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How Stress Can Affect Female Sexual Health

The effects of stress on general health and wellness are widely known. However, the impact of stress on sex life is often not discussed. Stressful situations can affect the mind and body in many ways, affecting libido.

Unlike men, stressful situations affect women’s minds more than their bodies.

Having a clogged brain easily turns off sexual thoughts and fantasies. If a woman is distracted by stress, she can hardly focus on arousal and orgasm.

How Does Stress Affect Sex Drive?

Sex drive is naturally driven by hormones. Progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen increase or decrease libido depending on production surge. If you are stressed, there’s increased production of cortisol in the body, which suppresses the production and actions of sex hormones. Having a low sex drive is stressful, further worsening the situation. Stress affects sex drive in the following ways:

  • Excessive cortisol production suppresses testosterone production in the body. Testosterone is the hormone behind sexual pleasure and arousal. Increased cortisol production also affects dehydroepiandrosterone secretion, further suppressing your sex drive.
  • High cortisol levels also bring forth undesirable side effects, such as fatigue, weight gain, and insomnia, which indirectly affect libido.

You may be wondering, can women take Viagra for a stress-related decline in sex drive? Check out to learn the potential benefits and drawbacks of using Viagra for women with sexual dysfunction.

How to Improve Your Sex Drive

The following tips will help you improve your libido gradually:

1. Eat stress-relieving and aphrodisiac food

Including stress-relieving and aphrodisiac foods in the diet is among the many ways of relieving chronic stress gradually. These foods contain ingredients that alleviate adrenal stress and improve libido. They include:

  • Vegetables – Asparagus and other fresh vegetables contain B vitamins, which relieve stress while enhancing sexual arousal and orgasm. Celery, spinach, carrots, and avocado also have the same benefits.
  • Proteins – Eating at least 50 grams of fish daily can improve your sex drive. Out of the many sources of proteins, you should choose fish. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish help in regulating adrenal hormones. You should also try oysters and octopus.
  • Sweet things – Natural sugars, especially from fruits like blueberries, increase energy and dopamine production and boost sexual pleasure. Watermelons also have phytonutrients that are converted to L-arginine. L-arginine boosts blood circulation in sexual organs.

2. Contain your stress

Chronic stress will severely affect your sexual drive, arousal, and orgasm. Unfortunately, cortisol production during stress can turn into a vicious cycle that can’t be stopped easily. Therefore, you should learn and try various stress management techniques.

However, if the stressful situation is beyond your control, consider using supplements. Various supplements can help control cortisol production in the body. Natural supplements contain ingredients that calm the adrenal glands and increase the production of DHEA. Asparagus roots, Siberian ginseng, and Rhodiola also alleviate stress symptoms, such as fatigue.


Female sexual health is complicated and vulnerable to many issues, including stress. Besides the visible physical symptoms, stress affects mental and emotional health, directly affecting your libido.