Last updated:

November 4, 2022


 min read

Are there negative effects of not having sex for a long time?

We have heard a lot about the positive effects of having sex, but have you ever wondered what are the negative effects of not having it? Read this to find out!

Reviewed by
Dr. Ritika Sinha
Written by

Is it okay to not want to have sex?

First things first, it is completely okay to not want to have sex! No matter what society expects from you, sex - or anything else that concerns your body - is not compulsory. Only you get to decide how and how frequently you want to have, or not have, solo and partnered sex (given you participate in consensual activities with an adults(s), of course).

Plus, many people do not experience sexual attraction. They fall under the asexuality spectrum (part of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum) and might identify as asexual, aromantic and asexual, demisexual, etc. For them as well, the answer to ‘is it okay to not to want to have sex?’ is a resounding yes!

However, in case you are sexually active and are wondering if there are negative effects of not having sex for a long time, check out the list below. 

4 effects of not having sex 

Higher levels of stress

If you have not had sex in a while, you might see a rise in your stress levels as well as your blood pressure. Plus, not having sex means your brain is not releasing certain ‘happy hormones’, which can also multiply your stress levels. However, you can make up for this by regularly exercising in some way or form if you don’t want to be sexually active. 

Poor prostate health

This one applies to only penis owners. A 2016 study published in the European Urology journal stated that the frequency of ejaculation is inversely related to risks of prostate cancer. It went on to state that people who ejaculate seven times or fewer in a month are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer compared to the ones who ejaculate 20+ times during the same time span.  

Your pelvic floor might be out of shape

Not having sex for a long time can adversely impact how strong your pelvic floor is. It might also affect your ability to have orgasms in the future as well as the intensity of the same. Dr. Queen, a medical professional working with Columbia Surgery, notes “If you try to have [an orgasm], it might feel weaker, because the pelvic floor pulsing is the source of the pleasurable pulses we feel with orgasm.”

Quality of sleep can be affected

Both solo and partnered sex leads to the release of several hormones which can lead you to have a good night’s sleep. While hormones such as oxytocin and vasopressin lower your stress levels and help you fall asleep, the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine allow your body to get into the REM cycle of sleep. In other words, you can have a sound, comfortable sleep if you climax regularly before going to bed.

Need help?

Remember that while things might be difficult for you at the moment, you are not alone in this and help is always available! If your arousal levels have suddenly dropped or you are unable to have and/or initiate sex due to performance anxiety, ED, or other issues, it is best to see a doctor. They will help you identify what’s causing the problem and suggest a treatment plan accordingly. Based on their suggestion, you might also need to see a therapist as often, mental health concerns can impact how you experience intimacy. 

Wondering where to find the right doctor? That’s where Rocket Health comes in. Talk to someone from our team of experienced, non-judgemental doctors to get all your sexual health-related queries addressed today!