The effects of stress on sexual desire

The Effects of Stress on Sexual Desire

Stress is usually a big one among couples, especially if both are in full time work. Stress can have a profound effect on a person’s sexual desire and can manifest itself in several different ways.

Decreased Libido

The most common issue caused by stress is a decrease in libido. Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline decrease the production of testosterone and other sex hormones, which can result in a lack of sex drive. This decrease in sexual appetite often leads to feelings of guilt and shame, which can cause further stress and agitation.

Body Dysmorphia

Stress can also lead to issues such as body dysmorphia, causing men and women to experience anxiety and self-doubt around their physical appearance and body image. This can lead to a lack of confidence and further exacerbate the problems associated with stress.

Other Effects

Other key effects of stress on sexual desire include:

  • Difficulty with arousal and orgasm – Stress can lead to a decrease in lubrication in women or difficulty getting and maintaining an erection in men.
  • Depression and loneliness – Stress and anxiety can cause feelings of loneliness and depression, which can have an effect on a person’s sex life and overall quality of life.
  • Relationship conflict – Stress can put immense pressure on relationships, leading to arguments and conflict.


Although stress can have an adverse effect on sexual desire, there are ways to manage it. Healthy communication and building self-confidence through exercise and relaxation can help to reduce stress and its effects. Knowing the effects and causes of stress can help couples to understand it better and work to improve the situation.

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