Lose Weight for Better Sex!
Some months ago I had a telephone session with a man in his early thirties. He’s been married for five years and he and his wife have been trying to conceive a baby for about three years, with no success. He told me he always had a low libido but, with the added pressure, he is now suffering from erectile dysfunction. His wife is very disappointed and unhappy because with hardly any sex there is even less chance of falling pregnant. While taking his sexual history, I found out that he has been very overweight since he was a teenager.
With obesity rates on the rise, the effects of being overweight have attracted increasing attention, but one aspect of this problem is too often overlooked – the impact on male sexual dysfunction. Being overweight can directly affect erectile dysfunction by lowering testosterone levels. Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men and it plays an important role in both libido and sexual function. It’s one of the reasons my client has low desire.
Indirectly, obesity contributes to diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, which all contribute to erectile dysfunction by damaging and constricting blood vessels and affecting the way blood flows in and out of the penis. The penis needs a sufficient supply of blood to become erect and, once engorged, the vessels need to close to maintain the erection.
Research has shown that obesity in men is directly linked to infertility because of the way it affects sperm. The answer for my client may be that he should make an effort to lose some of his weight, change his eating habits and live a healthier lifestyle. Exercising regularly not only helps to shed kilos, it also increases endorphin levels, which can do wonders to improve self-image and increase energy for sex.
Let’s face it, we live in a society that puts great value on physical appearance and it’s not easy for men struggling with obesity. Men who are overweight often report that sex with a partner sometimes is just too much of a chore; they run out of steam before they are able to complete the act. They often feel self-conscious about the way they look and are reluctant to have sex. Also fat in the abdominal area can make the penis look smaller than it really is, which doesn’t help self-esteem.
With the growing percentage of Australian men becoming obese, it may be time for doctors to explain to their patients how important it is to lose weight and therefore avoid having problems in the bedroom.
Knowing about the negative consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle on one’s sexual functioning may help men quit smoking, consume less alcohol, exercise more and lose weight. For a man to have good sexual health, he has to be physically and psychologically ‘in charge of his penis’.
Having to take Viagra for the rest of your life is not something to look forward to.