It might not be much of a surprise to us that there are benefits to having sex. But it may be a surprise how much it can increase your health and wellbeing, including reducing stress, lowering your risk of cancer or heart problems. Well, that’s definitely some good news! Check out all the ways it can help you, from our friends over at the Mews Practice.
Sex Improves Your Immunity
According to research, having sex one to two times per week helps to boost your immune system. Those who were part of the research were found to have a 30% increase in IgA – an antibody that shows how tough our immune system is.
Further research by Clifford Lowell from the University of California found that people who are sexually active are often exposed to more infectious agents. Our immune system responds to this by producing more IgA, helping to battle off colds and flu.
There Are Cardiovascular Benefits
Physical activities that exercise your heart are good for your health, this we know! Lucky for us, sex counts as physical exercise! Just like an intense workout, being sexually aroused increases the heart rate, peaking during orgasm. Men, in particular, feel the benefits, with those over 50 who have sex twice a week having a reduced risk of heart disease over those who don’t have sex as often.
Sex Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Women between 57 and 85 years who took part in a recent study were less likely to have hypertension (high blood pressure) when they have regular sex! Not only does high blood pressure increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, but it also can lead to erectile dysfunction or lower libido.
Sex Relieves Pain
Have any of you ever used a headache as a reason not to have sex? Well neurologists found that sexual activity can actually relieve pain associated with a migraine or cluster headaches.
Research conducted in Germany showed that 60% of individuals with migraines reported an improvement in pain after sexual activity. 37% percent of people with a cluster headache reported an improvement.
Sex can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. In other research, women were found to experience reduced pain sensitivity and had an increased pain tolerance threshold when experiencing pleasure through vaginal self-stimulation.
Sex Reduces The Risk of Prostate Cancer
Research by the National Cancer Institute discovered that men who ejaculated 21 times per month or more were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer, the most common cancer among men, than men who ejaculated between four and seven times per month.
It Helps Improve Your Sleep
16 million adults in the UK suffer from some kind of sleep disorder, but regular sex could help improve this. 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.
Women also have a rise in estrogen levels during sex, which has been shown to enhance their REM cycle. In men, the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that helps with alertness and mental activity, “switches off” after orgasm.
Sex Relieves Stress
Stress can cause many problems including headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, upset stomach, weakened immune system and chronic depression. A study found that people who have regular sex had lower stress related blood pressure than those who masturbated.
Sex Boosts Your Brain Power
Research seems to suggest that for woman, regular sex helped improve cognitive function. Results from a word-memory task found that women who had penetrative sex had better memory recognition. Sex stimulates the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that takes care of learning and memory. However it wasn’t clear whether sex improves memory or if better memory leads to more sex.
It 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.
Sex Boosts Your Self-Esteem
In addition to all of the physical benefits, it helps emotional wellness such as boosting self-esteem. Research published in Social Psychology and Personality Science found that college students who enjoyed casual sex report higher well being and self-esteem levels, compared with students who didn’t.