ONE of the three main coronavirus symptoms listed by the NHS can put you off having sex, a study has warned.
Anosmia was listed in May last year after a surge in people testing positive for the virus displayed the symptom and researchers have now linked the sign to decreased sexual motivation.
The study looked specifically at older people and their sex driveCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The NHS lists the three main symptoms of Covid-19 as a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell (anosmia).
If you have any of these symptoms then you should get a test and isolate.
But it’s likely if you and your partner are isolating and experiencing anosmia, that your time between the sheets will be uneventful.
US researchers said that a sense of smell can play a strong role in sexual motivation and said they are “intimately linked”.
Writing in The Journal of Sexual Medicine the experts said emotional satisfaction dropped in older adults who displayed the symptom.
They analysed 2,084 adults aged 65 and older and looked at how a loss of sense of smell impacted older people’s sexual desires.
To measure their sense of smell they used smelling sticks and linked this to their frequency of sexual thoughts by using a questionnaire.
They also asked about how satisfied they were with their most recent sexual experience.
Study author Jesse K. Siegel at the University of Chicago said: “Decreased olfactory function in older US adults was associated with decreased sexual motivation and less emotional satisfaction with sex, but not decreased frequency of sexual activity or physical pleasure.
“Our research shows a decline in olfactory function may affect sexual pleasure in older adults.
“Therefore, treatable causes of sensory loss should be addressed by clinicians to improve sexual health.”
The olfactory system is how your body processes your sense of smell.
Your sense of smell can have an impact on your behaviour and help you detect different situationsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Olfaction occurs when an odor attaches itself to a receptor in the nasal cavity.
It then transmits a signal through the olfactory system – which can be different for everyone as most people interpret smell different.
For example some people enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass, while others dislike it.
Olfaction has many functions and can help you detect hazards and pheromones.
Pheromones are chemicals that act like hormones outside the body.
There are several which relate to food, sex and alarm – all of which can effect the behaviour of an individual.
The experts also adjusted their study in terms of age, gender, race, education, cognition, comorbidities and depression .
However they stated that it’s not known if loss of smell is the main cause of decreased sex drive.
They added: “Olfaction has a strong, evolutionary-conserved connection to the limbic system, which plays a critical role in processing emotions and sexual motivation.
“Neurons in the olfactory bulb also project directly to the hypothalamus, another key mediator of sexual motivation.”
The study was undertaken before the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe so the the researchers were unable to produce data on if people with Covid-19 have a lower sex drive if they experience anosmia.