Type “sexual health” into a search engine, and it is likely that you will be bombarded with pages of articles covering anything and everything, from sexual norms and advice on relationships, birth control, and pregnancy, to information about STDs and how to avoid them. What is less often discussed, however, is the abundant physical and psychological health benefits of sex. We have given you a list of the top health benefits of sex, as backed up by science.
In exploring just how sex affects the mind and body, the list of potential benefits appears to be endless. Aside from reproduction, pleasure, and intimacy, sex seems to have a positive impact on many life areas, including work, physical and cognitive performance. Sex is also considered a significant form of exercise. Sex burns around 85 calories, or 3.6 calories per minute, according to a study.
Sex not only feels good. It can also be good for you. Here’s what a healthy sex life can do for you…..
1) Improves immunity
Participating in sex one to two times per week appears to be the optimum frequency to boost the immune system. People who have sex have higher levels of what defends your body against germs, viruses, and other intruders. Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the a certain antibody compared to students who had sex less often.
You should still do all the other things that make your immune system happy, such as:
Get enough sleep
2) Good for the heart
A good sex life is good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate, sex helps keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.
Men, in particular, have been shown to benefit from the effect of sex on the heart. During one study, involving men in their 50s, suggested that men who have sex at least twice per week have a 45 percent reduced risk of heart disease, compared with men who have sex less frequently.
The American Heart Association say that heart disease should not affect your sex life. Heart attacks or chest pain caused by heart disease rarely happen during sex and, for the most part, it is safe to have sex if your heart disease has stabilized.
3) Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Sex in later years might reduce the risk of high blood pressure – at least for women. According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke and can also affect your sex life. High blood pressure has an impact on blood flow throughout the body and can prevent enough blood flowing to the pelvis.
In men, high blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction and in women, high blood pressure can lower libido and reduce interest in sex. It is considered safe to have sex if you have high blood pressure. However, if you are concerned or are having problems in the bedroom, seek advice from your doctor.
4) Improves Women’s Bladder Control
A strong pelvic floor is important for avoiding incontinence, something that will affect about 30% of women at some point in their lives.
Good sex is like a workout for your pelvic floor muscles. When you have an orgasm, it causes contractions in those muscles, which strengthens them.
5) Improves sleep
Do you have trouble getting to sleep at night? Sexual activity could be just what the doctor ordered. Insufficient sleep is a public health problem. Sex could be the answer to help you achieve the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. During sex and orgasm, a cocktail of chemicals are released in the brain, which includes oxytocin, dopamine, and a rush of endorphins. Oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone,” facilitates closeness and bonding, and it surges during sex and orgasm in both men and women.
After orgasm, it is thought that the effect of oxytocin, combined with the release of the hormone prolactin (which is linked to the feeling of satiety and relaxation), makes you feel sleepy.
In women, a rise in estrogen levels during sex has been shown to enhance their REM cycle, according to a study.
In men, the prefrontal cortex – the area of the brain associated with alertness, consciousness, and mental activity – “switches off” after orgasm. This process is connected with the release of oxytocin and serotonin, both of which have sleep-inducing effects.
6) Relieves pain
A headache may often be used as a reason to avoid sex. However, before you reach for the painkillers, neurologists have found that sexual activity can relieve head pain associated with a migraine or cluster headache in some people.
The research was conducted by the University of Munster in Germany and published in Cephalalgia. In individuals with a migraine, 60 percent of people reported an improvement in pain after sexual activity, while 37 percent of people with a cluster headache reported an improvement.
In other research, women were found to experience reduced pain sensitivity and had an increased pain tolerance threshold when experiencing pleasure through vaginal self-stimulation.
7) Relieves stress
Stress can cause all kinds of health problems, from headaches, problems sleeping, muscle tension, and upset stomach, to more severe conditions, including a weakened immune system and chronic depression. Physical or emotional intimacy in couples is associated with reduced stress levels.
A study published in Biological Psychology found that people who engaged in penetrative sex experienced lower stress-related blood pressure when public speaking than individuals who had masturbated or had non-coital sex. Participants in the study who abstained from sex had the highest blood pressure levels triggered by stress.
8) Boosts brain power
Most of the researchers suggests that frequent sex may improve women’s memory. Results from a computerized word-memory task found that women who had penetrative sex had better memory recognition of abstract words. However, they say that sex may improve memory by stimulating the creation of new neurons in the hippocampus – the region of the brain that is involved in learning and memory.
Another study, by the University of Amsterdam published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, found that thinking about love or sex has different effects on our brains.
Thinking about love activates long-term perspective and global processing, which promotes creative thinking and interferes with analytical thinking. However, in contrast, thinking about sex triggers short-term perspective and local processing, which then promotes analytical thinking and interferes with creativity.
9) Counts as Exercise
“Sex is a really great form of exercise, It won’t replace the treadmill, but it counts for something”. Sex uses about five calories per minute, four more calories than watching TV. It gives you a one-two punch: It bumps up your heart rate and uses various muscles.
So get busy!
10) Reduces the risk of prostate cancer
Men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer during one study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. frequent ejaculation may allow the prostate gland to clear out carcinogens, and materials that may orchestrate the development of carcinogens. Regular drainage of prostate fluid stops crystalloid microcalcifications – which are associated with prostate cancer – from developing in the prostate duct.
Men who have more than 12 ejaculations per month may also benefit, although the researchers note that at this point, the research would not warrant recommending men to change their sexual behavior.
In addition to all the physical benefits, having frequent satisfying sex may improve emotional wellness. According to a study among college students, those who enjoyed casual sex reported higher well-being and self-esteem levels, compared with students who did not have casual sex.
12) Increases lifespan
Do you want to live longer? Sexual activity could hold the key to a longer life. A study concluded that sexual activity might have a protective effect on men’s health. The researchers tracked the mortality of almost 1,000 men aged between 45 and 59 over the course of 10 years. They found that risk of death was 50 percent lower in men who frequently had orgasms than men who did not regularly ejaculate.
Other research also concluded with similar results. Another study determined that in men, frequent intercourse was a significant predictor of longevity, whereas in women, those who reported past enjoyment of sex lived longer.
These are just some of the many benefits that sex can have for your health. While sex can be a pleasurable and exciting activity, it is important to remember that practicing safe sex can reduce the risks of contracting STDs, as well as helping to avoid unplanned pregnancies.