Sex and Stress: Is There Any Connection?

Stress can be detrimental to the body, causing significant harm to health. For example, chronic stress increases cancer risk and many other diseases by weakening the immune system.

Is this information insufficient to convince you of the importance of regular rest? Keep in mind that stress can have a great effect on the quality of your sex life as well. If you can instantly fix everyday problems with an instant payday loan and get rid of a stressful situation, then the impact of stress on health is not so simple to fix.

Stress affects us physically and emotionally, and it also influences our relationships with other people. So what is a normal sex life? How can you fight stress for better sex life? You will find all the answers in our article.

How Does Stress Affect Sex Life?

Sex can help relieve tension. What’s more, some people get even more aroused when faced with stress. This is a kind of defence mechanism. But for many people, the system works exactly the opposite. When people experience stress, they withdraw into themselves and are afraid that intimacy will make them nervous again, and excitement will cause another unpleasant emotion. As a result, such people spend all their emotional resources trying to avoid any worries and anxieties. And in the end, stress becomes the reason why they stop having sex.

The effect of stress on sex life is due to nature itself. In stressful situations, the main task is to survive, not reproduce. Therefore, stress activates those functions of the body that are critical for survival (for example, speeding up the heart rate and blood circulation) while suppressing secondary functions, including sexual.

Unfortunately, stress can disrupt your sex life on several levels. First of all, on the hormonal. Chronic stress leads to increased production of the hormone cortisol, which lowers libido. In women, stress can disrupt the menstrual cycle, which is hardly helpful for the right mood. Also, regular anxiety and confusion can reduce the pleasure of sex, making it difficult to experience an orgasm.

Fatigue also leads to a sex life crisis. Our main sex organ is the brain. If your brain is busy with completely different worries during sex, you are constantly distracted by inappropriate thoughts. As a result, it is more difficult for you to focus on your arousal, pleasant sensations, and orgasm.

Stress can depress sexuality not only directly but also indirectly. The hormones that the body produces during stress affect metabolism, leading to weight changes. As a result, we begin to feel dissatisfaction with ourselves, with our body, which may lead to the lack of the desire to have sex.

Chronic stress often provokes depression and anxiety disorders, which also negatively affect the ability to enjoy. Some people with chronic stress complain that they don’t have the right mood for sex at all. In addition, under stress, we often drink more alcohol than in a calm state, which also hurts healthy sex life.

How Does Stress Affect Men and Women?

The bodies of men and women experience chronic stress in different ways: men mostly have problems with erection, and women lose attraction to a partner, although this is individual.

In men, the level of sex drive depends on testosterone. Chronic stress suppresses the production of this hormone. As a result, it leads to problems with the cardiovascular system. And circulatory disorders – to erectile dysfunction. Although sometimes, stress becomes the cause of premature ejaculation leading to life without sex. Stress and a decrease in testosterone levels over time lead to a deterioration in the quality of the sperm produced: the number of sperm cells, their mobility, and vitality decreases.

In women, stress suppresses ovulation and the production of estrogens, the female sex hormones that affect sex drive. Their level partly depends on the phase of the menstrual cycle. In the middle of it – about six days before and six days after ovulation – female libido increases.

In the blood of women, there is a small number of male sex hormones – androgens. Their number does not directly affect libido in any way, but when there are too many of them, malfunctions of the reproductive system occur. To prevent this from happening, enzymes in the fat layer convert androgens to estrogens. Sometimes, due to prolonged stress, women lose weight, and then there are not enough enzymes. This leads to the fact that the number of estrogen decreases and the level of libido along with it.

It is impossible to avoid stress, but you can identify its main sources and think about minimizing its impact on your sex life.

How to Help Your Body Relieve Stress?

Fortunately, this problem can be dealt with. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress is important. It can be sports or yoga, massage, relaxing baths. Take the time to take care of yourself and get sex life better.

The solutions are incredibly commonplace: getting adequate sleep, light physical activity, a varied diet, and the skills to manage stressful moments in life.

Although it is impossible to completely avoid stress, it is necessary to highlight several main sources of stress and think about eliminating their impact on our lives.

How to improve sex life? Being intimate with a partner can help reduce stress, so it’s worth trying to find time for it in the afternoon or morning. We often get too tired by the evening. The feelings that sex evokes in us – a feeling of closeness, a deep connection with a partner, calm relaxation – can be our natural defences against stress.

If you cannot spice up sex life on your own, and you are tired of constant fatigue and lack of desire, you can visit a psychotherapist who works in cognitive-behavioural therapy.


Psychologists recommend considering any situation, including the most stressful, from the point of view of a resource and benefit for a person. This period will not necessarily become full of new sexual discoveries for you, but it is quite possible to maintain closeness and find new aspects in it.

Start spending time with your partner; find the opportunity to pay attention to your sex life even in a busy schedule. Make it a priority. Listen to each other; look for different ways to revive passion. This is what your body now demands.

Do you see any connection between stress and sex in your life? Please share your experience in the comments below.


Authors bio:

Jade is a finance analyst and has been involved in many successful business projects with a range of companies throughout the country. She started writing 3 years ago and enjoys researching, discussing, and writing on the topics of finances, budgeting, money advice, lifestyle and wellness. 

Jade loves to spend time with her family and has a lot of hobbies including hiking, riding a bike, cooking and traveling.