Weight Gain and Sexual Health: Four Things for Men to Consider
What’s Weight Got to Do With It?
If you haven’t been your best in the bedroom lately and you’re heavier than you should be, there may be a connection. Several studies have found a connection between men being overweight and sexual health.
There are a few possible reasons for this, especially as you get older. Here are a few to consider:
- Self image. Being overweight can affect your self-image and your confidence level, which can affect your sexual performance.
- Energy levels. Weight gain can reduce your energy levels, especially if you’re eating a lot of foods that are high in sugar or fat.
- Testosterone. Extra fat, especially if it’s located around the belly, can lower your testosterone levels, which can decrease libido and reduce your ability to maintain an erection.
- Blood flow. High cholesterol and extra weight can constrict blood vessels and disrupt blood flow, leading to impotence and erectile dysfunction. Being overweight or obese also increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, which can reduce blood flow and decrease desire and sexual arousal.
The Good News: Losing Weight Can Improve Your Sex Life
Exercise, healthy eating and weight loss (if you’re overweight) can all help boost your testosterone levels. Working out can also get blood flowing to your pelvic area. One study found that men who lost just 5 percent of their body weight experienced improved erectile function and increased desire. Other studies have shown that for overweight men, losing just 10 pounds can help with testosterone production, libido and erectile function.
Your healthcare professional can help you determine a healthy target weight and discuss options for reaching your goal and staying healthy. While losing weight can take time and effort, minor adjustments such as changing your diet to control blood sugar and cholesterol can help boost your sex drive.
There are also other options to help restore sexual function. For example, you may benefit from testosterone replacement therapy if you’re suffering from low testosterone levels. But there’s really no substitute for staying fit. Not only can it help your sex life, it can improve your overall quality of life and even keep you alive longer.