By Dr. Milind Barhate, Psychiatry
Stress can take a toll on your health in more ways than one, and your sexual health is greatly and adversely impacted by stress. Stress can take a toll on the emotional relationship you share with your partner and also your own physical health, thus resulting in hampered sex life.
Stress and Our Libido:
By now, we know that hormones affect our bodies in numerous ways from childhood to adolescence, pregnancy, menopause and beyond. Cortisol is one of the hormones produced by stress, and you might have heard of it if you’ve ever seen those late night diet pill commercials with the image of the pixelated woman gaining weight in her abdomen. Our bodies need this hormone, but in small doses for short bursts of time. If elevated levels of Cortisol are being produced for a prolonged period of time, they suppress our sex hormones. Lower quantity of sex hormones equals lower libido.
Impact of Stress on Sex-
a) Stress takes a toll on libido
b) Low levels of libido imply lesser secretion of sex hormones, thus, affecting your sex life.
c) Stress can interfere with your fertility, ovulation and sperm count.
d) Stress can cause a shift in the hormones. In women, the change in hormones manifests in the form of an irregular ovulatory cycle.
e) Loss of intimacy
f) Being under stress constantly can lead to anger, emotional outbursts, depression and loss of intimacy with your partner; thus affecting your sexual relations.
g) Stress also affects your body image negatively, thus leading to unpleasant and bad sex.
How to rejuvenate your sex life?
1. Communicate your feelings:
Many times, communicating and sharing your feelings, desires and anxiety with your partner might be all that you need to rejuvenate your sex life.
2. Regular exercise and proper sleep:
20-30 minutes of body work out or a session of yoga everyday helps you to de-stress. A proper eight-hour sleep cycle will also go a long way in de-stressing you.
3. Supplements to boost your libido and energy:
Taking multivitamins, minerals, zinc and other supplements help to boost your energy levels and libido, thus allowing you to enjoy your sex life to the fullest.
4. Set the mood correctly:
Set the right mood before your intimate sessions; with some soothing music, aromatic fragrance and dim lights. This can and will enhance your sex life by promoting relaxation, happiness and overall emotional well being.