The Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

The perks of sex extend well beyond the bedroom…

There are many surprising health benefits of sex such as relieving stress, boosting your immunity, and more.

Sex is not only pleasurable, did you know it’s also good for you? It’s true. The benefits of sex range from slashing stress levels to lowering your risk of cancer and heart attacks. Sex facilitates bonding and feelings of intimacy with your partner. This kind of connectedness does more than make you feel warm and fuzzy, it actually reduces anxiety and boosts your overall health.

How would you like a stronger immune system or better sleep? Action between the sheets can help you get all of this and more.

1. Get Less Colds & Boost Your Immune System

Sex can help boost the immune system.

More sex equals fewer sick days. That’s what the results of studies comparing sexually active people to those who are not sexually active say. Sex boosts your body’s ability to make protective antibodies against bacteria, viruses, and other germs that cause common illnesses. Of course, there’s more to cultivating a robust immune system than having a healthy sex life. Eating right, exercising, getting adequate sleep, and keeping up to date with vaccinations all contribute to having strong and healthy defenses against contagious illnesses.

2. Boost Your Libido

Sex boots your libido.

Believe it or not, the best antidote for a waning libido is to have sex! Having sex actually boosts desire. And if pain and vaginal dryness make it challenging for some women to have sex, sexual activity can help combat these problems, too. Sex boosts vaginal lubrication, blood flow to the vagina, and elasticity of the tissues, all of which make for better, more pleasurable sex and heightened libido.

3. Improve Women’s Bladder Control

Sex improves women’s bladder control.

Urinary incontinence affects about 30% of women at some point in life. Having regular orgasms works a woman’s pelvic floor muscles, strengthening and toning them. Orgasms activate the same muscles that women use when doing Kegel exercises. Having stronger pelvic muscles means there’s less risk of accidents and urine leaks.

4. Lower Your Blood Pressure

Sex lowers your blood pressure.

Are you one of the millions of people who suffer from high blood pressure? Sex can help you lower it. Many studies have documented a link between intercourse specifically (not masturbation) and lower systolic blood pressure, the first number that appears on a blood pressure test. That’s good news for individuals looking for an easy adjunct to lifestyle (diet, exercise, stress reduction) and medication strategies to get blood pressure into a healthy range. Sex sessions cannot replace blood-pressure lowering drugs to control high blood pressure, but they may be a useful addition.

5. Counts as Exercise

Sex counts as exercise.

Like every other kind of physical activity, sex burns calories, too! Sitting and watching TV burns about 1 calorie per minute. Having sex increases your heart rate and utilizes various muscle groups, burning about 5 calories per minute. Regular sex cannot replace sessions at the gym, but a having an active, healthy sex life is a nice way to get some extra physical activity.

6. Lower Heart Attack Risk

Sex can lower heart attack risks.

Want a healthier heart? Have more sex. Sexual activity helps keep levels of hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, in check. When these hormones are out of balance, conditions like heart disease and osteoporosis may develop. When it comes to protecting heart health by having sex, more is better. One study in men showed that those who had sex at least 2 times a week were 50% less likely to die of heart disease than their less sexually active peers.

7. Lessen Pain

Sex can lessen pain.

Sexual stimulation (including masturbation) and orgasm can help keep pain at bay. Both activities can reduce pain sensation and increase your pain threshold. Orgasms result in the release of hormones that can help block pain signals. Some women report that self-stimulation through masturbation can reduce symptoms of menstrual cramps, arthritis, and even headache.

8. May Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk

Sex can lower prostate cancer risks.

There are male-specific health benefits of sex, too. One study showed that men who had frequent ejaculations (defined as 21 times a month or more) were less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who had fewer ejaculations. It did not matter if the ejaculations occurred through intercourse, masturbation, or nocturnal emissions. Of course, there’s more to prostate cancer risk than frequency of ejaculations, but this was one interesting finding.

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