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Why Stress Can Impact Sex Drive.

You may not realise it but stress can impact on so much more than just your mood state. One of the biggest issues stress can cause, especially as we enter our forties is reductions in libido. Reductions in sex drive are often attributed to natural reductions in testosterone as we age. However,it is the stress of other lifestyle factors that will contribute significantly to how this actually impacts on us.

Not only can stress cause us to be distracted and not as focused on sex as we might like, but stress can profoundly impact on testosterone levels not only leading to an even lower sex drive but also impacting even further on our ability to retain or grow muscle and our general emotional and physical health.

One of the main reasons for this is because cortisol, our stress hormone, and testosterone actually share the common origin of cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol is something that often gets a very bad reputation (like cortisol), which is actually largely undeserved and if we didn’t consume or have the capacity to synthesise cholesterol in the body then we would be in big trouble. It is the foundation of several essential ‘steroid’ hormones and even the synthesis of vitamin D, which is hugely important for health and well-being.

If  stressed, the body feeling under threat will start to convert cholesterol more favourably towards the creation of cortisol as this is an essential survival hormone making it a priority over testosterone, a reproductive hormone.

Day-to-day stress management therefore becomes a huge priority as well as reducing often avoidable stress, such as not getting enough sleep, poor nutrition and not getting enough exercise.  That’s the science behind why we might have low sex drive and feel far from our physical peak, but now let’s get onto the specifics of how you can improve these things. This is not just an inevitable part of aging… as you’ll see in the following posts, there is hope!

I am a 41 year old personal trainer based in Poole, Dorset that can offer knowledge and support to individuals or small groups on how to deal with managing stress effectively.

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