7 Health Habits That Affect a Woman's Sex Life

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Susan Fishman, APC, CRC on December 10, 2021
  • Man in bed with hands behind head next to a sleeping woman
    Why Your Body Might Not Be in the Mood
    A healthy sex life is directly related to living a healthy life in general. In fact, some of your daily habits may be affecting you between the sheets. That’s good news because it means the same steps you can take to improve your lifestyle might give your libido a boost, too. Pay attention to these factors to keep yourself as potent as possible.
  • Stressed woman
    Living With Stress
    Your boss, your child’s report card, that incessant barking dog: these everyday stressors may be more damaging to your sex life than you think. Stress causes the release of cortisol, the “fight-or-flight” hormone that’s essential to the body in small doses, but in large quantities can kill the libido. So it’s important to de-stress before sex. Try a long walk, a good book, or a relaxing bath.
     
  • woman-on-pier
    Being Overweight
    Excess weight can do a number on your hormones. It shifts the balance between estrogen and testosterone, which women need to keep their mood, energy levels, and sex drive running smoothly (lower testosterone = lower sex drive). And certain health conditions linked to obesity, like diabetes and high cholesterol, can also have an effect on your libido. Plus, being overweight may contribute to poor body image, which can leave you feeling less than sexy.
     
  • woman eating chocolate
    Eating Too Much Fat
    A diet high in saturated fat not only can clog your arteries, it hinders the flow of blood to the genitals and makes it harder to achieve orgasm. Aim for a clean, heart-healthy diet that’s low in animal fats and whole-milk products and focus instead on healthy fats, such as avocados and almonds. These foods have also been found to enhance sexual function and desire, along with strawberries, oysters, and dark chocolate.
     
  • sleeping-problems
    Getting Too Little Sleep
    Ironically, choosing sleep over sex may be better for your sex life. Research shows women who don’t get enough quality sleep have lower libidos and less of an interest in sex. So the next time you’re too tired to do it, reassure your partner that catching some z’s will pay off for you both down the road.
     
  • Young couple enjoy break after riding bicycle outdoors.
    Riding a Bike
    Cycling is a great way to get you revved up for sex. Exercise in general helps increase blood flow and boosts endorphins and energy, which helps lift your mood. But did you know the type of bike you’re riding may be affecting your sex life? Research has shown bikes with handlebars positioned lower than the saddle were significantly associated with decreased genital sensation in female cyclists.
     
  • woman drinking beverage
    Drinking Too Much
    While a nice glass of wine or a good stiff drink can often set the mood, too much alcohol can kill it. Not only does it make it harder to make good sexual decisions (or remember them), it can also decrease a hormone called DHEA that leads to the production of male and female sex hormones and is related to sex drive.
     
  • http://content.bettermedicine.com/e5/5ec69070da11e08bb612313b0204f1/file/antidepressants.jpg
    Taking Antidepressants
    A dulled libido is a common side effect of antidepressants, along with other prescriptions, including drugs for high blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and anxiety. If you suspect a medication is the culprit, talk with your doctor about another treatment that may have fewer side effects. Exercise may also help. A recent study found women who were taking antidepressants improved their sexual satisfaction by doing three sweat-generating workouts per week.
     
7 Health Habits That Affect a Woman's Sex Life | Healthgradees

About The Author

Susan Fishman, APC, CRC is a veteran freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience in health education. She is also an Associate Professional Counselor and Clinical Rehabilitation Counselor, adding mental health and wellness to her area of expertise.

You can follow Susan’s work at http://www.writingbyfishman.com/ or https://twitter.com/@fishmanwriting on Twitter.
  1. Partin SN, Connell KA, Schrader S, LaCombe J, Lowe B, Sweeney A, Reutman S, Wang A, Toennis C, Melman A, Mikhail M, Guess MK. The bar sinister: does handlebar level damage the pelvic floor in female cyclists? J Sex Med. 2012;9(5):1367-73. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22390173
  2. 3 Lifestyle Habits That Can Boost Your Sex Drive. Health.com. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306901,00.html
  3. 15 Everyday Habits to Boost Your Libido. Time.com. http://time.com/12090/15-everyday-habits-to-boost-your-libido/
  4. The Relationship Between Sex and Food. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/loves-evolver/201102/the-relationship-between-sex-and-food
  5. DHEA. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/dhea/background/hrb-20059173
  6. Sexual difficulties. Women’s Health. http://womenshealth.gov/aging/sexual-health/sexual-difficulties.html
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Last Review Date: 2021 Dec 10
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.