterested. This is why chronic stress can cause the hormone level to fall significantly and can hamper a couple’s sexual life.

Another thing that happens when you stay stressed for a long time is that your feelings of attachment and closeness get replaced with absence and emptiness. You might want to be alone, stay aloof and speak less.

When stressed, we often snap at our loved ones that in turn, affects the whole relationship. Would you feel inclined to have intercourse if your partner just yelled at you? It is one of the psychological effects that stress causes that in turn, reduces sexual desire in people.

Chronic Stress & Effects on Mental Health:

Chronic stress can affect one’s mental health and life in different ways. It might be one of the causes of depression, changes in personality, irrational behavior, and indecisiveness.

A study conducted on post-war veterans who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorders revealed that stress can also cause sexual dysfunction in men. Stress is the number one cause of heart attacks and strokes too.

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So if we know that stress is inevitable and it is going to happen, why talk about it?

Stress is normal while chronic stress is not.

If you realize that you have been stressed for quite some time now, it is time to take corrective action before it is too late.

Chronic Stress Symptoms:

  • Sweaty palms
  • Palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Constant feeling of nervousness
  • Loss of interest in daily tasks
  • Constant worry
  • Overthinking

[ Read: 10 Major Side Effects of Stress ]

Best Ways to Relieve Stress

If you identify with the above, it is time to ask for help. The best way out is to accept the situation and evaluate the options available to you to solve the problem at hand.

If you are out of thoughts, speak to your loved ones or a professional who will be able to provide an unbiased opinion. If stress has been causing any form of physical discomfort, do not hesitate to approach a medical professional.

You can also practice some stress management techniques.

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Self-care
  • Exercising
  • Eating well
  • Maintaining a journal

Sometimes taking a break and going for a vacation also helps relieve stress and gain some perspective. Wouldn’t it be great if your health would improve in so many different ways just by addressing what is causing the stress? Do give it some thought.

Make efforts to take care of yourself in order to be happy and healthy.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a healthcare provider.

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