Low Libido to Vaginal Dryness: 10 Side Effects of Not Having Sex for a Long Time

Side Effects of Not Having Sex
Side Effects of Not Having Sex

Sexual intimacy plays a crucial role in human relationships and overall well-being. When individuals abstain from sexual activity for a prolonged period, it can have various side effects on their physical and emotional health.

In this article, we will explore the side effects of not having sex for a long time, specifically focusing on low libido and vaginal dryness, and delve into the ten potential consequences that can arise from this prolonged abstinence.

10 Side Effects of Not Having Sex for a Long Time

Here are the side effects of not having sex for a long time:

1. Decreased Libido

One of the primary side effects of not having sex for a long time is decreased libido. Libido refers to a person’s sexual desire or appetite.

When individuals abstain from sexual activity, the lack of sexual stimulation can lead to decreased libido.

Hormonal imbalances, reduced blood flow to the genital area, and psychological factors such as stress and anxiety can contribute to this decrease in sexual desire.

2. Emotional Distress

The absence of sexual intimacy can have emotional consequences. Engaging in sexual activity releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of pleasure and well-being.

When individuals refrain from sexual activity, they may experience increased stress, anxiety, and mood swings.

These emotional challenges can negatively impact their overall mental health and well-being.

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3. Weakened Pelvic Floor Muscles

Regular sexual activity helps in toning and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support the pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum.

When individuals abstain from sex, the lack of muscle stimulation can lead to weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Weakened pelvic floor muscles may result in issues such as urinary incontinence, prolapse, and decreased vaginal tightness.

4. Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is a common side effect of not having sex for a long time. Sexual activity promotes natural lubrication in the vagina, keeping it moist and healthy.

However, when individuals abstain from sexual intercourse, the vaginal tissues may not receive sufficient stimulation to produce adequate lubrication.

This can lead to vaginal dryness, causing discomfort, pain, and increased susceptibility to vaginal infections.

5. Reduced Blood Flow to Genital Area

Sexual activity increases blood flow to the genital area, which is essential for maintaining sexual health.

When individuals abstain from sex, the reduced blood flow to the genital region can have several consequences.

It may result in decreased sensitivity, reduced sexual pleasure, and difficulties achieving arousal and orgasm.

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6. Increased Risk of Sexual Dysfunction

Long-term abstinence from sexual activity can increase the risk of developing sexual dysfunctions.

Conditions such as erectile dysfunction in men and difficulty reaching orgasm or experiencing pain during intercourse in women may arise due to the lack of sexual stimulation.

Additionally, individuals may find it challenging to regain their sexual function once they resume sexual activity after a prolonged period of abstinence.

7. Relationship Strain

Sexual intimacy plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy and satisfying relationship. When couples do not engage in sexual activity for an extended period, it can lead to relationship strain.

Intimacy, connection, and bonding may be compromised, affecting the overall quality and satisfaction within the relationship.

Communication and understanding are essential in addressing these challenges and finding alternative ways to connect emotionally and physically.

8. Negative Body Image and Self-Esteem

Sexual activity can contribute to an individual’s body image and self-esteem. Engaging in intimate acts with a partner often leads to feelings of desirability and attractiveness.

When individuals abstain from sexual activity, they may experience a decline in self-esteem and body confidence.

This can hurt their self-perception and affect their confidence in initiating or enjoying sexual experiences.

9. Increased Stress Levels

Sexual activity releases endorphins, which are natural stress relievers. When individuals do not have sex for an extended period, they miss out on the mood-enhancing benefits of these endorphins.

Consequently, their stress levels may increase, and they may experience difficulties managing daily stressors.

Finding alternative ways to reduce stress, such as exercise, mindfulness, or hobbies, can help mitigate these effects.

10. Impacted Sleep Patterns

Sexual activity has been shown to promote better sleep. It releases oxytocin, a hormone that induces relaxation and feelings of contentment.

When individuals abstain from sexual activity, they may experience difficulty falling asleep or achieving restful sleep.

This can result in disrupted sleep patterns, leading to daytime fatigue and decreased overall well-being.

Relationship Effects

Strained Intimate Relationships

Explanation of how long periods without sex can strain intimate relationships: Prolonged periods without sexual activity can potentially strain intimate relationships due to various reasons:

Emotional Disconnect:

Sexual intimacy often plays a vital role in fostering emotional connection and bonding between partners.

