Many people indulge in sex for many reasons. Whatever your reasons, you are in the right track as research has proven that sex is also good for your body and general health. It’s true: sex not only facilitates bonding between couples, but also has a range of health benefits, which are outlined herein.
In Marvin Gaye’s song ‘Sexual Healing’, he mentions some of the health benefits of sex. He sings, ‘I want sexual healing…makes me feel so fine, helps to relieve my mind…’ Spoton! Aside from making one feel good, sex has a slew of other benefits that may rival the magic pill. Studies show that one or two sessions of sex per week can boost your health and well being. Here’s what a healthy sex life can do to your body and mind.
1. Helps ward off flu
Are you suffering from blocked nose? Then sex might be your answer not only to unblocking them, but also help ward the flu off. A research found that individuals who had sexual activity a few times in a week had higher levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) than those who had no sex. IgA is an antibody that helps fight infections and the common cold. Interestingly, regular sex has been found to raise your body’s levels of IgA. Closely related to this is the fact that
sex helps keep your immune system in tiptop condition. According to sexual health experts, sexually active people take fewer sick days than those who are not sexually active.
2. Boosts fertility
This should be music to many men’s ear. If you are a man and you are struggling with infertility, then engage in more sex to boost your chances of getting a baby. Studies have shown that the more you have sex, the better the quality of your sperms. Semen health was found to be best when sex had last occurred less than two days before the sperm was tested and was greatly decreased after 10 days of abstinence. Needless to say, healthy sperms are more likely to fertilise an egg. So, when it comes to expanding your family, practice makes perfect! Sex is also a panacea to waning libido. That’s right! Besides boosting vaginal lubrication, sex also increases blood flow to the vagina, both of which make sex better and pleasurable hence heightened libido.
3. May prevent prostate cancer
Research has shown that men may significantly reduce their chances of getting prostate cancer if they have regular sex. One such research conducted at Nottingham University found that men who enjoy a regular sex life in their 50s are at lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer. It is believed that sex clears the prostate of toxins that could otherwise linger and trigger cancerous changes.
4. Regulates one’s periods
Having sex at least twice a week may help regulate one’s menstruation flow. Endocrinologists at Columbia and Stanford Universities found that women who have sex at least once a week have more regular menstrual cycles than those who have sex less frequently. This is because sexual activity alters levels of different hormones in the body that affect the menstrual cycle.
5. Eases stress and improves sleep
Sex is a prescription for a happy life as the feel good hormones released during sex help ease stress and anxiety. According to a study of nearly 300 women by psychologist Gordon Gallup published in the American Archives Of Sexual Behavior, sexually active women in long-term relationships are less likely to feel depressed than women who go without sex. Another study by researchers at the University of Paisley, Scotland, found that individuals who had more sex were better at dealing with stress. Research has also shown that touching and cuddling during and after sex reduces the body’s levels of cortisol – the hormone that is secreted when you’re stressed. In addition, sex also improves sleep. The hormone prolactin, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness, is released after orgasm. The cliché that men pass out after sex has a scientific reason behind it after all. Another reason could be the slowing down of the prefrontal cortex immediately after orgasm. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for interpreting and responding to new information.
6. Reduces risk of heart disease
Sex is good for your heart, too. Lots of research corroborate that regular sex can help ward off a heart attack. In a 20-year-long study of more than 900 men, it was found that men who had sex at least twice per week reduced their
risk of a fatal heart attack by 50 per cent compared to those who had sex less than once a month. Another study carried out in Israel found that women who had two orgasms a week were up to 30 per cent less likely to have heart disease than those who did not enjoy sex or didn’t have an orgasm. Sex also lowers your blood pressure.
7. Relieves pain
Ladies, the age-old excuse that one cannot have sex because they have a headache does not hold water. If anything, a bevy of hormones that can reduce pain are released during intercourse. Oxytocin, which is released during sex, promotes feelings of wellbeing and calmness. Other hormones released during sex such as serotonin, phenyl and endorphins make individuals to forget about that nagging sore or pain. Additionally, orgasm can block pain as it releases a hormone that helps raise one’s pain threshold. So, having a headache? Get down to some good sex!
8. Counts as exercise
A sexual activity can help you burn 85 to 250 calories depending on how long it will last hence the longer the sexual activity, the more calories you will burn. According to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology, cardiologists consider sexual activity comparable to a modest workout on a treadmill. Varying your positions is also a great, fun way to tone different muscle groups and keep limbs lean and flexible.
9. Makes you look younger
The sex after glow is real guys. For women, the oestrogen pumped out during sex has a plumping effect on the skin, which smoothens out your wrinkles. This is especially true after menopause when a woman’s skin becomes drier and wrinkled since the oestrogen levels drop naturally. The boost in oestrogen can also offer protection against osteoporosis. For men, testosterone released during sex can help them to look young as well as prevent against male osteoporosis. One study conducted at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland found that people who had sex at least four times per week were perceived to be seven to 12 years younger than they actually were. Sex promotes a healthy glow because it is a form of aerobic exercise. A healthy glow will make you look good, which will in turn boost your self-esteem. This assertion is supported by a study undertaken by the University of Texas, US, which showed that participants who had sex regularly felt more confident about their bodies.
10. Lowers risk of incontinence
Sex is touted as one of the greatest workouts for a woman’s pelvic floor muscles. These are muscles that control orgasms as well as stem the flow of urine thereby reducing incontinence and leakage. Orgasm causes contractions
of the pelvic muscles, helping to strengthen them. Strong pelvic muscles lower the risk of stress incontinence, which affects about 30 per cent of women at some point in their lives. Finally, want to feel good all day? Then get a dose of motivation from morning sex. Adults who make love the first thing in the morning were found to be more optimistic and cheerful compared to those who didn’t. Studies prove that close connection with loved ones makes individuals happier and healthier thus sex promotes one’s well being. A study undertaken in Australia concluded that people who climaxed at least three times a week had a relatively lower chance of succumbing to any medical condition compared to those who only climaxed once a month. So sex your way to better health and good spirits!