Plenty of studies show that regular sex relieves stress, increases immunity from viruses, and even helps protect the health of a man’s prostate gland by emptying fluids that held there.
It also triggers the release of chemicals that improve mood and ease pain. Sex not only feels good. It can also be good for you.
Here’s what a healthy sex life can do:
1. Helps Keep Your Immune System Humming
People who have sex have higher levels of what defends your body against from germs, viruses, and other intruders.
Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the a certain antibody compared to students who had sex less often.
You should still do all the other things that make your immune system happy, such as:
- Eat right.
- Stay active.
- Get enough sleep.
- Keep up with your vaccinations.
- Use a condom if both of you don’t know your STD statuses
2. Boosts Your Libido
Longing for a more lively sex life? “Sex will make your sex life better and your libido will improve,” says Lauren Streicher, MD. She is an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
“For women, having sex ups the vaginal lubrication, blood flow, and elasticity”, she says, all of which make sex feel better and help you crave more of it.
3. Improves Women’s Bladder Control
A strong pelvic floor is important to avoid 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, those muscles have contractions, which strengthens them.
4. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Research suggests sex helps lowers blood pressure, says Joseph J. Pinzone, MD. He’s the CEO and medical director of Amai Wellness.
“There have been many studies,” he says.
“One landmark study found that having sexual intercourse specifically (not masturbation) lowered systolic blood pressure.”
That is the first number on your blood pressure test.
5. Counts as Exercise
Pinzone says, “Sex is a really great form of exercise.”
It won’t replace the treadmill, but it counts for something.
Sex uses about five calories per minute, four more calories than watching television.
It gives you a one-two punch: It bumps up your heart rate and uses various muscles.
So get busy! You may even want to clear your schedule to make time for it on a daily or regular basis.
Pinzone says, “Like with exercise, consistency helps maximize the benefits,”
6. Lowers Heart Attack Risk
A good sex life is good for your heart.
As well as being a great way to raise your heart rate, sex can help keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.
Having sex more often may help.
On one study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease as men who had sex rarely.
7. Lessens Pain
Before you reach for an aspirin, instead try for an orgasm.
“Orgasm can block pain,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a famous service professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Orgasm releases a hormone that helps raise your pain threshold.
Stimulation without orgasm can also do the trick.
“We have found out that vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women have told us that self-stimulation on genital can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headaches,” Komisaruk says.
8. May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely
Going for the gusto may help prevent prostate 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.
You don’t need a partner to achieve this benefit: Sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation were all part of the equation.
It’s not clear that sex was the only reason that mattered in that study. There are lots of factors affect cancer risk. But having more sex won’t hurt.
9. Improves Sleep
You may fall asleep more quickly after sex, and for good reason.
“The hormone prolactin is released after an orgasm, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness” after sex, says Sheenie Ambardar, MD. A psychiatrist in West Hollywood, California.
10. Eases Stress
Being close to your partner can soothe anxiety and stress.
Ambardar says touching and hugging can release your body’s natural “feel-good hormone.” Having sexual arousal releases a brain chemical that revs up your brain’s pleasure and reward system.
“Sex and intimacy can boost your happiness and self-esteem, too”, Ambardar says. It’s not only a prescription for a healthy life, but a happy one. Healthy sex involves the conscious, the positive expression of our sexual energy in ways that enhances self-esteem, physical health, and emotional relationship.