1. Sex relieves stress
A big health benefit of sex is lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction, according to researchers from Scotland who reported their findings in the journalBiological Psychology. They studied 24 women and 22 men who kept records of their sexual activity. Then the researchers subjected them to stressful situations – such as speaking in public and doing verbal arithmetic – and noted theirblood pressure response to stress.
Those who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviours or abstained.
2. Sex boosts immunity
Good sexual health may mean better physical health. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections. Scientists took samples of saliva, which contain IgA, from 112 university students, who reported the frequency of sex they had.
Those in the “frequent” group – once or twice a week – had higher levels of IgA than those in the other three groups – who reported being abstinent, having sex less than once a week, or having it very often, three or more times weekly.
3. Sex burns calories
Participating in 30 minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more. It may not sound like much, but it adds up: 42 half-hour sessions will burn 3,570 calories, more than enough to lose a pound.
Sex can be a great form of exercise.
4. Sex improves cardiovascular health
While some older people may worry that the efforts expended during sex couldcause a stroke, that’s not so, according to British researchers. In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, scientists found frequency of sex was not associated with stroke in the 914 men they followed for 20 years.
The circulation health benefits of sex don’t end there. The researchers also found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half for the men, compared with those who had sex less than once a month.
5. Sex boosts self-esteem
Boosting self-esteem was one of 237 reasons people have sex, according to researchers who published the list in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
Some experts say those who already have self-esteem say they sometimes have sex to feel even better.
6. Sex improves intimacy
Having sex and orgasms increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, which helps us to bond and build trust. University researchers evaluated 59 premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their husbands and partners ending with hugs. They found that the more contact, the higher the oxytocin levels.
Higher oxytocin has also been linked with a feeling of generosity. So if you’re feeling suddenly more generous towards your partner than usual, credit the love hormone.
7. Sex reduces pain
As the hormone oxytocin surges, endorphins increase and pain declines. So if yourheadache, arthritis pain or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex, you can thank those higher oxytocin levels.
In a study published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 48 volunteers who inhaled oxytocin vapour and then had their fingers pricked lowered their pain sensitivity by more than half.
8. Sex reduces prostate cancer risk
Frequent ejaculations, especially in 20-something men, may reduce the risk ofprostate cancer later in life, Australian researchers reported in the British Journal of Urology International. When they followed men diagnosed with prostate cancer and those without, they found no association of prostate cancer with the number of sexual partners as the men reached their 30s, 40s and 50s.
However, they found men who had five or more ejaculations weekly while in their 20s reduced their risk of getting prostate cancer later by a third.
9. Sex strengthens pelvic floor muscles
For women, doing a few pelvic floor muscle exercises during sex offers a couple of benefits. You will enjoy more pleasure, and you’ll also strengthen the area and help to minimise the risk of incontinence later in life.
To do a basic pelvic floor exercise, tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor, as if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. Count to three, then release.
10. Sex helps you sleep better
The oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep, according to research.
Getting enough sleep has been linked with a host of other good things, such as maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure. This is something to think about, especially if you’ve been wondering why your partner can be active one minute andsnoring the next.