We all know how unpleasant—and practically unavoidable—it can be to feel an overwhelming sense of stress in our lives. Unfortunately, the effects don’t just stop at our emotions; they can take a toll on our bodies and our libido as well.
However, keeping yourself informed may be the key to fighting back and reducing the stress in your life in order to maintain a healthy sex life. Read on to learn more about how stress affects sexual sensitivity and performance in women.
How Stress Affects Sexual Performance and Sensitivity
Our bodies are in a constant state of balancing out hormones, each of which affect us in different ways. Feelings of stress are directly linked to an increase in the hormone known as cortisol, which suppresses the hormones that play an important part in arousal and sexual libido. Our sex lives are affected particularly when we have elevated levels of cortisol over a prolonged period of time, leading to a dramatically decreased libido.
In addition, our own thoughts can get in the way of our sexual fulfillment. Before sex, you might find yourself thinking over a stressful event, like an argument, or work project that can keep you from letting go and submitting to your body’s natural impulses. Even worse, when you try to force intimacy to happen when you just aren’t feeling it, it can lead to feeling unsatisfied and being unable to perform. Then, the next time you attempt sex, you may or may not respond to anxiety triggers, repeating the experience again.
There’s actually a biological reason for these types of occurrences. When your body detects an increase in cortisol levels, it instinctively thinks that you are in danger and shifts the focus of hormonal production towards survival, shutting down the sensitive reactions that are geared more toward procreation.
Ironically, sex can also be a stress-reliever. It causes a release of endorphins and other hormones that boost our mood, and is also an effective form of exercise. However, if you are having trouble with sexual performance issues, there are a few other alternatives that can help you reduce stress in your life. Communicating your fears and desires with your partner and relieving stress through yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, or even laughter can help immensely.
Ensuring that you get enough sleep, taking supplements that increase your energy and libido, and exercising regularly can also greatly diminish stress. You can even use special techniques to help you increase your sensitivity, such as Kegel exercises, stop-start techniques, and sensate focus techniques that help strengthen pubic and vaginal muscles. If all else fails, you can always ask medical professionals with sexual therapeutic experience.
Consult the Experts at Women’s Wellness Institute of Dallas
Contact our office to schedule a consultation appointment with our empathetic and caring medical experts today.