February is the month of love and what better way to celebrate it than by talking about the numerous health benefits of sex. Sex and sexuality are an essential part of everyone’s life and have multiple benefits for both your physical and mental health. It is sometimes stigmatised but if it is practised safely it can be advantageous for your overall well-being. In this blog, we have listed ten benefits of sex.
Benefits of Sex:
1. Lowers stress ⬇️
Engaging in physical intimacy such as sex, touching and hugging all release ‘feel-good hormones’ in your body. These hormones include dopamine and oxytocin, and in conjunction with releasing these two hormones cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced. This can help you feel relaxed while sex can boost your self-esteem, leaving you feeling happy and content.
2. Strengthens your immune system 💪
Did you know that sex can actually strengthen your immune system? Well, according to a study by Wilkes University, students who had sex at least once a week had higher levels of immunoglobulin A in their saliva. This antibody helps fight off bacteria and viruses, strengthening your immune system. This is compared to students who did not have sex at least once a week and had lower levels of this antibody in their saliva.
3. Eases pain 🩹
There have been multiple studies which have found that one of the benefits of sex is that it can help reduce pain such as menstrual cramps, chronic back pain, leg pain and even migraines. This is evident from a survey conducted in 2013 where German headache sufferers reported partial or total relief when they had sex during a migraine or cluster headache. This is due to the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which block pain and stress. This is even the case if men and women masturbate.
4. Lowers prostate cancer risk 💊
According to a study by Boston University, frequent ejaculation can lower the risk of prostate cancer. The study followed almost 32,000 men for 18 years about their ejaculation frequency and found that those men between 20-29 years old were 19% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer if they ejaculated 21 times a month. With the same 21 days a month and for men between the ages of 40 to 49, it was 22% less likely to be diagnosed. This also applies to masturbation however, more research is needed to confirm these findings for the reduction of risk for prostate cancer.
5. Sex helps you sleep better 💤
Ever feel sleepy after sex? This is because when you have sex, you release the hormones oxytocin and prolactin. Oxytocin can make you feel more relaxed and calm whereas prolactin suppresses the hormone dopamine, which makes you feel more awake. The combination of these two hormones as a result of having sex can make you sleep much better.
6. Supports heart health 💛
Frequent sex can help lower your blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attack and can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A study by the American Journal of Cardiology researched 1,100 men for 16 years, found that men who had sex 2 to 3 times a week had a lower rate of cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, the physical activity involved in sex helps keep your heart healthy and balances hormones, like estrogen and testosterone reducing the risk of a heart attack. However, it should be noted that if you have heart problems then it is best to follow your doctor’s advice and wait to have sex once the problems have gone away.
7. Helps bladder control for women 🚽
Strong pelvic floor muscles can prevent incontinence, a problem affecting 30% of women. Sex luckily helps keep the pelvic floor muscles strong as these contract during an orgasm, strengthening the pelvic floor. Therefore, frequent sex and orgasms will help to keep the pelvic floor muscles strong.
8. Burn calories 🏃
Sex is exercise! Although sex doesn’t burn a lot of calories, it is better than no exercise at all and if it is frequent enough it can help burn off some additional calories. It is suggested that sex burns approximately 5 calories per minute so the longer it lasts the more calories you can burn!
9. Protects your brain 🧠
Studies have found that frequent sex can improve your brain functioning and cognitive abilities as you age. In a study by the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, researchers found that men who were sexually active and between the ages of 50 to 89 had improved cognitive functioning related to number sequencing and word recall. This was similar for women although they did not have the same benefit for cognitive function related to number sequencing. Therefore, having sex at least once a week can help support your brain function.
10. Boosts libido 🍆
Another benefit of sex is that it can improve sexual desire and improves your libido. This is because when women are sexually active and have frequent sex this increases their vaginal lubrication, blood flow, and elasticity which all make sex feel much better. Having more sex increases your libido and makes sex and your partner more desirable.