8 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex
As wonderful as sex is, not a lot of people realize what happens to your body when you have sex on a regular basis. Evolutionarily speaking, there is a reason that sex feels good, and it is not just to promote the procreation of the species. Our bodies actually benefit in many ways from regular intercourse, and in some cases – masturbation. I know, this is somewhat of an awkward topic, but we are all adults, right?
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Sex is good for you, and here is why:
1. Immune System
“Sexually active people take fewer sick days,” says sexual health expert Yvonne K. Fulbright, Ph.D.
Researchers at Wilkes University found that people who had sex regularly had a 30% increase in immunoglobulin A (IgA). IgA proteins act as antibodies by binding to pathogens when they first enter the body. IgA proteins then trigger the immune system to destroy those pathogens.
“Having sex will make sex better and will improve your libido,” says Lauren Streicher, MD.
Let’s face it: if you are having fun – you’ll want to do it more often. Spicing up your romantic activities, in general, can lead to more sex, which leads to more enjoyment, which leads to wanting to do the deed more often.
3. Heart Health
“One landmark study found that sexual intercourse specifically (not masturbation) lowered systolic blood pressure,” says Joseph J. Pinzone, MD.
According to research from the Queens University in Belfast, men who have sex three or more times a week cut their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke by 50%.
4. Burns Calories
“Sex is a really great form of exercise. Like with exercise, consistency helps maximize the benefits,” says Joseph J. Pinzone, MD.
There is an actual SEX CALCULATOR that you can use to determine exactly how many calories you burn during your performance of the horizontal mambo. You can use this tool as a goal-setting application for you and your significant other, or simply for bragging rights.
Read: Sapiosexuality: Why Some of Us are Attracted Purely by Intelligence (backed by science, of course)
5. Pain Killer
“Orgasm can block pain. We’ve found that vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women have told us that genital self-stimulation can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headache,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD.
For women, in particular, the “big O” dumps a flood of oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, into your system. Oxytocin then triggers the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkiller. Research has also shown sex can lessen the aches associated with menstrual cramps while also helping to regulate a woman’s monthly cycle.
6. Prevents Cancer
Men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer during one study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The research was done by the National Cancer Institute, and showed that in a survey of 30,000 middle-aged men, those who averaged 21 ejaculations a month showed a 33 percent lower risk of prostate cancer than those with 4 to 7 ejaculations a month.
Read: Sex With Others Isn’t The Only Way of Cheating In Our Relationships.
7. Sleep Aid
“After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness,” says Sheenie Ambardar, MD.
Prolactin is a complicated hormone that does everything from promoting lactation (as the name would suggest), to triggering sleep. One weird aspect of prolactin is that it has been shown to induce that “recovery stage” in men after an orgasm where their libido tapers off.
8. Reduces Stress
Sexual contact release your body’s natural “feel-good hormone.” Sexual arousal releases a brain chemical that revs up your brain’s pleasure and reward system.
This is again, from the oxytocin released by your body after you have an orgasm. Oxytocins reduces the levels of the hormone cortisol, which is associated with stress.