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Liver Disease and Sex: An Informative Guide

This article discusses questions that may arise about engaging in sex while living with liver disease, including those concerning sexual dysfunction and low libido.

Sex is a beautiful thing. It’s what two people do to show how much they love each other, to reproduce, or just to have a good time. Having sex while living with liver disease is also a wonderful thing, though those suffering from various liver diseases are bound to have questions related to how it impacts their sex life.

  • Can liver disease cause erectile dysfunction?
  • How about impotence?
  • Will it affect my sperm count?
  • Are all of those the same thing?
  • Is it even okay to have sex?
  • Will I be contagious?

All of these questions about liver disease and sex will be answered in this informative guide.

Is it okay to have sex if suffering from liver disease?

Yes, it is okay to have sex while diagnosed with a liver disease. In fact, it is advised that you have sex while diagnosed.

Sex helps in a variety of ways. It can help release built up tension, it can improve your mood, it can improve your immunity, and it’s even a great form of exercise!

It’s always advised to practice safe sex, especially if you are suffering from something contagious, such as hepatitis B.

Is liver disease contagious? Can it be spread through sex?

Not all liver disease is contagious; however, hepatitis B is, as it can be transmitted by blood and bodily fluids. If you or your partner is suffering from hepatitis B, please be sure to use a condom and take other necessary measures.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) – also known as impotence – is a condition where the male is unable to make or maintain an erection for a sufficient amount of time. Impotence is not always a cause for concern as it is bound to happen from time to time. Though, it should be checked out if it’s a recurring issue. (1)

Can liver disease cause erectile dysfunction?

Yes, but it depends on the severity of the disease. For example those with early stage hepatitis C-induced liver cirrhosis are more likely to have ED than those infected with chronic hepatitis B. This is because patients with liver disease have elevated SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) and less albumin, which causes testosterone levels to decrease. Having low levels of testosterone will slow down your sex drive and make it difficult to have an erection. (5)

Does liver disease affect sperm?

Yes, cirrhosis of the liver causes an imbalance in hormones that can interfere with sperm production. (4)

Is there a female version of erectile dysfunction?

Yes, women can suffer from their own sexual dysfunction as well. It is when they have a recurring problem involving sexual response, desire, orgasm or pain. It can be due to a variety of issues. Sometimes it can be due to not feeling well mentally, other times it can be due to sickness, including from liver disease. Just like in men, it is not uncommon to have from time to time. However, if it becomes a recurring issue, it is worth addressing. (2)

Are there any other reasons why I’m not feeling in the mood lately to have sex?

Those suffering from liver disease tend to feel depressed and more fatigued. When they are feeling this way, they are less likely to be “in the mood.”

Similarly, medications that one takes for their disease may also decrease sex drive.

While you may not be feeling so great, the good news is that sex can actually help you feel better. As previously mentioned, it can help release built up tension and improve your general mood.

What can I do to improve my sex drive?

There are a variety of ways to address sexual dysfunction or impotence. A doctor can likely prescribe you with a medication to help improve your sex drive.

But, if you are looking for a more natural remedy, here are 6 options to help get your groove back. (3)

6 Natural Ways to Improve Your Sex Drive

Talking to your partner is one natural way to improve your sex drive when you're suffering from liver disease.

  1. Exercise – Hitting the gym or going for a nice jog can help improve your libido by increasing your strength and stamina while also enhancing your body image. It will also help you get in a better mood. If you need a little energy boost in order to get to the gym.
  2. Stop stressing – Sometimes when you stress too much about things it becomes hard to do much of anything else. If you find a better way to cope with stress of everyday life you may find yourself in a better mood and ready to get it on. One way to lower your stress levels is with CBD oil; it can provide a sense of calm throughout your body.
  3. Talk to your partner – Sometimes it can feel like you and your partner are on another planet and can’t get through to each other on an emotional – let alone sexual – level. Talk to them about what’s on your mind. Once you two come to an understanding outside the bedroom, you can have more fun in the bedroom.
  4. Schedule some time for love – When you’re too busy, it can become difficult to find time to have sex and be intimate with your partner. Consider scheduling certain nights (or days) in the week to be intimate with your partner. If you have it set into a schedule it should be easier for the two of you to connect.
  5. Spice things up – Maybe your sex life is just becoming a little stale? You’re doing a lot of the same over and over. Consider some new positions. Play dress up. Integrate food into the mix. Play some music. Maybe light a few candles. Try it in the shower. Do something different that can potentially excite both you and your partner. But be safe and make sure you are both in your comfort zones.
  6. Avoid certain vices – Drinking, smoking, and drugs can affect your performance in the bedroom. Also, if you are suffering from liver disease, you should really cut those things out if you want to heal.


If none of these solutions work, you may want to consult with a physician or a specialist to see what they can suggest for you. Just because you are living with liver disease, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be enjoying sex.

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About the Author

Stephen Holt, MD, PhD, FACP

Stephen Holt, M.D. is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine NYCPM (Emerite) and a medical practitioner in New York State. He has published many peer-review papers in medicine and he is a best-selling author with more than twenty books in national and international distribution. He has received many awards for teaching and research. Dr. Holt is a frequent lecturer at scientific meetings and healthcare facilities throughout the world. He is a best selling author and the founder of the Holt Institute of Medicine.

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