10 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Stop Having Sex

Consider this a sign to bring your partner to bed.

Last updated on Sep 15, 2022

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There are many reasons your sex life may have hit a brick wall. Maybe you're going through a breakup.

Perhaps you or your partner are going through a rough time. Or maybe it's just life, kids, or work getting in the way. A few days can turn into weeks or months, and before you know it, you haven't had sex in so long that you kind of stop missing it... kind of.

Sadly, not having sex has pretty much become your new normal.


We all go through our sexual ruts from time to time. And while they're no fun and we may even get bitter about it, it turns out that you may have very real physiological reactions to a lack of sexual activity if you go without sex for too long.

RELATED: 14 Health Benefits Of Sex To Get You In The Mood


Some of those reactions can be pretty intense. From mental health issues like decreased concentration and depression to an increased risk for life-threatening medical conditions, a lack of sex is about a lot more than feeling sorry for yourself.

So, the next time that guy you're dating tells you he will die if he doesn't get with you, well... he's probably just a jerk. But if you've been sexually active for a long time and then you stop having sex, he may be (somewhat) on to something.

Here are 10 things that happen to your body when you don't have sex for a long time.

1. You get sick more often.

Sex educator Dr. Cory B. Honickman says our immune system gets weaker when we're not having sex on a regular basis.

Want to avoid the cold and flu? Have more sex. Sounds like a win-win proposition if you ask us.


2. Your stress levels increase.

You can get more anxious because there's a decrease in feel-good hormones being released, says Honickman.

Not having sex is stressful. Research even shows that when you're going through a sex rut, you may have a harder time keeping your blood pressure down and dealing with stress-inducing situations.

RELATED: Oxytocin: How The 'Love Hormone' Bizarrely Affects Men And Women

3. You have a harder time getting aroused.

To make matters worse, men could begin to suffer from erectile dysfunction, specifically premature ejaculation, when they go for a long time without having sex.

The findings of a study published in the American Journal of Medicine show that men who have sex less than once a week are twice as likely to experience erectile dysfunction as men who have sex once per week or more.


4. Your dreams change.

On the positive side of things, you may start having sex dreams or even orgasms in your sleep. It's not the same as the real deal, but it's a nice substitute.

5. You lose the urge to have sex.

One of the most interesting parts of what happens to your body when you stop having sex is that you stop craving it as much.

Dr. Honickman says that you will start to want sex less if you haven't gotten any in a while. Your libido is going to feel off or different than it normally does, and it's normal if that feels abnormal.

6. You grow apart from your partner.

If you're in a relationship, you may start getting insecure about the connection you have with your partner. To that end, other people are going to become more attractive to you.


Take this as a sign that a healthy sex life is important.

RELATED: No Affection Killing Your Relationship? How To Save An Affection-Starved Marriage

7. Your self-esteem might suffer.

You may feel less attractive and more depressed. It's believed semen has many health benefits, including anti-depressant qualities — and no, that's not just something men have made up.

Fascinatingly, research shows women who have sex without their male partner using a condom report significantly lower levels of depression and suicide attempts.

8. Your risk for prostate cancer rises.

It's more than your immune system. It's been clinically proven that a man's risk for prostate cancer rises if he goes without having sex for long periods of time.


That seems pretty unfair. No orgasms and you might die. Thanks, universe.

9. Your vaginal walls get weaker.

Having sex can be like a workout for your Kegel muscles, which play an important role not only in childbirth and labor recovery, but in bladder control throughout your life.

So even if you aren't getting any, it's important to remember to do your Kegel exercises on a daily basis.


10. On the plus side, your risk of contracting an STI decreases.

Hey, there's a silver lining to just about everything.

Interestingly, your risk of contracting a urinary tract infection (UTI) is also lowered when you stop having sex. In fact, one study found that frequency of sexual intercourse "is the strongest predictor of recurrent urinary tract infections" in women. So at least there's that.

RELATED: Exactly How Much Sex You Should Be Having

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her.