Sex is the process whereby partners engage with each other’s genitals for the eventual release of gametes for the purpose of reproduction. But beyond being the cardinal process of reproduction, sexual intercourse has been known to have immeasurable benefits.
First, the intense pleasure from sex makes it one of the most pleasurable activities known to man. This is the more reason why over 1.5 million people are having sex right now, minus you. Thus, sex could be considered a recreational activity.
Also beyond the reproductive and pleasure aspects of sex, it has been known to have some health benefits as well. Sex also enhances the bond in romantic relationships and marriages.
For the purpose of this post, we will be exploring the health benefits of sex for both men and women.
Generally, sexual activity is considered a form of mild/moderate physical exercise which can improve heart function and blood circulation to all organs of the body. This is through the release of eNOS (endothelium-derived Nitric Oxide Synthase) which has been linked to a reduction in the incidence of hypertension and other heart diseases.
Sexual activity stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and testosterone which together promotes the deterioration of cardiovascular function in men, but the effects of testosterone are less pronounced in women leading to the protective effects of regular sex in women.
2. Improved quality of sleep
Improved quality of sleep is another important health benefit of sex in men and women. This effect has been shown to be more pronounced in men than in women and this explains why men fall asleep after orgasm more than women.
The National Sleep Foundation has stated that sexual activity can contribute to better sleep quality. The hormonal changes responsible for this improved sleep quality have been shown to occur both in two-partnered sex as well as in masturbation.
Mood swings, depression, bipolar disorder, and mania are common mood disorders today. While the causes of most of these mental conditions are linked to lifestyle, drug, physical trauma, and social factors, poor sex and perception of self-esteem have been shown to be among the leading causes of these mood disorders.
Regular sex helps to reduce stress and improve mood in the same way it improves sleep quality. Oxytocin and dopamine which are responsible for the intense pleasure experienced during sex can remain sustained many hours after sex and produce the same happy mood throughout the day.
In most people, flashbacks of the last sexual experience can trigger a release of the happy hormones in their brain to make them feel happy, thus improving mood throughout the day and stabilizing one’s mental health.
The beneficial effects of sex on mood in women have been shown to be more marked with two-partnered sex than via masturbation or clitoral stimulation.
5. Sex improves immune system function
Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is a natural antibody produced in saliva, tears, and all mucosa surfaces of the body. It helps to fight against infections entering via the mouth, eyes, ears, nose, and other mucosa surfaces communicating to the outside.
Findings from a study in 2004 among college students showed that salivary IgA levels were significantly higher in those who had frequent sex (one to two times a week) than in those who do not have sex at all, in those who had sex infrequently (less than once a week), and in those who had too frequent sex (three or more times a week). Thus, frequent sex might improve immune system function at the level of the mucosa surfacesSexual frequency and salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA) – PubMed.
6. Sex protection against prostate cancer
Sexual intercourse and ejaculation have been shown to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer in men even though the exact mechanism is not well-knownRider JR, Wilson KM, Sinnott JA, Kelly RS, Mucci LA, Giovannucci EL. Ejaculation Frequency and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Updated Results with an Additional Decade of Follow-up. Eur Urol. 2016 … Continue reading.
Men who ejaculate more than 20 times per month on average have been shown to be 33% less likely to get prostate cancer than men who ejaculated no more than 7 times per month. Regular voiding of the prostatic content during ejaculation has been proposed to remove other potential carcinogens that can predispose to prostate cancer.
Control of pain is another health benefit in men and women. During sex, endorphins are released which help relieve pain, especially that associated with uterine cramps during menstruation. Thus, sex during a period may be particularly helpful to relieve menstrual pain.
Endorphins are neuropeptides produced in the pituitary gland. They block pain pathways to and from the brain. They are similar to morphine but are produced endogenously by the body.
8. Easier labour and faster recovery in pregnant women
Can a woman have sex while pregnant? Yes, she can. Sex during pregnancy has also been shown to improve the experience of labour and delivery.
Sex hormones released during sex also help control pain during pregnancy and labour.
Regular sex during pregnancy also strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, thereby contributing positively to the experience of labour and delivery.
9. Beneficial for weight loss
While some people believe that crying burns calories, there are no more efficient ways to shed fats and calories than regular physical exercise. A 30-minute bout of intense sexual activity has similar effects as mild/moderate exercise, thus serving as a more fun and pleasurable way to burn fats and lose weight, resulting in a loss of over 80 calories from the body.
Exercise and weight control can improve your overall beauty and appearance. It is also beneficial for cardiovascular health by preventing coronary heart disease and hypertension. Thus, regular sex is a way to use one stone to kill several birds.
10. Sex promotes longevity
At the sexual climax, high amounts of the androgen, dehydroepiandrosterone, are released alongside other body hormones some of which were mentioned earlier. This hormone has been said to improve immunity in men, help in tissue repair, and keep the skin healthy.
Men who have at least two orgasms a week have been said to live longer than men who have sex just once every few weeks. This could be attributable to its effects in preventing cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer and mental illness. Regular sex also reduces the risk of breast cancer in women.
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Common Related Questions
How often should one have sex to benefit maximally?
Regular sex is beneficial for partners who are married. Couples are advised to have sex at least once every week, no matter how busy they are. Couples waiting for a child are advised to have sex at least three times a week. These can have immense health benefits to both of the partners.
Is regular sex recommended for the unmarried?
Regular sex is not recommended for the unmarried because of the emotional, social, and health problems that can arise from sex with multiple sexual partners. People who are married often have a sexual partner to themselves, thus allowing them to have sex safely and whenever they want.
Can I start having sex now because of its health benefits?
This post is not to encourage you to start having sex if you are still a virgin. Rather, it is to enlighten you on these health benefits of regular sex to men and women. The risks of having sex when you are not ready far outweigh any benefits it may have.
Whether as a means of procreation or as a recreational activity, sexual intercourse has immense benefits including the remarkable health benefits of sex discussed above.
I am a medical doctor, a seasoned writer and passionate blogger. Thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I am the founder of Knowseeker and our content are geared towards enlightening and making you a better and happier audience.