With obesity rates on the rise, the effects of being overweight have become the topic of increasing attention, and a great deal of effort has been put into making the public aware of the dangers of excess body fat. However, one aspect of this problem – its impact on sexual health – is often overlooked. While many individuals who are overweight do enjoy a satisfying sex life, men who are carrying excess weight should be aware of the potential adverse effects. Learning to embrace a healthy lifestyle and giving adequate attention to care of the penis may be of use in countering some of these effects.
1. Cardiovascular problems One of the most dangerous aspects of obesity is its effect on heart health. According to Jennifer Logue, MD, of the University of Glasgow, men who are obese have a 60% greater chance of suffering a fatal heart attack than men of normal body weight. Obesity-related circulatory problems are also a prominent factor in loss of penis function, which affects the ability of a man to achieve and maintain an erection.
2. Nerve damage. Sexual health depends in part on nerve function, which is also affected by obesity in certain respects. In the first place, the excess weight simply results in too much pressure on the nerve tissue, restricting its ability to transmit pleasurable sensations to the brain. Secondly, type 2 diabetes, a common obesity-related problem, is known to destroy nerve tissue; both of these issues can cause reduced penis sensitivity and impair the ability to enjoy sex.
3. Decreased immune function. Type 2 diabetes is also closely linked to immune function, impairing the body’s ability to fight off disease. Men who are overweight may be more likely to develop penis problems such as yeast infection and bacterial infections which may cause discomfort, as well as ongoing skin problems that can get in the way of sexual enjoyment and detract from the appearance and sensitivity of the penis.
4. Decreased stamina. Men who are overweight often report that sex with a partner is just too much of a chore, finding that they run out of steam before they are able to complete the act.
5. Body image. Men who are carrying excess weight often feel self-conscious about the way they look and are reluctant to engage in sex with a partner, as they believe that their appearance is off-putting. On top of this, fat in the abdominal area can make the penis appear smaller than it really is, adding to a man’s reluctance to get close enough for sex.
6. Self-esteem. The emotional damage caused by obesity cannot be overlooked, as it can lead to severe loss of self-esteem, which has a negative effect on a man’s libido and can even result in depression and other emotional problems.
Tips for coping with obesity and improving sexual function
While the ultimate answer for solving obesity-related problems is, of course, to lose weight, there are other steps that men can take during this process to support penis health and increase their enjoyment of sex:
· Eat a high-fiber, low fat diet. Eating right and avoiding fatty, salty foods can increase energy levels, promoting weight loss at the same time. Higher energy levels and the feeling of doing something positive in terms of weight loss can help boost body image and libido and lead to more satisfying sex.
· Exercising regularly not only helps the pounds melt away, it increases endorphin levels, helping men to feel better and more attractive, as well as increasing energy for sex.