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July 6, 2012

Just Say “Yes”: The Health Benefits of Sex

Health benefits of sex

Are There Health Benefits of Sex?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said:  It is one of the beautiful compensations in this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.   

So what does that have to do with having sex? Well, some people find all sorts for reasons not have to sex with their partner. What they don’t realize is that they are missing out on the health benefits of sex.

This most pleasured activity called “sex” is associated with many positive physiological changes that makes the mind and body healthier. So the next time you say “no”, think again. You may be denying yourself a life of more vigor and better health.

The Health Benefits of Sex

  • Relief of stress and depression
  • Improved immunity
  • Burn calories
  • Improved heart health
  • Pain reduction
  • Reduce prostate cancer risk
  • Better sleep
  • Stronger pelvic floor muscles (leading to better bladder control)
  • Appetite control
  • Enhanced sense of smell and taste
  • More regular menstrual cycles
  • Improved sex drive (especially in women)
  • Improved confidence
  • Improved tissue healing
  • Lower risk of death
As you can see there are an abundance of health benefits of sex. You will not find a drug that can do all that.  So how does having sex provide all that benefit?

Why Having Sex is Healthy

During orgasm the body’s physiology changes dramatically leading to many of the health benefits of sex.  There is a release of endorphins, which are morphine-like chemicals making orgasm a great pain reliever.

Another hormone, oxytocin, is released. Oxytocin improves intimacy, improves blood flow leading to better healing, lowers blood pressure, provides a sense of calmness, and stimulates release of growth hormone and testosterone. Both of these  hormones improve body composition and energy levels. Growth hormone rejuvenates the body as well.

DHEA is released during orgasm, too. DHEA improves body composition, has anti-aging effects, and protects against the adverse effects of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Estrogen levels are higher in women following frequent sex reducing the risk of osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Sex improves fertility in women by improving the menstrual regularity by maintaining estrogen levels.

Serotonin, the “happy hormone” is released during orgasm. Serotonin is found in semen and is absorbed from the semen in women further improving mood and relief of depression.

Dopamine, a hormone that helps control our appetite is released during sex. Dopamine also boosts energy.

Calories are burned during sex, about 85 calories for every half-hour. Not a tremendous amount, but certainly enough to avoid adding a pound or two to your body every year.

Through a reduction in blood pressure, better body composition, and release of testosterone (which has many heart benefits), heart health is improved with frequent sex.

Prolactin is released during orgasm. Prolactin is a hormone that activates our senses like taste and smell.

Frequent sex enhances the immune system by elevating IgA levels. This reduces the risk of colds and even allergies and asthma.

Reduced cancer risk in men and women is associated with frequent sex. In men, prostate cancer risk is lower by one-third in men who have 5 or more ejaculations per week during there 20’s. In women, sex is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer in women who have not given birth. Also, in women, frequent sex strengthens muscle of the pelvic floor leading to better bladder control

Death rates are 50% lower in men who orgasm twice a week than in men who orgasm once a month. Risk of stroke is also lower in men engaging in frequent sex.

So the next time your partner asks for sex, keep in mind that by helping them in this endeavor you are also helping yourself. When it comes to our health maybe the Beatles were right, “All you need is love”. Reap the health benefits of sex.

Have sex, stay healthy!

See related articles.

“Oxytocin: the Love Hormone”

“Natural Serotonin Boosters”


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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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