Happy couple having intimate moment together in bed

The surprising health benefits of sex

Most of us are aware of the many joys and pleasures that can come with physical intimacy. However, few are aware of the potential health benefits linked with sex.

Not only can sex have physical benefits, according to studies it can also be beneficial mentally. Vivastreet reveal some of the surprising health benefits linked to sex which extend well outside the bedroom.  

Couple having a romantic moment in bed

The emotional health benefits of sex

Though it’s perhaps not an area that’s widely talked about as much as the physical elements, having sex can offer incredible emotional benefits.

Sex in a relationship increases bonding

For couples, sexual intimacy can form an emotional bond, helping to strengthen and cement your relationship. For those couples who have been in a long-term relationship, physical intimacy can contribute to facilitating what researchers term as ‘pair bonding’. According to the researchers, the post-sex feeling, otherwise known as the sexual afterglow, (which can last up to 48 hours), is a predominant factor in cementing the emotional bond between couples.

Couple sitting at home together cuddling and laughing

Sex improves your job satisfaction

Another great benefit of having regular good sex is that it puts you in a better frame of mind and increases your mood. According to a past journal, the impact of good sex can spill over to the workplace, contributing to positivity. Likewise, for those who find themselves having a particularly bad day at work, great sex at home is the perfect release to discard any pent up work-related frustrations.

Sex reduces stress levels while warding off depression

Studies have shown that those who engage in frequent sex cope better with stress compared to those who don’t – an evident example that sex can have a positive effect on our mental health. Sex works to make our blood pressure levels less reactive to signs of stress and reduces its effect. 

Serene woman relaxing on comfy sofa 

The physical health benefits of sex

As well as the many emotional and mental health benefits linked to sex, there are also a number of physical health benefits of having sex. 

Sex contributes to a healthy heart

According to the studyIs Sex Good for Your Health? A National Study on Partnered Sexuality and Cardiovascular Risk Among Older Men and Women”, sexual intercourse can contribute to health of your cardiovascular system. In short, having sex exercises the heart. According to the study, for some women, frequent sexual activity could lower the risk of potential cardiac problems later in life.

Sex can help your immune system defend itself better

Research which looks at the impact of frequent sex suggests regular intercourse increases our immune levels. According to the research, regular sex could mean our bodies are better equipped to fight off colds and flus, in moderation. Furthermore, for people who consistently have sex over the course of a week, studies suggest they develop increased antibodies that can help them fight off infections.

Passionate couple clenching hands having intense erotic moment
Disclaimer: Sex will not protect you from coronavirus. The above was based on a study, which looked at the impact of sex on minor illnesses such as the common cold. Please continue to follow current Government guidelines.

Sex can help reduce the risk of ulcers, strokes, and angina

According to a BMJ report, “Sexual intercourse and risk of ischaemic stroke and coronary heart disease: the Caerphilly study”, for men in a relationship, good regular sex could reduce the risk of ulcers, angina, and other problematic coronary diseases. This is because they instantly feel more loved, wanted, and supported by their other half. As highlighted in the paper, this is mostly because men find that a good sex life can help them develop a coping mechanism to deal with stress in general. This means their chances of them developing serious health issues can be reduced through frequent sex.

Sex can help you get a good night’s sleep

Though there have been many jokes about people falling asleep straight after sex, there is in fact a scientific reason for this. Research conducted by Dr. Michele Lastella of Central Queensland University ran a survey of almost 500 individuals and looked at the correlation of their sex lives and sleeping habits. The research found that sex before bed can help improve sleep quality. This is in large part to the endorphins released by sex, which work to ease anxiety and relax you, helping you to fall asleep quickly after.

Man enjoying a peaceful sleep after sex

Sex can work to lessen pain

Whereas many of us will reach for an over-the-counter solution to deal with pain, experts suggest that for some health issues we should instead be trying for an orgasm. According to a health study which looked at sexual activity and headache disorder, sex may work to relieve the pain in at least some patients. This is because during sex, our bodies release a hormone that can work wonders to help you raise your pain threshold. So, an orgasm can effectively block pain, and in fact relieve the intensity of migraine pain in the process.

Sex makes you happier

As if the other many great benefits of sex, both physically and emotionally, weren’t enough, sex can make you a happier person all-round. When we have sex, natural hormones called endorphins are released. These are the specific hormones responsible for making us feel good and therefore play a crucial role in making us happy.

Sex can contribute to exercise

There have been numerous studies to suggest that sex contributes to our recommended exercise allowance. This may not be entirely accurate, as studies on this found that the energy expenditure of sexual activity was significantly less than that expended during the 30 minutes of treadmill exercise (approx. two-thirds less). However, the same study did reveal that “energy expenditure during sexual activity was approximately 85 calories or 3.6 calories per minute”, more than a brisk walk. If incorporated into our exercise regime, it means that sex can play a part in our health and fitness. 

Help your mental and emotional wellbeing

As mentioned above, there are many health and mental benefits associated with healthy and happy sex. However, it goes without saying that any consensual sexual activity you do participate in should be healthy, happy and safe for all involved.

If you’re currently in need of an emotional or mental pick me up, the evidence suggests that sex might just be what the doctor ordered.

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