Lack of sexual activity may lead to emotional disconnect, reducing feelings of closeness and intimacy.

Decreased Relationship Satisfaction:

Sexual activity is an important aspect of many intimate relationships, and the absence of it can impact overall relationship satisfaction. Unfulfilled sexual desires or frustrations may lead to dissatisfaction or resentment.

Communication Challenges

Sexuality is a significant area of communication and negotiation within relationships. When sexual activity decreases or stops, it can be challenging for couples to communicate their desires, concerns, and expectations effectively.

This lack of communication may create misunderstandings or further strain the relationship.

Mismatched Libidos

Differences in sexual desire between partners can become more pronounced during a lack of sexual activity.

One partner may desire more frequent sexual encounters, while the other may have a lower libido. This can lead to feelings of frustration, rejection, or inadequacy.

Resentment and Frustration

If one partner desires sexual activity and the other does not, it can lead to resentment and frustration. The partner with unmet sexual needs may feel neglected or unimportant, while the other may feel pressured or guilty.

Relationship Tension

A lack of sexual activity can create tension and contribute to dissatisfaction within the relationship. It may manifest as increased arguments, decreased emotional intimacy, or decreased overall relationship satisfaction.

Negative Self-Perception

Individuals who desire sexual activity but do not engage in it may experience a negative impact on their self-esteem and self-image. They may question their attractiveness, desirability, or ability to please their partner.

Infidelity or Relationship Strain:

In some cases, the absence of sexual activity may lead to increased temptation or the potential for infidelity. It can also strain the emotional connection between partners, affecting other areas of the relationship.

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Are There Benefits of Not Having Sex?

While sexual activity can have numerous physical, emotional, and relational benefits, it’s worth noting that there may be some benefits to not having sex in certain circumstances. Here are a few potential benefits:

Focus on Personal Growth: By abstaining from sexual activity, individuals can redirect their energy and focus on personal development, self-exploration, and achieving personal goals. This can involve pursuing hobbies, education, career aspirations, or other areas of personal interest.

Emotional Independence: Not engaging in sexual activity can allow individuals to prioritize their emotional well-being and develop self-reliance. This can involve building self-confidence, self-esteem, and a deeper understanding of personal boundaries and desires.

Avoiding Risks: By abstaining from sex, individuals can avoid certain risks associated with sexual activity. This includes the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies. It can provide peace of mind and eliminate concerns about these potential health risks.

Rebuilding Trust and Healing: In situations with a breach of trust or emotional trauma related to sex, choosing not to engage in sexual activity temporarily can create space for healing and rebuilding trust within a relationship. It allows individuals to focus on emotional connection, communication, and rebuilding intimacy at their own pace.

Prioritizing Consent and Boundaries: Not having sex can be a conscious choice to prioritize consent and boundaries. It allows individuals to clearly communicate their comfort levels, desires, and limitations. This can contribute to fostering healthy relationships built on mutual respect and understanding.


Can not having sex lead to permanent low libido?

Not having sex for a long time does not necessarily lead to permanent low libido. In most cases, once individuals resume sexual activity, their libido can return to normal. However, underlying factors such as hormonal imbalances, relationship issues, or certain medical conditions may contribute to prolonged low libido. Consulting a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate treatment is important.

How can I improve my libido if I haven’t had sex in a while?

If you haven’t had sex in a while and are experiencing a decrease in libido, there are several steps you can take to improve it. Prioritize self-care, manage stress levels, exercise regularly, communicate openly with your partner about your desires and fantasies, and consider exploring new ways to enhance sexual intimacy. Additionally, seeking guidance from a healthcare professional or a sex therapist can provide personalized strategies to address your concerns.

Can vaginal dryness be treated without sexual activity?

Yes, vaginal dryness can be treated without sexual activity. Various options include over-the-counter lubricants and moisturizers designed to alleviate vaginal dryness. Healthcare professionals may also recommend hormone replacement therapy or localized estrogen treatments in certain cases. Consulting a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options is important.


Abstaining from sex for a long time can have several side effects on physical and emotional well-being.

From decreased libido to vaginal dryness, weakened pelvic floor muscles to increased risk of sexual dysfunction, the consequences can be significant.



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