Sex can boost your mood, improve self-esteem and enhance your relationship quality

Sex can boost your mood, improve self-esteem and enhance your relationship quality

But can it actually impact your health? Research suggests that having sex can lead to a number of potential health benefits, from improved mental health and sleep quality to a lower risk of heart disease and chronic pain.

Stronger Immune System

There’s some evidence that sexual activity and orgasms may help your body mount a stronger immune response. This mation more easily.

For example, a 2021 study found that people who had sex more than three times per month were less likely to contract a serious case of COVID-19 than participants who had sex less often. This may be because sex has been linked to increased concentrations of leukocytes (white blood cells) and immunoglobulin (antibodies), both of which help the body stave off disease.

Lower Blood Pressure

While the act of sex can temporarily increase your heart rate and blood pressure, it may lead to a lower risk of hypertension (high blood GГҐ hit pressure) in the long run. Researchers believe this may happen because sex boosts endorphins–mood-boosting hormones that relieve pain and stress. One study found that women in long-term, sexually satisfying relationships had a significantly lower risk of uncontrolled hypertension, which suggests that the quality of sex plays a role.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Sex is associated with a number of positive effects on cardiovascular health, including a lower risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke as well as related conditions like type 2 diabetes.

It’s not entirely clear why having sex can improve heart health. Some researchers believe that the consistent release of “feel-good” hormones like endorphins and oxytocin play a role. Others argue that intercourse serves as a form of exercise, which promotes oxygen flow throughout the body and helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

Reduced Anxiety

Having sex on a regular basis may also work to prevent the onset of anxiety disorders and manage existing anxiety symptoms. Research indicates that sexual frequency, orgasms, sexual functioning, and sexual satisfaction are all linked to a lower risk of mood and anxiety disorders, as well as self-reported levels of anxiety.

This is likely due to a combination of physical factors–such as the natural boost in testosterone that goes along with sexual intercourse–and emotional factors, such as higher relationship quality and the stress-relieving impact of a supportive partner.

Better Sleep

Sex and sleep have a dyadic relationship, meaning that higher-quality sleep can improve sexual functioning and vice versa. In a 2023 study, both men and women reported that partnered sex and masturbation with orgasm improved their sleep quality. Orgasmic sexual activity also lowered the risk of sleep latency (taking a long time to fall asleep).

Sex may decrease the risk of insomnia because it lowers the body’s levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. It also prompts the release of prolactin–a hormone associated with both lactation and circadian rhythms.

Reduced Signs of Depression

Just as it can lower your chance of developing anxiety, sex has been linked to a significantly reduced risk of depression. In particular, women who have satisfying sex on a consistent basis are less likely to report depressive symptoms–possibly due to the mediating role of hormones like testosterone and oxytocin that are released during and after sex.

Fewer Menstrual Cramps

Women who have sex just before or during their period p relief. Orgasms release endorphins and contract the muscles of your pelvic floor, both of which can help to ease the pain of period cramps.

Stronger Pelvic Muscles

Repeatedly contracting and relaxing your pelvic muscles during sex works to strengthen your pelvic floor. Stronger pelvic muscles are linked to a number of health benefits for women, such as improved bladder control and the prevention of pelvic floor prolapse. In turn, strengthening your pelvic floor can improve your sexual satisfaction and functioning, as it’s associated with more orgasms, greater arousal, and less pain during intercourse.

Headache Relief

The opioid-like endorphins released during sex can relieve many different kinds of pain. In particular, sex has been found to relieve migraines and cluster headaches. One observational study found that 60% of participants with chronic migraines reported finding relief after sexual activity.

Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

Researchers aren’t yet sure why, but having sex (specifically, orgasms) on a frequent basis study found that men who ejaculated over 21 times per month had lower levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) than men who ejaculated less often. Lower levels of PSA are associated with a decreased long-term risk of developing prostate cancer.

Prevention of Vaginal Atrophy

Vaginal atrophy, also known as vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA), is a condition that affects many women after they go through menopause. Due to thinning of the vaginal walls, it causes symptoms like vaginal dryness, burning, itching, pain during sex. Sexual arousal and intercourse increase vaginal lubrication and blood flow to the vagina, both of which can help to relieve symptoms of vaginal atrophy.

Reduced Chronic Pain

The endorphins released during sex act as natural analgesics, meaning they provide pain relief. Endorphins are released both during orgasms and when you’re sexually aroused. Sexual activity may help to relieve some symptoms of chronic pain-related conditions, including arthritis and fibromyalgia.

A Quick Review

Research about the effects of sex on your health and well-being is still ongoing. Still, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that sex can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health in many ways.

Some of the health benefits of sex include a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, better sleep, fewer menstrual cramps, migraine and chronic pain relief, and a decreased risk of conditions like heart disease, prostate cancer, pelvic floor disorders, vaginal atrophy, depression, and anxiety.