Stress can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, your behavior, and indeed your sex life. Ignored, stress can contribute to health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and lowered libido. There is no denying that a stressed-out person is no fun to be around. Because of our busy, crazy, hectic lives, so many of us know that when it comes to sex, stress makes things worse.
The effects of stress are insidious. It takes a toll on your physical and emotional health, probably more than we can imagine. Here are some of the ways stress can affect your sex life. Understanding them might help us identify proper stress aids.
Stress contributes to a negative body image
A negative body image leads to bad sex. The hormones produced by stress will affect your metabolism. If you feel sluggish or gain weight unintentionally, this can make you feel bad about your physique. This lower self-image results in less sex and less sex creates relationship problems.
Stress is a direct hit to your libido
We know that hormones affect our bodies in many different ways. Cortisol is a very impactful hormone produced by stress. Our bodies need cortisol, but in small quantities for short periods of time. If we produce too much cortisol for too long, other sex hormones, like testosterone and estrogen, get suppressed resulting in lower libido.
Stress creates relationship problems
Nobody wants a lover who is rudely sarcastic and irritable because he or she is overwhelmed. You certainly don’t want to create feelings of frustration in someone you love. Nobody wants to go to bed with an emotional time bomb. Relationships suffer when you are stressed.
Stress could make you drink too much
Over-the-top drinking makes for bad sex. Some men have difficulty getting an erection when they drink too much. For women, too, alcohol can dull sex, making it less pleasurable. Alcohol dehydrates you, making lubrication a challenge. Without lubrication, sex is painful. Without lubrication and sufficient arousal, you can’t have orgasm. After a number of unhappy or painful sexual experiences, sex becomes a turn-off.
What can you do?
Consult a healthcare professional, get an assessment of your cortisol and related hormone levels and ask about natural stress support, like an adaptogen. Several natural plants and vitamins can be useful to balance your hormones. In general, women who have a low libido also have low progesterone, testosterone and DHEA levels. Estrogen and cortisol levels are also imbalanced.
You might be low on zinc. Zinc is a mineral involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions. It is essential in the sexual function: it eases the production of hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. Sadness (even post-partum depression), hair loss, slow digestion, defective immune system, insomnia and lower libido are all symptoms of a zinc deficiency.
Consider natural stress supplements. Because decreased libido can have many causes, make sure that you are evaluated to decide which treatment is the most appropriate to stimulate your libido. Adaptogenic plant extracts like Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) when combined with zinc and magnesium provide natural stress support.
As always, consult your health specialist before trying any natural stress supplement.