When it comes to sex, most of us already feel there are benefits that regular intimacy brings. However, you may be surprised at the range of benefits of healthy sex, from reducing stress, to lowering your risk of cancer or heart problems. According to recent studies, regular sex can provide many boosts to your wellbeing. This is because sex is just like any other physical activity and the benefits it provides can eventually increase your life span. Here’s a break down of the top benefits of regular sexual intercourse.
1. Improves Immunity
Participating in sex one to two times per week helps boost the immune system, according to research published in Psychological Reports. They found that people who had sex once or twice per week had a 30 percent increase in IgA (an antibody that shows how tough our immune system is) compared to those who don’t.
However, Clifford Lowell from the University of California-San Francisco, also said that people who are sexually active are exposed to more infectious agents than individuals who are not sexually active. Luckily the immune system responds to these infectious agents by producing more IgA, which could help protect against colds and flu.
2. Cardiovascular Benefits
Physical activities that exercise the heart are good for your health and ideally you should exercise three to five times a week to keep your heart healthy. Luckily this includes sex as well as working out! Just like an intense workout, being sexually aroused increases heart rate, with the number of beats per minute peaking during orgasm.
Men, in particular, have been shown to get benefits from sex. A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology suggested that men in their 50’s who have sex at least twice per week have a reduced risk of heart disease compared with men who have sex less frequently.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
Regular sex can also lower blood pressure, especially for women. Women between 57 and 85 years who took part in a recent study were less likely to have hypertension! Not only does High Blood Pressure increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, but it also can lead to erectile dysfunction and lower libido.
4. Relieves Pain
Neurologists have found that sexual activity can relieve head pain associated with a migraine or cluster headache in some people, despite a headache often being an excuse to not having sex!
The research conducted in Germany showed that 60% of individuals with migraines reported an improvement in pain after sexual activity. In addition, 37% percent of people with a cluster headache reported an improvement after having sexual intercourse.
Sex can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. In other research published in Pain, women were found to experience reduced pain sensitivity and had an increased pain tolerance threshold when experiencing pleasure through vaginal self-stimulation.
5. Reduces The Risk of Prostate Cancer
It is said that men who frequently ejaculate could be protected against prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer among men in the United States. Research led by Micheal Leitzmann from the National Cancer Institute discovered that men who ejaculated 21 times per month or more were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who ejaculated between four and seven times per month.
6. Improves Sleep
Around 16 million adults in the UK suffer from some kind of sleep disorder. However this could be improved by having regular sex. This is because during sex and orgasms, a cocktail of chemicals are released in the brain including oxytocin, dopamine, and a rush of endorphin. All these hormones combined leaves you feeling sleepy.
During sex, women also have a rise in estrogen levels, which has been shown to enhance their REM cycle. In men the prefrontal cortex – the area of the brain which helps with alertness and mental activity- “switches off” after orgasm which helps them sleep.
7. Relieves Stress
Stress can cause all kinds of health problems, from headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, and upset stomach, to more severe conditions including a weakened immune system and chronic depression. A study published in Biological Psychology found that people who have regular sex had lower stress-related blood pressure than individuals who had masturbated or had non-coital sex.
8. Boosts Brain Power
Research published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour suggests that frequent sex may improve women’s memory. Results from a word-memory task found that women who had penetrative sex had better memory recognition. This may be due to sex stimulating the hippocampus which is the part of the brain involved in learning and memory. However they’re not sure whether sex improves memory or if better memory leads to more sex.
9. Increases Lifespan
A study published in The BMJ tracked the mortality of almost 1,000 men aged between 45 and 59 over 10 years. They found that risk of death was 50 percent lower in men who frequently had orgasms than men who didn’t.
10. Boosts Self-Esteem
In addition to all of the physical benefits for having sex frequently, sexual intercourse can also improve emotional wellness such as boosting self-esteem. Research published in Social Psychology and Personality Science found that 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.
So, the science backs it up, sexual activity makes you feel healthier and is good for your wellbeing. You can book a sexual health consultation for advice and to discuss the full range of sexual optimisation services we provide. Simply give us a call.