Has the sizzle gone out of your sex life because of your partner’s performance problems? Check his belt. If he has been letting it out to make room for an expanding waistline, you may have found the culprit—particularly if he also has been making a lot of trips to the bathroom.

This surprising news comes from a recent study in which researchers set out to examine whether “central obesity” (meaning a large waist circumference) in men was linked to urinary problems. The study included 409 men ages 40 and up who had moderate or severe lower urinary tract symptoms, such as frequent daytime urination, waking during the night to use the bathroom, reduced flow and/or incontinence. The researchers divided the men into three groups based on girth—with the slimmest group having a waist of less than 35 inches…the middle group measuring 35 to 39 inches…and the biggest-bellied group measuring more than 39 inches around the waist.

Findings: The larger-waisted men were significantly more prone to various urinary symptoms. But their problems didn’t stop there—because researchers discovered that a wide girth also was associated with a significantly increased likelihood of sexual problems. For instance, erectile dysfunction was reported by three-fourths of the men with the largest waists…about half of the men with medium-size waists…and only one-third of those with smaller waists. Ejaculation problems (such as having little or no semen leave the penis) also were most common among the biggest-bellied men and least common among the slimmest.

The connection: Researchers hypothesize that obesity could cause blood flow changes to the pelvis and hormonal alterations that lead to male pelvic dysfunction, affecting both urinary and sexual health.

For the woman who wants to help: Share this encouraging news from the study researchers with your big-bellied man—trimming just 2.5 inches from his waistline may noticeably reduce the frequency of his trips to the bathroom…and significantly improve his success in the bedroom. And as a bonus, it will improve his heart health and metabolic health, too.