6 ways stress is ruining your sex life

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Somewhere between work pressure, family responsibilities and personal goals, stress levels have overtaken our lives completely. While chronic stress can affect all systems of your body, it can also take a toll on your sex life. Here’s how:

#1 Lowers sex drive: According to a research published in the journal Hormones and Behavior, chronic stress increases the levels of stress hormones in the body, especially cortisol. High level of cortisol can suppress the function and effect of the male sex hormone testosterone, which is responsible for boosting men’s desire for having sex [1]. With lower levels of testosterone, you’ll naturally shy away from sex or take longer to set into the right mood for sex. Here are 7 exercises that can help you boost sexual desires and last longer in bed.

#2 Inhibits sexual arousal: In women, too much stress over a period of time could mean more than just a lower sex drive. Chronic stress reduces the level of oxytocin in women, which plays a key role in sexual excitement during foreplay. This means that when women are stressed, activities like cuddling and kissing won’t turn them on. This ultimately leads to poor satisfaction.[1]

#3 Makes it difficult to reach orgasm: Oxytocin also plays a crucial role in releasing sexual tension during the climax. But with high levels of stress hormones, oxytocin gets inhibited. So, basically stress does not allow relaxation after intercourse, so women don’t feel the orgasm.  This could one of the reasons why women fake orgasms at times.

#4 Lowers fertility in women: Stress hormones severely impact reproductive cycle in women. Therefore, women who want to get pregnant must reduce stress in their lives. Stress hormones can affect the pituitary gland, which regulates the function of all other important glands like thyroid, adrenal glands and ovaries. It affects the levels of female reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone, which play a role in regulating the menstrual cycle. Increased stress can make your periods irregular and can even stop them abruptly, lowering your chances of getting pregnant.

#5 Reduces sperm quality in men: A study published in Fertility and Sterility suggested that men who are stressed have increased likelihood of having lower sperm concentrations per ejaculate. They are more likely to have sperms with impaired motility. Stress hormones trigger the release glucocorticoids, steroid hormones that decrease the level of testosterone. And, lower the level of testosterone, lower will be the sperm production. Another possibility is that these hormones may increase oxidative stress, which results in poor semen quality and fertility [2]. You could try these8 easy ways to boost sperm quality and count

#6 Affects relationship: A healthy relationship with the partner is also important for a great sex life. If you are always stressed and in no mood for sex, your partner could be sexually dissatisfied in the long-run. Although it may seem very small thing to worry about, it can eventually affect your relationship giving rise to heated arguments, in turn increasing stress in your personal life.[3]

The best part about the relationship between stress and sex is that the more you have sex the lower your stress levels will be. Having sex is one of the proven, natural ways to relieve acute stress. The key is to realise the threshold when stress actually starts interfering with your sex life. You 20 expert tips to beat stress to bring you sex life back on track

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