Obesity not only leads to lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer but also can dampen your sex life. It can lead to lack of sexual stamina, sexual dysfunction and hormonal imbalance.
Also the medicines you take for various diseases that go hand-in-hand with obesity like diabetes, heart disease and hypertension can lead to lack of libido and erectile dysfunction among other sex-related problems. With 1.5 billion people around the world in the overweight category, sex-related concerns of obesity is a situation various healthcare services will have to deal with sooner than later. Here are the top ten ways obesity can harm your sex life:
- ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
Did you know that obese men are far likelier to suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotency? Problems associated with obesity like high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes prevent efficient blood flow to all parts of the body including the penis, thus causing issues with erection. Various studies have shown that even losing a little amount of weight can help beat the condition.
- HORMONAL IMBALANCE LEADING TO LOW LIBIDO
Obesity is directly linked to hormonal imbalance and lower testosterone levels, which in turn can inhibit sexual desires in both men and women. Another issue is that increased body fat leads to more sex hormone binding globulins (SHBG) in the system. SHBG is a natural chemical that binds to testosterone, which means that there is less of the sex hormone left to handle the demands of a normal sex life. There has also been evidence to suggest that obesity in young boys can lead to fatigue and development of male breasts. In young girls it can lead to PCOD, irregular menstrual cycle and thyroid problems.
In women, obesity leads to abnormalities in their eggs that make them harder to fertilise. Brigham and Women’s Hospital infertility researchers examined nearly 300 eggs that failed to fertilise during IVF and found obese women’s eggs were likelier to have chromosomal abnormalities. It also causes excess insulin production and PCOD (a condition where the periods are irregular and ovaries produce small, immature eggs instead of healthy mature ones). Obese women are also likely to suffer from failed pregnancies and miscarriages than regular weighing ones. Here is how to combat vaginal dryness naturally to have pleasurable sex.
In men, obesity is directly linked to infertility because of the way it affects sperm. Research has found that men who consume a fatty diet have lower quality of sperm. Men consuming more saturated fats had 35 percent lower total sperm count and 38 percent lower sperm concentration than men who ate healthier.
- OBESITY-RELATED DISEASE THAT HINDER SEX
People who are heavy, particularly in the central abdomen area tend to suffer from a host of diseases which can affect their sex lives in various ways. This can be due to physiological or psychological reasons or due to medicines taken for the disease. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, depression, dementia and other ailments all affect your sexual functioning. In fact, one of the most tell-tale symptoms of diabetes is erectile dysfunction. Medicines too, ranging from anti-depressants to those used to treat heart conditions, high blood pressure and cholesterol can lead to sexual issues like impotence, decreased sex drive, ejaculation problems and even delayed or no orgasms. Here’s a complete list of medicines that can affect your sexual life.
- BURIED PENIS SYNDROME
Folds of abdominal fat and skin in obese men make the penis look rather small or even ‘buried’ at times. Called the ‘buried penis syndrome’, it can seriously hamper sex lives. This however, should not be confused with the ‘micropenis’ which is a condition where the erect penis measures less than 3 inches. This is mostly a congenital disorder in children and can affect around 0.6% of the male population.
STDs AND UNWANTED PREGNANCIES
Since obese people are likely to have less sex than the others, they are likelier to exhibit high-risk sexual behaviour. An American study found that obese women were four times likelier to have unplanned pregnancies because they’re less likely to be prepared for intercourse. They are also less likely to use oral or other forms of contraceptives. A French study found a similar situation among obese men despite having lesser sexual partners.
- FEWER SEX POSITION POSSIBLE
Sadly, the sheer logistics of sex can change when one or both partners are fat and can make coitus in some positions particularly hard. The popular missionary position is out-of-bounds if the male partner is too heavy. And if both partners are obese, then the central abdominal area can prevent proper penetration. The rear entry style which is more popular among the obese can also cause problems because the woman usually has to spend a long amount of time on her knees. Spooning, a sex position where partners lie side by side is also hard for fat people. However, fat people shouldn’t fret and there are multitudes of positions that they can try with their partners. Here’s a great article I came across about modified sex positions.
- LESS LIKELY TO HAVE SEX
Let’s face it – we live in a society that judges us by our looks and obese people are always going to find it harder looking for a partner. The problem is even graver in a country like ours where it is okay for a man to be obese if he has a high-paying job or is from a rich family whereas it is almost impossible to find a groom for a ‘fat girl’.
- LOW SELF-ESTEEM DEPRESSION AND OTHER CONDITIONS
We live in a society where obese people are routinely made fun of and termed as ‘lazy’, ‘stupid’, ‘dumb’ or ‘slow’. This kind of segregation starts when a person is very young and obesity becomes the defining characteristic of an individual irrespective of her other qualities. This labelling sticks for life and anyone who has faced childhood obesity is likely to develop very low self-esteem. This promotes a negative body image which makes obese people uncomfortable in their skins. How can you be comfortable having sex, if all your life you’ve been told you’re ugly? Also various studies have shown obese people are far likelier to suffer from depression and other mental health problems which reduce libido and are likely to cause sexual dysfunction.
- LACK OF STAMINA
Obesity is often associated with laziness and a sedentary lifestyle. And this may often percolate into their sex lives as well. In men, it will also significantly decrease the time they can maintain an erection.