Can too much sex have side-effects?

Are you becoming an addict who cannot stop thinking about or having sex? This is how it can affect you.

I am a recently married woman and my husband wants to have sex all the time, even if I am not interested. I have said no at several occasions but that has really made him angry. I think he is a sex addict and I want to help him deal with the problem. Could you tell me more on this and whether too much sex can have any side-effects? 

Sex is no doubt one of the most pleasurable activities but can too much of it have side-effects on your health? Who decides how much is too much? What makes one a sex addict? Dr Hemant Mittal, a Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist at Mind Mantra, answers these questions and shares tips to tackle this problem. 

How does one know they are a sex addict? What are the symptoms?

The affected person is unable to control their sexual urges, behaviour or thoughts.

This eventually leads to high level of sexual activity this activity might be masturbation, watching adult entertainment (porn, novels, and photos) and/or have sexual intercourse. 

What are the plausible causes of sex addiction?

Sexual addiction can be due to:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Damage to certain part of the brain

What is categorised as excessive sex or sex addiction?

The affected individual has very high distressing thoughts, behaviour or urges about sex.

He is unable to control their sexual thoughts, and many a times these are relived only after indulging in sexual activity (types of which are mentioned above).

The thoughts, urges or behaviour are constantly distressing for a period of over 2 weeks. In many cases, the affected person knows he is excessively indulging into them, but finds himself helpless to stop.

What can one do if they are addicted to sex?

First step is to seek help. Since the addict is not able to control his mind, it s essential he shares his thoughts with a friend/family member.

The role of the friend/family member is to take the person to a psychiatrist. It s essential to define the root cause. In early cases counselling works, but in cases more than a year old medications are the only cure.

How can their partner help them in any way?

By understanding this is a medical problem which requires keen attention from a trained professional.

How will they react if they do not have sex when they have the urge to do so?

They experience a wide range of symptoms that go from intense anger, irritation, sweating, anxiety, tremors, sleeplessness, extreme suspiciousness on partner/family, headaches, nausea, vomiting.

Is there any way to stop or control this problem?

Medications and counselling are a major part of the treatment. It s followed by lifestyle modification and support groups.

What are the implications of this condition on a person mentally and physically?

They can leave a very negative impact on their partner, family life and social life. Physically it can be very draining, but psychological effects can be life-long.

Other possible side-effects of excess sex:

  • Women can become more prone to contracting UTIs and vaginal infections if they have too much sex at a time.
  • Chances of unwanted pregnancies also increase even if you have protected intercourse as contraceptive methods are not a 100% reliable.
  • Men can have a sore penis after too much sex and it can be difficult to pee as well after ejaculation.
  • Your relationship with your partner can go south as they may not be in the mood to have sex all the time like you.

So, even though having sex is healthy, make sure you do not overdo it and if you notice addiction symptoms in your partner, consult an expert at the earliest to get proper help.

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