What does sex, fitness, and bariatric surgery have in common? Not only will I answer this question, I will explain how fitness can lead to a better sex life.
Fitness and sex generally go hand in hand. The right amount of exercise can boost one’s sex drive, but too much, i.e. overtraining, can kill it. They call exercise a natural Viagra for both males and females. It lowers erectile problems in men and boosts libido in women.
Why you ask? Because exercise increases blood flow throughout the body which includes to the genital areas, which means better sexual function. Exercise can also make one feel more sexually desirable, which in turn can also lead to better sex. Exercise also produces more strength, flexibility, and stamina. Better for those crazy sex positions and long sex sessions.
Sex can be included as exercise, but that will entirely depend on the intensity and duration of the session. An average of 3-4 calories is burned per minute of sex. It doesn’t burn nearly as many as say a cardio session. Thirty minutes of sex burns three times less calories than thirty minutes on the treadmill.
Now how does this all fit in with bariatric patients? A lot of patients didn’t want or couldn’t do a lot of physical exercise pre-surgery. Excess fat affects a person’s hormones (there can be other factors as well) by reducing production. Too much excess fat means lower testosterone, lower endorphins, and lower adrenaline. Lower if these mean lower sex drive as they are considered a sex cocktail.
Post bariatric surgery things start to change for most. Lowering levels of body fat means boosting of hormones. It also means a post bariatric surgery patient, or anyone losing weight, is also starting to get more exercise. It might not be a lot at first, but it’s a start.
Unfortunately, some patients do have hormone imbalances that need to be addressed by a doctor. It is natural for a woman’s testosterone levels (yes , women have testosterone) to start reducing at age 20. For men, it starts at age 30. Depending on how low the levels are a doctor may suggest a testosterone booster, to boost the natural levels in the body. Or if the level is extremely low or not there, replacement testosterone like in a shot may be recommended. Both need to be recommended and supervised by a physician when first starting out, especially if using hormone replacement therapy. There are certain tests that doctors can have done to test the levels.
Overall as a bariatric patient, or someone who’s went through some type of weight loss, your enhanced self-image plays a large part as it helps you feel sexy. Add exercise into this, it not only enhances self-image, but also enhances your testosterone, endorphins, and adrenaline.
Now some Bariatric patients, even non-bariatric patients have something called body dysmorphia, where their self-image still sees the old them and not the changes that have happened. This is when you need to again consult a doctor and possibly a therapist. Therapy can help you see your true self. This negative self-image can negatively not only affect your overall mood, but due to the low feelings and low self-esteem, it can affect your overall sex drive. You don’t feel sexy so in turn you don’t want your other half to see you naked which means no urge for sex.
So while Fitness can help your sex drive, if you still don’t have one after having bariatric surgery or weight loss in general you need to have a discussion with your doctor about what could be going on.