Sex is by far one of the most pleasurable activities known to man. The intimacy in allowing your body to become the possession of another, at least temporarily, is an out-of-this-world experience. But far beyond that, sex has some health benefits that you will see in this article.
The process of sex is a natural creation that ultimately ends in the introduction of male gametes (sperm) into the female genitals so they can make their way to fertilize the female gametes (ovum) with the eventual development of a baby in the process of reproduction.
Beyond its reproductive function, sex has also been recognized as one of the strongest binding ingredients in most relationships and marriages. According to a research paper by John DeLamaterDeLamater J. Sexual expression in later life: a review and synthesis. J Sex Res. 2012;49(2-3):125-41. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2011.603168. PMID: 22380585., a sizeable number of older people agree that sex is a key part of their well-being and relationship with their partner.
Asides from the pleasurable effects of sex and its role in consolidating marital bonds, here are ten health benefits of sex you probably didn’t already know.
Health Benefits of Sex
Healthy sex between two consensual partners has the following health benefits:
1. Improved cardiovascular health in women
A research-based article published by the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour has established that regular sexual foreplay, stimulation and intercourse improve cardiovascular health. Conclusions from the survey showed that good regular sex tends to promote cardiovascular health in women, but not so in men. Several hypotheses were stated in support of this, one of which describes that periodic stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and testosterone by regular sex may play a synergetic role in leading to adverse cardiovascular health for men.Curtis BM, O’Keefe JH Jr. Autonomic tone as a cardiovascular risk factor: the dangers of chronic fight or flight. Mayo Clin Proc. 2002 Jan;77(1):45-54. doi: 10.4065/77.1.45. PMID: 11794458.
Generally, infrequent sex can be considered a form of mild or moderate physical exercise which can improve heart function as well as improve blood flow to other organs through the release of eNOS (endothelium-derived Nitric Oxide Synthase). This can be linked to a reduction in the incidence of hypertension and other heart diseases.
2. Improved sleep quality
Why do people fall asleep immediately after sex? Studies have shown that the hormones, oxytocin and prolactin, released during and after and orgasm can contribute to better sleep quality. These hormones directly produce a calming effect on the partners as well as antagonize stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines (adrenaline).Lastella M, O’Mullan C, Paterson JL, Reynolds AC. Sex and Sleep: Perceptions of Sex as a Sleep Promoting Behavior in the General Adult Population. Front Public Health. 2019 Mar 4;7:33. doi: … Continue reading
These hormonal changes caused by orgasm have been found to occur in both partnered sex as well as masturbation. However, the sleep-inducing effects of sex and orgasm have been shown to be greater in men than in women after partnered sex.
Mood problems are by far one of the commonest mental health conditions today. From mood swings to depression, bipolar disorders, and mania, they constitute a major problem in mental health. While most mental health conditions can be caused by lifestyle, drugs or physical trauma, social factors like loneliness, poor sex and perception of self-esteem are among the leading causes of mood disorders.
Regular sex helps to reduce stress and improve mood in the same way it improves sleep quality. The same hormone, oxytocin, as well as dopamine which causes the intense pleasure experience during sex can remain sustained many hours after sex and produce the same effects throughout the day.
Also, mere reminiscence of the last sexual experience and how pleasurable it was can instantly trigger a release of these hormones in your brain and make you relive the experience a bit. This can help improve your mood throughout the day and stabilize your mental health.
4. Reduces incidence of depression and anxiety
Aside from improving your mood throughout the day, regular sex has been shown to reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. According to researchDaniele Mollaioli, Andrea Sansone, Giacomo Ciocca, Erika Limoncin, Elena Colonnello, Giorgio Di Lorenzo, Emmanuele A. Jannini. Benefits of Sexual Activity on Psychological, Relational, and Sexual … Continue reading done during the COVID-19 lockdown, it was established that the pandemic led to an increased incidence of depression and anxiety but these were significantly lower in people who were sexually active during the lockdown.
In women, the beneficial effects of sex on mood, as well as on other areas like relationships with family and friends are better experienced with penile stimulation during partnered sex than with clitoral stimulation from masturbation.
