Lack of libido or a sudden drop in sex drive is a common issue most adults face at some point in their life. While it is absolutely normal to undergo the so-called 'dry spells', the effects that lack of sex can have on one's body and general psyche seems not all that normal.
But worry not, not every bit of it is bad. Here's a round-up of all that the body undergoes when subjected to lack of sex:
1. Loss of Libido
"For some people who refrain from sex, they begin to feel more sluggish, with less vitality and hunger for sex," Sari Cooper, LCSW, certified sex therapist shared with Reader's Digest. "Out of sight out of mind is how some of my clients describe the scenario."
But that might not be the case for everyone as certain people can find the idea of sex even more tempting when going through a dry spell.
2. Vaginal walls weakening
Women entering menopause are the ones mainly affected by this problem. "Without regular frequency of intercourse as you get older the walls of your vagina thin out and can lead to painful sex when you finally get back into the sack," explained Sari.
The North American Menopause Society recommends having regular penetrative sex to benefit vaginal health during menopause.
3. Loss of lubrication
The lack of the female hormone estrogen in older women is a contributing factor to both lack of lubrication and thinning of vaginal walls.
"If you take a young woman who's 20 or 30 years old she's going to have plenty of estrogen around to make sure those tissues stay healthy, elastic, and lubricated when she's not having sex," explains Dr Lauren Streicher, an obstetrician-gynecologist from Chicago, Illinois. "If you take someone who's 60 and has no estrogen, she has lost that piece of it."
To combat the biological changes that come with aging and lack of sex, Sari suggests: "The vaginal lubrication lessens with age, and if you're not being turned on through self-pleasure, erotic books, videos, or a partner, the juice can begin to lessen more quickly."
4. Worsened period pain
As non-conducive the idea might seem, having sex during periods can ease menstrual cramps.
"The uterus is a muscle and many women will actually have a uterine contraction when they orgasm, which will cause the blood to expel more quickly, which will in turn decrease menstrual cramps," Dr Streicher explains.
"Also, there may be an increase in endorphins, which also will help with menstrual cramps."
5. Lessened risk of UTI
The final silver lining comes in the form of lessened risks of being infected not only with sexually transmitted diseases, but also urinary tract infections.
"It's intercourse that's responsible for potentially increasing the risk of recurrent bladder infections," says Dr Streicher, as the spread of bacteria occurs mostly from intercourse. Most cases of UTIs in premenopausal women occur within 24 hours of having sex.
As the journal American Family Physician states, "Frequency of sexual intercourse is the strongest predictor of recurrent urinary tract infections."