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How Weight Gain May Impact Sex Drive

Research suggests that being overweight can impact your libido. According to a study from Duke University, up to 30% of obese people seeking help controlling their weight indicated problems with sex drive, desire, performance, or all three. These issues can be traced to physical conditions that co-exist with obesity.


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Men who are overweight are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.

An Australian study discovered that losing just 5% to 10% of body weight over a two-month period improved the erectile function, and sex drive, of obese men with diabetes. 1

“Medical conditions such as high cholesterol and insulin resistance (an early indicator of type 2 diabetes) have the ability to impact sexual performance, which in turn impacts desire, particularly in men,” says Andrew McCollough, , MD, Director of Sexual Health and Male Infertility at NYU Medical Center in New York.

“We are beginning to see that the width of the blood vessels leading to the clitoris (the area of the vagina most closely related to sexual response) in women are affected by the same kind of blockages that impact blood flow to the penis,” says Susan Kellogg, , PhD, Director of Sexual Medicine at the Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute of Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia.


The more body fat you have, the higher your levels of a natural chemical known as SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin). It’s aptly named because it binds to the sex hormone testosterone. Doctors theorize that the more testosterone that is bound to SHBG, the less there is available to stimulate desire.

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