Top 10 Health Benefits of Sex
Everyone deserves to enjoy a healthy sex life and studies show that sex can be beneficial to our health too, but what are the benefits of a healthy sex life?
Here’s the science-y bit first. When we have sex a whole heap of neurotransmitters are triggered in our brains. These not only impact our brain but other organs and bodily functions too. Don’t have a partner? Don’t worry. Masturbation will still stimulate the neurotransmitters and release some of those feel-good hormones.
Do I have to orgasm?
Orgasms are obviously a huge benefit of sexual activity but they are not 100% necessary to achieve some of the other health benefits. There are some neurotransmitters that do not activate without the orgasm but there are still plenty that do. The chemical release can still be stimulated through caressing skin, kissing, sexual talk and feelings of closeness.
What are the benefits of a healthy sex life?
Sex can Lower Blood Pressure
Research suggests a link between sex and lower blood pressure. One study found that sexual intercourse specifically (not masturbation) lowered the systolic blood pressure.
Sexual Activity can Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Being close to your partner can soothe stress and anxiety. Hugging, touching , kissing and sexy talking can release your body’s natural feel-good hormones. Sexual arousal can also rev up your brain’s pleasure and reward system, making you feel much less stressed.
Orgasms can bring Pain Relief
Before you reach for some paracetamol, try an orgasm! Orgasms release a hormone with can help to increase your pain threshold.
There have been several studies of the benefits of sex for migraine sufferers and other forms of pain. One study showed that 60% of migraine sufferers felt reduced pain during or after sex and 19% reported that a good session left them totally ache free. Don’t use a headache as an excuse to not have sex – use it as an excuse to get it on!
Stimulation without an orgasm can still help though, with some studies reporting that vaginal stimulation can help to ease back or leg pain, menstrual cramps and arthritic pain.
Sex can Increase your Libido
We all know that having sex releases feel good hormones. What some people don’t know is that the more of these hormones that are released, the more you crave your sex, increasing your libido. Likewise, the less you have, the less you want.
Sex can make you Sleep Better
Do you find yourself nodding off more quickly or needing a nap after sex? There’s good reason for that.
After an orgasm, your body releases a hormone called Prolactin. This is responsible for feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. Women’s bodies will also release oxytocin, also known as the “love” or “intimacy” hormone. The combination of these hormones can act as a sedative.
Better sleep has its own benefits too; strengthening the immune system, allowing your organs to rest and repair and giving more energy during the day.
Intimacy can Increase Immunity
Intimacy exposes you to bacteria in your partners mouth (and other areas). This can boost your bodies production of infection fighting antibodies.
In one study of immunity in people in romantic relationships, people who had frequent sex (once or twice a week) had more IgA (Immunoglobulin A) in their saliva than those who had infrequent sex (less than once a week). IgA is the antibody that helps your body defend against germs and viruses naturally, something we all want right now. Sexually active people are also thought to take fewer sick days.
Sex is an Alternative form of Exercise
Are you struggling to get to the gym or hit your 10,000 steps daily? Why not consider a sexier form of exercise, in the comfort of your own home.
Sex can use around 5 calories per minute – that’s 4 more calories per minute than watching tv.
An average 130lb (53kg) woman can burn as many calories during a good sex session as she could during a brisk 1.6km (1mile) walk. I know what I’d rather do!
Getting it on Makes you Glow
Everyone (*cough* – men) says that semen is good for the skin but actually it’s the sexual activity itself which plays the biggest part. Sex increases the circulation and sends oxygen rich blood to the face giving you that healthy glow.
Sex can also prompt the release of a human growth hormone which can help skin appear more supple and smooth.
Sex can Keep Your Heart Healthy
A good sex life is definitely good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate, sex will help to keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.
Low levels of estrogen and testosterone can lead to osteoporosis and heart disease. Having sex more often will help.
Orgasms can help Women’s Bladder Control
A strong pelvic floor is important for avoiding incontinence, something that will affect about 30% of women at some point in their lives.
Good sex is like a workout for your pelvic floor muscles. When you have an orgasm, it causes contractions in those muscles which strengthens them.
So now we know the benefits, what are you waiting for?