Everyone knows that sex is fun and enjoyable-but did you know it can also improve your esteem and mental health? Or that regular orgasms cut your risk of cancer.
The Republic Senga this week brings you six surprising benefits of indulging in sex.
Improves self-esteem and mental health
Boosting self esteem was one of the 237 reasons people have sex. This is according to a study conducted by the University of Texas. Julia Cole, author of ‘How to Have Great Sex for the rest of your life’, is convinced that a healthy sex life with a loving partner does wonders for the way you feel about yourself.
After a session of sex, your body releases endorphins, which are known as happy chemicals because they improve mood,” she says. Purely, from a physical point of view, it’s similar to enjoying a good workout or going swimming and if you are having sex with someone you love it also makes you feel cared for and promotes self-esteem.
Sex aids sleep
During the orgasm, the body also produces oxytocin, a hormone linked with a range of physical and psychological benefits. Chief among these is its beneficial impact on sleep.
There is no doubt that sex is very relaxing and so helps tackle insomnia,” says Delvin, a specialist in sexual medicine.
“Lots of people use sex, whether with a partner or in a self-serving way, as a way to get sleep. That’s down to the surge in oxytocin during arousal and orgasm, which is a natural sedative.
One of the main health benefits is its impact upon stress. In a study by the journal, “Biological psychology”, 24 women and 22 men kept records of their sexual activity.
The researchers subjected them to stressful situations, such as public speaking and doing verbal arithmetic.
Those that had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.
Apart from the obviously pleasurable sensation of being touched or stroked, it is thought to have a biochemical effect, reducing the levels of cortisol, the hormone secreted when one is under stress.
Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which can protect the body rom colds and other infections.
Paula Hall, a psychosexual therapist, also thinks sex’s impact on our general well-being helps boost immunity.
“All the psychological benefits do have an impact on your physical health such as one’s immune system.
Sex has been linked with a pain reduction for a wide range of conditions, including lower back pain, migraines, arthritis and premenstrual tension symptoms.
It is all down to those hormones again.
Sex increases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
Reduces cancer risk
Frequent ejaculations may reduce the risk of prostate cancer for men in later life, according to a study by Australian researchers.
When they followed men diagnosed with prostate cancer and those without it, the researchers found that men who had five or more ejaculations weekly in their 20s reduced their chance of getting prostate cancer by a third.
The evidence is good that men who jerk off regularly in the past are less likely to get prostate cancer, confirms Delvin.
“Nobody knows exactly why this is but it pretty much seems to be pretty cast in iron.
Research also suggests that regular sexual activity may help women avoid breast cancer.