Unveiling the Hidden Impact of Lyme on Your Sex Life

Man and woman hiking in Infected ticks forest with warning sign. Risk of tick-borne and lyme disease.
Medically Reviewed
June 12, 2024

Lyme disease is an underlying condition that can contribute to a host of symptoms that don’t necessarily add up to a definitive cause. As a result, it’s woefully underdiagnosed in conventional medicine.  

While some symptoms of Lyme are well known, such as the bull’s eye rash and extreme fatigue, others can lead doctors down the wrong potential path of diagnosis. For example, many don’t realize the impact chronic Lyme disease can have on sexual function and libido. 

Lyme Disease: A Complex Puzzle 

Lyme disease, caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria transmitted by ticks, is more than the classic “bulls-eye” rash we see in textbooks. It’s a stealthy invader that can wreak havoc on the body long after the initial infection. Unfortunately, the standard diagnostic approach often falls short. Conventional testing may miss chronic Lyme, leaving patients frustrated and without answers. 

This is where functional medicine comes in. We delve deeper, using advanced diagnostic tools like blood tests that assess immune function, inflammation markers, and even specific Lyme antigens. These tests give us a clearer picture of what’s happening beneath the surface, allowing us to develop a personalized treatment plan to address the root cause, not just the symptoms. 

The Body Under Siege: How Lyme Disrupts Your Sex Life 

So, how exactly can Lyme disease affect your sex drive and sexual function? The answer lies in the multifaceted nature of Lyme and its impact on the body’s systems. Here are some ways Lyme can disrupt your intimacy: 

  • Hormonal Imbalances: Lyme can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. This can lead to decreased libido, irregular menstrual cycles, and even erectile dysfunction. 
  • Neurological Issues: Lyme can affect the nervous system, causing fatigue, brain fog, and pain. These symptoms can make it difficult to focus on intimacy and dampen your desire for sex. 
  • Chronic Inflammation: Lyme triggers a persistent inflammatory response throughout the body. This inflammation can affect blood flow to the genitals, impacting arousal and sexual function. 
  • Musculoskeletal Pain: Lyme-related joint pain and muscle aches can make sex physically uncomfortable, further hindering intimacy. 
  • Emotional Toll: Chronic illnesses like Lyme can take a significant emotional toll, leading to anxiety, depression, and stress. These can all decrease your interest in sex. 

Beyond Antibiotics: A Functional Approach to Reclaiming Your Health and Sex Life 

The good news is that there’s hope. While antibiotics play a role in the initial stages of Lyme treatment, functional medicine offers a more comprehensive approach to fighting chronic Lyme and restoring your health – including your sex life. Here’s what a functional medicine approach might entail: 

  • Dietary Optimization: Food sensitivities and leaky gut can exacerbate Lyme symptoms. A personalized elimination diet with a functional nutrition approach can help identify and eliminate triggers, reducing inflammation and promoting overall gut health. 
  • Supplement Support: Supplements like vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium can support the immune system and address specific deficiencies that may contribute to symptoms. 
  • Stress Management Techniques: Techniques like mindfulness meditation and breathwork can help manage stress and anxiety, promoting better sleep and improved overall well-being. 
  • Addressing Underlying Issues: Functional medicine practitioners look for underlying imbalances that may have contributed to susceptibility to Lyme or made recovery more challenging. These could include gut dysbiosis, adrenal fatigue, or heavy metal toxicity. 
  • Integrative Therapies: Acupuncture helps fight inflammation, promote detoxification, and reduce stress. Lymphatic Drainage massage is beneficial in keeping the detox channels in the body open to remove all the bacterial debris and toxic waste. Equiscope: helps restore cellular function and repairs cell signaling, which promotes healing and lowers inflammation 
  • Targeted IV Therapy: Ozone and NAD+ therapies can help to reduce Lyme bacteria, stimulate the immune system, and aid in the natural healing processes in the body. 

Open Communication and a Supportive Partnership 

Recovering from chronic Lyme is a journey, and it’s important to remember you’re not alone. Open communication with your partner is crucial.  

Explain how Lyme is affecting you, and be honest about your needs. Explore alternative forms of intimacy that can create connections and build emotional closeness. 

Remember, sex is more than just physical. It’s about intimacy, connection, and emotional well-being. By addressing the root causes of Lyme and focusing on a holistic approach to healing, you can reclaim your health and create a fulfilling sex life as part of your overall well-being. 

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for any questions or concerns about Lyme disease or your specific health condition. 

StephanieM Headshot Doctor - Nava Health

Stephanie is an autoimmune advocate and Functional Nutritionist who blends science, humor, and herbalism to create personalized nutrition and integrative health strategies. With over five years of clinical experience, Stephanie has helped numerous clients overcome various health issues, from weight management to autoimmunity and hormonal balance.