Science says to have more sex! You heard it; not only does sex feel good, it’s also good for your health! Whether you’re coming up on a big anniversary or you’re still in the early stages of your romantic relationship, here are 7 reasons why you should spend more intimate time with your partner. Doctors orders!
Sex boosts your immunity
Want to prevent having a cold? People who have sex at least once a week have a better defense against germs, viruses, and other illnesses. In one immunity study, people who had frequent sex (1-2 times/week) had more immunoglobulin A (IgA), than people who had infrequent sex (less than once a week). IgA is an antibody that functions as the body’s first line of defense against becoming ill. On top of that, many studies have also shown that deep relaxation, the kind that results from meditation or sex (that’s right!), stimulates the immune system.
Having sex increases libido
Having sex makes you want to have more sex! While there can be a variety of reasons that your libido isn’t where it used to be such as menopause, aging, or anxiety, getting back into the habit of having regular sex will actually help improve your libido. For women, having sex increases vaginal lubrication, blood flow, and elasticity. For women who struggle with any of these common problems, sex might just be the answer (with some help from some lubrication, of course). While it may take some “practice” before you see a change in your libido, be patient and you just might find yourself craving your partner more than you’re accustomed to.
Intimacy lowers stress levels
If you’re stressed, sex may be the last thing on your mind, but being close to your partner can actually ease stress, decrease anxiety, and offer a sense of tranquility. According to CNN, “Dopamine, which impacts the brain’s pleasure and reward centers; endorphins, which can reduce pain and stress; and oxytocin, also known as the cuddle hormone, are all released during sex, with higher levels after orgasm.” A 2019 study found that expressions of intimacy, whether sexual or not, helped to bring cortisol (a stress hormone) levels back within a normal range.
Sex is good for your heart
Does your heart go pitter-patter when he enters the room? Not only are relationships, touching, kissing, and intimacy good for the soul, sexual intercourse is actually healthy for your heart. It lowers systolic blood pressure and reduces your risk for heart disease, stroke, and hypertension. It also keeps your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance. When either is low, you can begin to deal with problems such as osteoporosis and possibly heart disease.
Getting it on makes you tired
Has your partner ever quickly fallen asleep on you after sex? Don’t get mad, it’s science! Your body releases oxytocin, or the “love” or “intimacy” hormone, and endorphins during an orgasm. On top of that, after an orgasm, prolactin is released, which is a hormone linked to relaxation and sleepiness. The blend of these hormones throughout the body give a sedation-like effect to you and your partner. The National Sleep Foundation has even said that sex has its benefits for sleep!
Sex is a form of exercise
Let’s call it sexercise! While sex doesn’t take place of your hour-long treadmill session, it burns more calories (and is way more fun) than just sitting on the couch. Sex uses about five calories per minute, gets your heart rate going, and utilizes various muscles throughout your “workout.” One study found that a 25-minute sex session (including foreplay), on average, burned 101 calories in men and 69.1 calories in women. One way to make sex more of a workout is to increase the time that you’re intimate with your partner.
Bladder control improves with sex
Speaking of workouts, sex is definitely a workout for your pelvic floor muscles. Your pelvic floor muscles can become weakened due to aging, pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, or other factors, which is why kegel exercises are so helpful for many women. As an extra bonus, when you have an orgasm, it causes contractions in those muscles, which strengthens them. A strong pelvic floor is important for avoiding incontinence, something that will affect about 30% of women at some point in their lives.
As if you needed another reason to get it on with your partner… well, now you have 7 good things that come from good ol’ sex. It’s not too late to start increasing the intimate time that you spend with your partner… remember, it’s for your health!