Tired Brits are having less sex than ever – but knocking back nookie can be bad for your health.
And about a third of adults are saying “not tonight, dear” or even “not ever” with stress and fatigue playing a big part.
Here, ex-Love Island star Dr Alex George gives the ins and outs of common sex issues and why romping can recharge you.
What are the benefits of sex?
“There are cardiovascular benefits because your pulse races, raising heart rate. It is good for our heart, blood vessels and cardiovascular health.
“Having regular sex is a great form of exercise and burns calories as well.”
Does it help mental health?
“Sexual health is incredibly important for our wellness in terms of our relationships.
“It’s a really amazing way to get close to someone. When you have sex and you’re happy and enjoying it, that releases endorphins, which lift mood.”
Does the G spot exist?
“There are different centres of pleasure for men and women. When it comes to sex, everyone is different, so what one person might find pleasurable might not be as nice for someone else.
“It’s about getting to know your body and communicating with your partner about what you like and don’t like.”
How do I know if I have an STI?
“You can have a sexually transmitted infection without realising – half of people with chlamydia won’t have any symptoms, yet it can still do damage and harm your fertility and general health.
“It is important to have regular screening checks every time you have unprotected sex with a new partner. Even if you’re in a stable relationship you should check once a year, just to be safe.
“The symptoms of STIs can vary between men and women, such as problems passing urine, excessive discharge or rashes. If you notice any changes, get checked out.
“The best way to protect against STIs is by using a barrier method such as a condom.”
What is erectile dysfunction and what causes it?
“It is incredibly common. One in five under 30s experience it every time they have sex. Unfortunately, it is something that people don’t often want to talk about.
“The most common causes of erectile dysfunction are lifestyle factors, such as lack of sleep, feeling fatigued, drinking too much and being very stressed.
“Sometimes anxiety around having sex itself can cause it. Physical causes can relate to heart problems, diabetes, and also some nerve problems.”
Why do you have low libido?
“Men and women can suffer from a low libido and it can happen for a number of reasons, like if you’re not feeling very happy, or you are very stressed.
“It’s very important to identify those factors and try to tackle them first. It is also important to discuss with your partner about how you’re feeling.”
When should you get help?
“Don’t feel embarrassed to seek help. Once you’ve been assessed by the doctor and any underlying causes are ruled out, the main treatments for erectile dysfunction include medication you take prior to having sex to increase the blood flow to the penis and give an erection.
“For those with anxiety, there are talking therapies. If you do want help, try Lloyds Pharmacy online doctor service.”
■ Dr Alex George is supporting the It’s Time We Talked campaign to reduce the stigma of erectile dysfunction. Visit onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com