It may be a common sense notion, but now research bolsters the link between unhealthy lifestyle choices and sexual dysfunction in men.
In a new study, Danish scientists found that weight problems, physical inactivity, high alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, and hard drugs were associated with sexual dysfunctions in men.
The study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine also discovered that an unhealthy lifestyle is more common in persons who are sexually inactive.
Researchers led by Associate Professor Morten Frisch, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., used nationally representative survey data from 5,552 Danish men and women aged 16 – 97 years in 2005 to study the association of lifestyle factors with sexual inactivity and sexual dysfunction.
Investigators found that unhealthy lifestyle factors are associated with increased risk of not having a partner-related sex life by up to 78 percent in men and up to 91 percent in women.
Among those who had a sexual partner, risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction was greater in men who lead unhealthy lives by 71 percent among those with substantially increased waist circumference and more than 800 percent in men using hard drugs.
Women who used hashish had almost 3 times increased risk of anorgasmia (difficulties or inability to reach climax during sexual activity with a partner) compared to non-users.
“Hopefully our findings can be used in future counseling of patients with unhealthy lifestyles,” Frisch said.
“Knowing about possible negative consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle to one’s sexual health may help people quit smoking, consume less alcohol, exercise more, and lose weight.”
“There are many reasons for sexual dysfunction, including those over which you have no control, such as after cancer treatments, or following injuries,” said Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of the journal, “but lifestyle and recreational drug use are individual 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.”