5. Sex improves immune system function
A study was done among college students who were sexually active to ascertain the levels of immunoglobulin A produced in their saliva. Immunoglobin A (IgA) is a natural antibody normally secreted into body fluids like saliva and tears that help to fight against infections through these routes. Findings showed that salivary IgA levels were significantly higher in those who have frequent sex (one to two times a week) than those who do not have sex, those who have sex infrequently (less than once a week) and too frequent (three or more times a week).Charnetski CJ, Brennan FX. Sexual Frequency and Salivary Immunoglobulin A (IgA). Psychological Reports. 2004;94(3):839-844. doi:10.2466/pr0.94.3.839-844
6. Sex protection against prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in men. It is commoner in older men. Sexual intercourse and ejaculation have been shown to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer in men. While the exact mechanism is not known, a study done in 2016 showed that the frequency of sex and ejaculation correlates with higher protection against prostate cancer in men.Rider 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 with more frequency – more than 20 times per month on average – are 33% less likely to get prostate cancer than men who ejaculated no more than seven times per month. While the mechanism is not well known, it can be explained that ejaculation help to void prostatic content and removes anything that could contribute to cancer.
7. Sex helps control pain in men and women
Endorphins released during sex can help relieve pain, especially those associated with uterine cramps during menstruation. In this regard, sex during period can be particularly helpful.
Endorphins are feel-good hormones and chemical neuropeptides produced by the body in the pituitary gland. They help to numb pain by blocking pain pathways to the brain. They are similar to morphine but they are produced endogenously in the body, hence the name “endo” and “orphines”.
Generally, endorphins help block pain in any part of the body and also gives you a sense a general well-being.
8. Improved recovery and easier labour for pregnant women
Have you ever wondered if you can have sex while pregnant? Now you see that not only is sex good for the couple during pregnancy, it also helps the woman during labour and delivery. Hormones released during orgasm helps with the pain as well as improve the quality of uterine contractions during labour. Oxytocin is a major example here.
Regular sex during pregnancy also improves the strength of the pelvic floor muscle and makes labour easier and faster.
9. Regular sex can count as an exercise for weight loss
True there are many more efficient ways to get good workout and burn off some calories but none is more more fun than 30-minute bout of intense sexual activity. Sex has similar beneficial effects as mild to moderate exercise and can help you lose calories while still getting its maximum relaxation. Half an hour of lovemaking burns more than 80 calories.
While exercise and good weight control can improve your overall beauty and appearance, it also benefits the cardiovascular system as well. In that case, you can consider regular sex a single shot that targets two birds.
10. Sex promotes longevity
The climax of every sexual activity is the point where you have an orgasm, and while many hormones have been linked with orgasm, the androgen, dehydroepiandrosterone is also notable. This hormone has been said to improve immunity, help on tissue repair and keeps 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 very few weeks.
This could be through its effects in preventing cardiovascular diseases, prostate cancer and mental illness. Regular sex has also been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women.
How Often Should You Have Sex
The frequency of sex is dependent on several factors; availability of a sexual partner, reproductive needs and relationship status. Couples are advised to have sex at least once a week irrespective of how busy they are. Couples waiting for a child are advised to meet at least three times a week, and every week. This is the definition of adequate and regular sex, respectively.
The cardiovascular health benefit of sex has been shown to be more remarkable in women. Men with infreq
Is Regular Sex Recommended For The Unmarried?
Unmarried people often do not have a regular sexual partner who will always be available when they need to have sex. The exception to this is someone who has a constant sexual partner even though they are unmarried.
Regular sex may have the same health benefits on anyone as highlighted above, but early sexual exposure has been fraught with a lot of problems. There is a high propensity to have multiple sexual partners, and in turn, a higher risk of developing sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unwanted pregnancies, abortions and emotional traumas that could follow a breakup.
Sex may have been considered an art of intense pleasure, a process for reproduction or a sport or exercise, but those ten health benefits of sex are so remarkable, and to some, unbelievable, that I’m sure you are amazed by them. If so, you can let me know in the comments below.
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