Obesity Can Hinder Sexual Health, Study Shows

Obesity can put a damper on your sex life, suggests a new study, which points to issues ranging from impotence to an increased risk of STDs.

Obesity can have a negative impact on sexual health for both men and women, a team of French and British researchers reports in a new study.

Researchers surveyed the sexual lives of 12,364 men and women between the age of 18 and 69. Half were of a normal weight according to their BMI, while 2,500 were considered overweight and 750 were obese.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, is the first to investigate the impact of obesity on sexual activity as well as factors like unintended pregnancy and sexual satisfaction. According to the findings, the number of unplanned pregnancy is four times higher for obese women than those of a normal weight, even though obese women tend to have fewer sexual partners.

“Because of social pressure or social stigmatization, obese women are less likely to engage in sexual intercourse and more likely to find sexual partners via the Internet,” Dr. Nathalie Bajos, lead researcher and research director at France’s National Institute for Health and Medical Research, told HealthDay. She added, “Because of their obesity, they are not comfortable meeting men through friends, through work, through parties.”

The study also found that men who are obese have a higher risk of impotence and a greater risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Of the male study participants, obese men were two and a half times more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction and were 70 percent less likely to have had more than one sexual partner in the past year than men of a normal, healthy weight.

The findings indicate that being obese can not only harm your health, but it can harm your sex life as well.

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