Unhealthy lifestyle adds up to bad sex

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Sexual dysfunction and unhealthy lifestyle

Controlling lifestyle could lead to better sex

An unhealthy lifestyle is associated with sexual dysfunction that could be identified and modified with counseling. According to researchers, writing in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, smoking tobacco, taking drugs, inactivity and weight problems all contribute to increasing the chances of having no sex partner or just no sex.

In a study led by Associate Professor Morten Frisch, MD, PhD, DSc, of Statens Serum Institut, scientists wanted to find out what sort of lifestyle factors were linked to sexual dysfunction.

For their research, the authors used data from 5,552 Danish men and women aged 16 – 97 years in 2005 to study in a nationally representative survey.

Unhealthy lifestyle choices can add up to no sex life, no partner

Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine said:

"There are many reasons for sexual dysfunction, including those over which you have no control, such as after cancer treatments, or following injuries."

But in the surveys, the researchers found the chances of sexual dysfunction increased up to 71 percent among men just from having a large waist circumference for those with current partners.

For men who use hard drugs, the likelihood of sexual problems rose 800 percent.


For women using hashish, the chances of having orgasm was three time lower than non-users.

Goldstein says it’s not necessary to have a bad sex life from making poor lifestyle choices:

"Each person can modify lifestyle, especially diet and exercise and stop using recreational drugs that inhibit the sexual reflex, to be healthier thereby facilitating sexual function."

Frisch notes counseling can help individuals regain healthy sexual function and hopes the finding can help identify those at risk.

He says understanding that smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity and lack of exercise can all take a toll on sexual health might motivate people to change behavior.

"Considering the importance of a good sex life, our findings may be useful in attempts to promote healthier lifestyles," concluded the authors.

The survey also showed a number of unhealthy lifestyle factors increased the risk of not having a sex partner at all - up to 78% in men and up to 91% in women. Sexually inactive individuals are more likely to be immersed in unhealthy lifestyles, also found in the surveys.

Journal of Sexual Medicine: DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02291.x
"Associations of Unhealthy Lifestyle Factors with Sexual Inactivity and Sexual Dysfunctions in Denmark"
Birgitte S. Christensen MSc; et al

Image credit: Morguefile