Can Having Sex Make You Healthier?
There are many different ways to nourish your vitality, from staying hydrated, to taking vitamin supplements, to working out regularly. You’d never really expect your doctor to prescribe having more sex—but it’s not as far off as you might think.
While we may equate sex as a means for pleasure or reproduction, its role can be much bigger: sex is known to prolong life expectancy and enhance our senses, but it can also get a bit complex along the way. Let’s take a walk through the good, the bad, and the surprising facts about how sex and orgasms impact your body, mind, and spirit.
The Side Effects of Sex
The importance of sex to a woman is validated through a multitude of avenues. From memory improvement to stress relief, the rush of endorphins can impact a woman physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Health Benefits of sex may also include:
- Burned calories
- Better cardiovascular health
- Deeper sleep
- Stronger immune system
- Pain and headache relief
- Self esteem and confidence boost
- Pelvic muscle strengthening
- Improved bladder control
- Vaginal lubrication
When suffering from period cramps, orgasms can actually help alleviate some of the discomfort! Leading up to, and directly following an orgasm, your uterine muscles tend to relax, which can ease tight cramps. Consider an orgasm to be your bodies' version of a natural PMS Complete. Meanwhile, for those with a penis, ejaculating more frequently can help reduce risk of prostate cancer.
On the flip side, the side effects of not having sex include depressed moods and lower levels of serotonin. Generally speaking, as humans, we naturally crave touch and intimacy. Experiencing a lack of that can actually shorten our life span. In fact, one study found that men who had orgasms at least twice a week had a 50% lower mortality risk than those who did not.
How Much Sex is Important For Health
So, in the name of health, how much sex should you be having? Psychologist Kia-Rai Prewitt, PhD recommends having sex at least once or twice a week to unlock the full spectrum of vital benefits. Research shows that those who engage in sex at least two times a week have more immunoglobulin A (IgA) in their saliva—an antibody that helps prevent illness. Truthfully, there isn’t a numerical quota to hit, but rather, an innate desire to satisfy.
If you’re dealing with low libido (triggered by menopause, stress, or otherwise), there are plenty of tools worth investing in to heighten your hunger, like sexual enhancement creams, vaginal lubricants, and moisturizers. If you’re dealing with dryness, it’d also be helpful to ease into vaginal intercourse by starting out with gentler methods of foreplay, like massages, oral sex, or sensual baths.
It’s also worth noting that reaping the benefits of consistent sex doesn’t necessarily mean that sex has to be partnered. Masturbating regularly will not only provide these same array of health benefits, but will also invite you to get to know yourself on a deeper level. Consider integrating toys into your routine for an added dose of excitement and pleasure!
Can Too Much Sex Have Negative Effects?
It’s not always all orgasms and butterflies, though. What happens to a woman after sex obviously varies case by case. It’s possible to feel sad after intercourse, an experience known as postcoital dysphoria. Subsequent anxiety and sadness can be blamed on such things as: crashing hormones, self-image issues, performance insecurity, uncertainty with your sexual partner, or repressed trauma.
These uncomfortable feelings can last minutes, hours, and even days, but what’s important is to self-reflect or discuss them with your partner or a professional. Practicing safe sex is also crucial, with the risk of sexually transmitted infections and diseases always a possibility.
Go Get It On (If You Want To)
If you’re wondering what happens if you don’t have sex for a long time, the evidence is overwhelming: whether it’s with yourself or with a partner, sex may be the spoonful of sugar you’ve been needing. From your mental health to your physical health, be good to your body and set your sexual prowess free.