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Effect of Stress on Sex Life

Stress is the state of worrying continuously about something real or imaginary future problems. Everyone has to worry about the things he/ she needs to do. In fact, it helps us to perform better but excessive worry disturbs the internal homeostatic environment of the body. If it continues for a considerable period of time ( a few days for some or a few months for others), the changes produced by stress hormones like cortisol become permanent. Now even if the stress factor is resolved, the body continues to be in a compromised state and experience after-effects of stress.

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It could be due to a negative life event like real or fearfulness of loss of a job, legal problems, marital discord or death of someone close to you. If you are suffering from Anxiety Disorder, OCD, Depression or abuse alcohol or tobacco, have poor friend circle – the effect is more profound and long-lasting

Effect on the body –

A continuous flow of cortisol causes raised blood pressure, narrowing of blood vessels, and contraction of smooth muscles resulting in body pains, tiredness, and high BP. It has an effect on mood which causes irritability and low desire for pleasure.

Effects on sex life- 

A 42 yr old gentleman came with low sex desire, occasional difficulty in erection and very quick discharge since last 1.5 years. He had to face legal problems during his service time 8 years back but were now settled after he took voluntary retirement. Though these problems were now settled, the effect was still persisting as disturbed sleep, worry about his present business and tiredness. He was doing pretty well after retirement still was never at peace with himself.
For the last 1.5 years, they had sex once in a month or even less. It was usually initiated by his wife, often there was delayed and less than desired erection and a very quick finish. He would lose some hardness before discharge He reported experiencing thoughts related to his past legal problem while he was having sex. It resulted in the loss of hardness and fast ejaculation sometimes Here his legal problem was almost settled but the stress was still causing problems in sex life.

Sex problems due to stress- 

1- Loss of Libido – Loss of ability to feel pleasure will result in loss of libido. It results in avoiding sex which further worsens the situation.

2- Erection problems or inability to lubrication - There are problems in focussing on sexual sensations and too many diversions to past or present anxiety-provoking scenarios. Males have a tendency to lose hardness, triggering panic causing total loss of hardness. Poor hardness or ED is due to contraction of small arteries of the penis , resulting in less blood flow to penis hence less hardness. Same happens in females, though they can continue the sex but dryness results in pain and disinterest for sex.

3- Stress causes irritability which is bad for appropriate communication and intimacy.

4- Tiredness causes reduced Desire.

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