Sex not only feels good. It can also be good for you. Here’s what a healthy sex life can do for you.
6. Lowers Heart Attack Risk
A good sex life is good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate, sex helps keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.
“When either one of those is low you begin to get lots of problems, like osteoporosis and even heart disease,” Pinzone says.
Having sex more often may help. During one study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease as men who had sex rarely.
7. Lessens Pain
Before you reach for an aspirin, try for an orgasm.
“Orgasm can block pain,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a distinguished service professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. It releases a hormone that helps raise your pain threshold.
Stimulation without orgasm can also do the trick. “We’ve found that vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women have told us that genital self-stimulation can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headache,” Komisaruk says.
8. May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely
Going for the gusto may help ward off prostate cancer.
Men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer during one study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
You don’t need a partner to reap this benefit: Sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation were all part of the equation.
It’s not clear that sex was the only reason that mattered in that study. Lots of factors affect cancer risk. But more sex won’t hurt.
9. Improves Sleep
You may nod off more quickly after sex, and for good reason.
“After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness” after sex, says Sheenie Ambardar, MD. She is a psychiatrist in West Hollywood, Calif.
10. Eases Stress
Being close to your partner can soothe stress and anxiety.
Ambardar says touching and hugging can release your body’s natural “feel-good hormone.” Sexual arousal releases a brain chemical that revs up your brain’s pleasure and reward system.
Sex and intimacy can boost your self-esteem and happiness, too, Ambardar says. It’s not only a prescription for a healthy life, but a happy one.