As if we Needed More Reasons

Healthy sexual activity between consenting adults is a powerful experience, and, with the right partner can be exceptionally good. Found out from a friend that July 31 is National Orgasm Day. That got me thinking. . .I wonder what the health benefits of sex are. Surely with all the dopamine and oxytocin, there has to be a ton of research on this matter. Let’s talk through 8 proven health benefits of sex.

8 Health Benefits of Sex

1. Sex can support the immune system.

College students were asked to provide details on how often they had sex. Those who stated that they had sex “very frequently” (defined as >3 times/week) had significantly higher levels of immunoglobulin A. IgA is an antibody that is critical for fighting infections around mucous membranes. Therefore it is powerful at fighting infections of the genitals, respiratory system, prostate, and it can also boost IgA in colostrum (the breastmilk produced soon after birth). Boost your immune system with a daily dose of s.e.x.

2. Sex reduces stress and improves the mood.

People who report having more sex have fewer stress symptoms and improved mood, and when the mood is improved stress symptoms lower. Shame for all the single people. Masturbation doesn’t cause this same effect. The sex must be between two people to get the beneficial results.

3. Sex improves overall physical fitness.

Sexual activity can be very tame to very vigorous depending on the partner, and calorie burning comes along with all sexual activity. The number of calories burned depends on the position, with some positions (like the bottom in missionary) burning very few calories, to the back side of doggy style burning up to 175 calories an hour. Bring on the stamina!

Furthermore, there is evidence that sexual activity increases endothelial nitric oxide synthase, and this helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to various body tissues.

4. Sex relieves headache pain.

In people with migraine headaches or cluster headaches of unknown origin, sexual activity can help to break the headache attack. Most people unfortunately don’t love the idea of having sex when they aren’t feeling their best. But it can actually be the perfect time to get your groove back.

5. Sex improves sleep.

It’s a cliché that dudes pass out right after sex, but intercourse actually can help both men and women nod off. Feeling relaxed and comfortable are big factors in hitting the big O, so it makes sense that there’s a tendency to want to snooze right after. During and after sex, the brain releases powerful hormones (including norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin), which can trigger the urge to cuddle or just pass out. Men are especially likely to zonk out because the prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain responsible for interpreting and responding to new information—slows waaaay down immediately after orgasm in males.

6. Sex enhances your sense of smell.

Good news for everyone who loves essential oils! Having a bit of nookie can actually improve your sense of smell.  When we have sex, prolactin surges. Prolactin can help drive the development of new neurons in the olfactory cortex.

7. Sex makes us look younger.

In a 10 year follow up study, researchers found that people who have sex more often generally appear younger and more attractive than those that don’t have sex as often. Orgasms trigger the release of estrogen in both men and women. Estrogen may help improve hair and skin quality in both men and women. No need for Botox!

8. Sex decreases risk for heart disease.

Good news for guys! In a 20 year follow up study, men who had sex more frequently were less likely to experience stroke and cardiovascular disease. And the more orgasms that they have, the less likely men are to die from coronary heart disease.

Studies show doing the deed actually reduces risk of stroke and coronary heart disease in men. According to the study, men who had sex once a month or less were 45 percent more likely to contract a cardiovascular disease than friskier fellows. The evidence suggested the men with better overall health had higher libidos and therefore more sex overall, which reinforced their healthy cardiovascular systems.

Like I said. . .

It’s not like you need creative reasons to have sex, but there are some great health benefits of sex that you can gain from a little bump and grind!

What is your favorite health benefit of sex?

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