How Can Stress Affect Sexual Performance?

How Can Stress Affect Sexual Performance?


By Dr. Ravindra B Kute, Sexology

Distress is the negative kind of stress which stems from events which aren’t favourable. Stress causes diversion in focus which can affect your mental health and have adverse effects on your sex life. Work related stress can also be the root cause of anxiety which results in your sex life getting stuck in a rut.

Here are a few ways in which stress affects your sexual performance:

  • Stress can result in low libido: Cortisol (a stress hormone) is released in large quantities when a person is experiencing chronic distress. Cortisol has the power to suppress your sex hormones, which results in low libido. Because of the low sexual energy, you might not want to indulge in intercourse and if the distress is prolonged, it can kill your libido completely.
  • Problem in getting an orgasm in females: In females, getting an orgasm is a mental process which can be affected by distress. If a woman’s mind is distracted by bothersome events, it might cause complications in getting an orgasm as they cannot concentrate well. Without an orgasm, the sexual intercourse might not seem complete or enjoyable.
  • You might have a problem in achieving an erection: An erection is an outcome of both mental and physical stimulation. However, due to stress, your mind might be occupied with other tensions and problems which might result in issues with mental stimulation. Without mental stimulation, you can’t get an erection and without an erection, intercourse isn’t possible.
  • Distorted perceptions of your relationship: Stress can result in viewing your relationship and partner in a negative light as your mind is occupied with other tensions. Hence, because you are so frazzled, the perceptions might result in low desire to have sex.
  • Self-doubt: Stress in a lot of cases can make you doubt yourself and your body image. If you don’t feel sexy and satisfied with your body, the chances of enjoying sex with your partner are very low. You might also start doubting your capabilities in the intercourse department. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a sexologist and ask a free question.