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Stress & sex: how does stress affect you in bed?

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The past year has been a stressful one for us all: living through a global pandemic is hard enough without having to deal with the knock-on effects like job insecurity and looking after you and your family’s wellbeing.

Stress is a reaction that we all naturally feel when times get tough. Your attention and energy will focus on whatever’s stressing you out, indirectly affecting other important things like your relationships and even your sex life.

How does stress affect your sex life?

We’ve all felt the traditional symptoms of stress, your heart rate increases, your stomach hurts and you generally feel overwhelmed. There are however some indirect symptoms of stress that can eventually affect your sex life. 

Prolonged stress can cause your body to produce too much of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which long term can really affect your libido (sex drive). Your interest in getting intimate is reduced as your body is working harder to produce these hormones to cope with stress rather than the hormones that enhance your sex drive.

Your mind can run a mile a minute when stressed, focusing on the things that are worrying you, avoiding any of the good stuff in your life with the stress blinkers on! You might find that when you’re stressed, the last thing on your mind is the desire to have sex: you’re just not in the right frame of mind. 

You’re also not alone when it comes to turning to unhealthy lifestyle habits when coping with stress. You might smoke or drink more than you usually do or even binge eat to feel a temporary lift during tough times. Although these lifestyle choices give us a mini-boost, long term these bad habits can make you feel worse and, in turn, affect your sex drive.

Maintain a healthy sex life during stressful times

Here’s the good news! It might feel like a struggle during really stressful times, but there are small things you can do to keep your sex drive up when feeling a bit frazzled.

A great place to start would be to talk to your partner about your stress levels. This can really help create a strong, open and honest relationship going forward. Talking things out can feel like a weight has been lifted, you might even start to feel the good times return with a stronger libido! 

Speaking of which, having that intimate time with your partner can also help to reduce your daily stress levels by creating a close, loving and intimate bond, thoughts of potentially insignificant stressors can quickly vanish. That human connection can really increase dopamine and serotonin levels in your brain, allowing you to enjoy the moment.

Erectile dysfunction medication

If stress has started to cause issues around getting aroused in the bedroom, our pharmacists are here to help you find the right erectile dysfunction solution for you online without a trip to the GP. Medication such as Viagra Connect can be a reliable treatment for ED, helping you to continue enjoying a healthy sex life without the stress of erection problems. If erection issues do keep happening, you should contact your GP as it could be an indication of an underlying health problem.

Finally, it goes without saying that exercise is the key to maintaining a healthy body and mind. Try and keep as active as you can to help produce those feel-good hormones in your brain. We know how hard these times have been for everybody, but take the time to appreciate the good stuff in life such as a healthy sex life.

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