Have you ever wondered if engaging in sexual intercourse has any health benefits? Well wonder no longer. In this post we are going to tell you about ten surprising ways that sex can boost your physical and mental health.
1. Having an orgasm may relieve the pain of menstrual cramps.
The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that having an orgasm may relieve cramping during the menstrual cycle. The logic behind this theory is that during orgasm, blood and other fluids move away from congested organs and this action relieves pain.
2. Sexual intercourse may improve your sleep.
Dr. Laura Berman, the director of the Berman Center for Women's Sexual health, reports that the act of sexual intercourse releases endorphins causing you to feel more relaxed and able to sleep. It is also the case that when you get a better night's sleep, you have more energy for sexual relations.
3. Having sex may ease the symptoms of restless leg syndrome.
In the April issue of Essence magazine, a study was cited which showed that having sex before bed calms the body and diminishes the symptoms of restless leg syndrome (RLS). RLS causes great discomfort to sufferers who feel the great urge to move their legs when trying to sleep.
4. Sex may be good for your skin.
There is a reason for that after-sex glow. Sexual activity improves circulation which makes your skin look more radiant. Sweating during sex is like a natural facial which cleanses your pores. Women who engage in sexual intercourse produce estrogen which is said to make your hair shine and make your skin feel smooth.
5. Having regular sex may add years to your life.
Dr. Oz, famous for his television talk show about health, has reported that you can reduce your physiologic age by six years if you have more than 200 orgasms a year. He cites a Duke University study to get his numbers. Dr. Oz has also been quoted as saying that men who double their sexual activity from once a week to twice a week will live, on average, about three years longer.
6. Sexual intercourse is a great way to burn calories.
According to Woman's Day magazine there are many sexual activities which will burn calories. For example the act of kissing can burn 68 calories in an hour. Giving a massage can burn even more calories-80 or more per hour. And the big event, sexual intercourse, can burn up 144 calories or more per half an hour. That would be equivalent to burning up the calories of that bagel you had for lunch. Add a little more time to your sexual activity and you can take care of that cream cheese as well.
7. Having sex can reduce stress.
This one is kind of a no-brainer. Most of us know that sex can promote feelings of relaxation and reduce our stress levels. In order to validate our common knowledge, the correlation between sex and stress reduction has been studied by scientists. For example, researchers from Scotland found that study subjects who had sexual intercourse had better responses to stressful situations than those participants who abstained from sex. In another study researchers who used rats as subjects, found that daily intercourse for two weeks led to neuronal growth in the hippocampus, the part of the brain which keeps our stress levels under control.
8. Regular sex may mean more regular menstrual cycles for some women.
Dr. Winnifred Cutler, a specialist in behavioral endocrinology and the author of Love Cycles: The Science of Intimacy, concluded from her studies that women who had sex two or more times a week had the most regular menstrual cycles. Those women who had sex at least once a week were slightly less regular than those women who had sex twice a week or more. But the women who had infrequent sex or were celibate were most likely to suffer from irregular menstrual cycles.
9. Sex may strengthen your immune system.
Scientists at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that regular sexual intercourse (once or twice a week) is correlated with higher levels of immunoglobulin A, an antibody which provides protection against illnesses such as colds, flu, or infections. The researchers concluded that orgasms boost these antibodies up to 20%.
10. Orgasm can help relieve pain.
When you have an orgasm you release oxytocin, a natural body chemical which dramatically increases before and during sexual climax. Oxytocin is known to be a very powerful pain-killer. Dr. Beverly Whipple, sex expert and co-author of The Science of Orgasm, conducted a study to show that when women had orgasms, their pain thresholds went up by more than 108%.
In addition there are studies to show that sexual intercourse can decrease depression, increase heart health and even decrease the risk for men to develop prostate cancer. But it is worth noting that we are talking about safe sex here.
Despite all of these potential health benefits, if you are engaging in unsafe sexual practices (having sex with multiple partners, not using protection, etc.) the risks may outweigh the benefits.
If you know of other health benefits to having regular sex that you would like to add to our list please let us know in the form of a comment. We would love to hear from you