After a gorgeous two-week vacation in Thailand, my fiancé and I returned, exhausted, but excited to be back home in our beautiful Vancouver. There were many things that we loved about our vacation, but on our return, the one that kept biting us in our butts was jetlag. It was awful. It took me a full week to get back to the normal “me”.

I couldn’t help but wonder that if jetlag can so easily drain our daily routine and flush it down the drain, what does it do to our sex life? After talking to many of my friends who spend a lot of their life traveling to and from Asia and then considering my own experience, I put together a list of side effects that jetlag can have on your sex life. Don’t worry – I won’t leave you hanging by just mentioning the challenge. I also have some effective and simple strategies to help you combat Jetlag induced sexual dysfunction.

1. Decreased sexual desire

The main problem with travel related jetlag is that it throws off our circadian rhythms. Why? Circadian rhythms control the amount of various hormones released at specific times throughout the day. These hormones control our energy level, mood and sex drive. It’s science. On the upside traveling can BOOST a couples sex life. It gives us a sense of adventure, novelty, and fun; with changing time zones – it does the opposite.

To get us back to our normal rhythms, we should not become a couch potato. That just adds to the problem. Don’t just wait for your sex drive to drop back in from the sky. As quickly as possible, get to the gym for just a short workout to get your heart beating faster. You’ll feel better and get over the jetlag much quicker. Also, we all know that the appetite becomes satiated with eating. Start the play and see if your mood will come along with it. In a worst case scenario, you and your partner will feel intimate and close to each other. I think you can handle it.

2. Decreased stamina

We feel excess fatigue and sleepiness. Don’t expect to climb Everest in these conditions. You might notice that you aren’t able to last as long during intercourse as you used to. It’s expected. It might be a great idea to expand your definition of sex by giving her Big-O orally before the game starts for you. This way there won’t be the feeling of performance anxiety and fear that you won’t be yourselves that night. Alternatively, stock up on pumpkin. Research shows that pumpkin boosts men’s endurance.

3. Painful intercourse

Since our hormones need time to recover from jet lag, we can’t expect our body to operate as usual. Painful intercourse can be an expected side effect due to lack of lubrication or constipation. Travel constipation annoys just as many people as airline food. What you can do in order to not put your sex life on pause is to use lubes – coconut oil is great natural alternative. Drinking water is vital not only during the flight but also during jetlag recovery.

4. Loss of erection

This can be a very vulnerable moment for a man, especially if we don’t have unconditional understanding and trust in our relationship. Yes, too many women take it personally thinking that it’s something about them that causes loss of erection. Not entirely. Try staying hydrated. During the period of jetlag, many of us survive on caffeine, which definitely doesn’t help us to stay hydrated. On the contrary, it dries us even more. The more hydrated you are, the more efficient the circulation of blood flow which causes and maintains an erection.

5. Sex frequency fall out

Another common pattern that I notice with jet lag and sex life is that we might not be getting frisky both in the bedroom or outside for that matter, not nearly as often as we normally do. We feel sleepy, tired and have low energy. We shouldn’t expect our sexual energy to burst like a newborn flower. Coincidently it’s important to keep communication open in your relationship by verbalizing your thoughts. You need to discuss that your sex life is not as frequent as it usually is and that you do miss your partner and the steamy experiences.

During this time, getting under the sheets during the day might just be an amazing idea. Try to not put it off till the last minute before going to bed. Many will be too tired by then. It’s also a great time to experiment. You might be too tired to have intercourse, but sex is not just that, right?

6. Decreased Sex-esteem

Sex-esteem is the strength of the muscle that is responsible for our ability to view ourselves as being able to cope with the most basic challenges of sex life: the belief that we deserve sexual pleasure and we voice it. After a long flight, no exercise and poor food, you might be bloated and gassy, which doesn’t make you look or feel sexy. What you can do is use candles or dim lights to create a romantic environment. Candlelight makes everyone looks sexy and desirable. This also might be a great time to play with sexy lingerie.

7. Sexless

This particular side effect is one of the most extreme, but it happens, especially if there has been a long unspoken conflict about sex desire discrepancies in our relationship. Without good communication about the impact jet lag has on our sex life, anger will show up. When couples don’t clear the air of anger, it turns into overwhelming tension. Unfortunately, if couples keep sweeping this subject under the rug, sooner or later resentment will appear, which is really hard to break.

Your sex life doesn’t have to suffer just because you travel and experience jetlag. You can’t expect passion to just to show up in your bedroom, you have to create it on daily basis. Use creativity. Creativity is the key ingredient for passionate sex. Don’t focus on intercourse. Allowing variety to enter your relationship makes it fun; that’s what sex is all about: passion, love, adventure, connection, spirituality and fun.