It’s not just the mental health effects of packing on the pounds that could hamper your sex drive—it could come with physiological effects, too.
Guys with “central obesity,” or a waist circumference of 40 inches or above, had significantly lower levels of testosterone than men with more svelte waists, a 2014 study in found.
“Some people think low sex drive doesn’t happen for men, but it absolutely does, it can be common,” says researcher Andrea Fagiolini, M.
D., of the University of Siena in Italy, who notes that it’s not always a psychological condition—say, an issue you’re having with or about your partner—but often a physiological one.
“Doing a sleep study and getting treatment [like a CPAP machine] can alleviate many symptoms,” he says. These can lower testosterone levels and suppress sexual function.
But high cortisol levels over time become a major problem in many significant ways, she notes.
“When you operate on maximum cortisol, everything is affected,” Dr. “Your sleep is off, you store fat more easily, you’re anxious, you increase systemic inflammation, and you could develop thyroid issues.” Any of these situations can affect your libido, she adds. Work on stress management techniques like deep breathing, going to bed earlier, and eating healthier.
“Find something that you really enjoy and do it every day,” suggests Dr. And hey, that can even include sex (Plus, 19 other ways to live a stress-free life).
In an Italian study, researchers recruited men who’d been diagnosed with sexual arousal disorders, and had them sit in front of light boxes every day for two weeks.
Half the group got a major dose that mimicked natural sunlight amounts, while the other half got only a small fraction of that amount.