Sex might not be the first thing on your mind when you’re suffering from a health problem. But with health issues that stick around for a long period of time, you should think about their effects on your sex life. Most chronic conditions can affect your sex life in some way. Here’s a list of the most common ones:
1. Diabetes: Uncontrolled sugar levels in the blood can lead to several complications and sexual dysfunction is one of them. Statistics show that 60-70% of all men with diabetes experience erectile problems during their lifetime. That’s because diabetes affects the flow of blood to the penis. Additionally, diabetes also causes nerve-related problems. As a result, the nerves controlling the erection do not receive appropriate signals.
2. Depression: In order to enjoy a healthy sex life, you need to have sexual desire. Since all desires originate in the brain, if something goes wrong with the brain signaling mechanism that controls sexual desire, you might face sexual dysfunction. This is exactly what happens with people who face chronic stress and clinical depression. The worst part is that some antidepressants that are prescribed for overcoming depression can also kill sexual desires and decrease arousal.
3. Vascular diseases: Any disorder that interferes with the blood flow to the genital area can lead to sexual dysfunction and interferes with a healthy sex life. Therefore, diseases related to the blood vessels like hypertension and hardening of the arteries can affect blood flow and cause erectile dysfunction in men and insufficient lubrication in women.
4. Back pain: Back pain doesn’t directly impact your sexual function but indirectly it is one of the main problems contributing to lowered frequency of sex. Problems with the spine like herniated disc and spinal stenosis can be really painful and can interfere greatly with your ability to have sex. A survey revealed that around 61% of respondents suffering from back pain avoided having sex. So, if your back pain is in the initial stages and does not indicate a deeper problem, better keep your spine active and flexible with yoga or some form of exercise.
5. Anemia: Anemia might not pose a great problem to your sex life, but it causes weakness and can lower your sexual feelings. In men, anemia can lead to lowered sexual desire as well as erection problems. Compared to other problems, this one can be easily corrected with minor changes in lifestyle.
6. Menopause: Hormonal changes and regulation are important in women to maintain sexual desire. And, menopause is that phase of life where the hormonal levels begin to fluctuate drastically causing problems like loss of sexual desire, reduced frequency of sexual activity and increased pain during sex. But these problems can be solved with proper counselling and treatment.
If you’re suffering from any of the health issues mentioned above, and have been hiding your related sexual problems, make it a point to discuss it with your gynaecologist at the earliest. Sex is a huge part of the human experience and there’s no point in missing out on a sex life, if all you need is treatment for your problems.