Seven Reasons Why Sex Is Good For Your Health
Updated: Jun 19
Sex – it’s an important part of any sexual or romantic relationship. But it's more than just a connecting, or physical act, in fact, there are a number of benefits that come with it too.
1. Orgasm boosts your immunity
Orgasm has a wider range of spin-off health benefits than most people realize. It not only burns calories, improves memory, and relieves pain, but it also boosts your immunity!
One study* of students in Pennsylvania found that those who had sex either once or twice a week had 30% more Immunoglobulin A (IgA) than those who had none at all. For the majority of us that don’t know...IgA is the first line of resistance against infection.
So - that rush of feel-good endorphins (dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) released by orgasm works to strengthen your immune system. Plus, it helps the body’s ability to make antibodies that help to fight a wide range of bacteria and viruses.
2. Sex helps you sleep
Good news for those concerned about their sexual wellness – sex helps you sleep. And adequate sleep, immunologists tell us*, is the bedrock of our whole immune system. While we sleep the hormone melatonin triggers new immune cells, helping to bolster our immunity.
Apart from the physical exercise involved, the reason that sex helps you sleep is that it stimulates the release of sleep-inducing hormones. This includes prolactin, a natural sleep aid.
What’s more, sex not only improves your sleep, but in turn, improves your sex drive.
3. It helps you de-stress and relieves anxiety
Whether you’re in an intimate relationship or single, (safe) sex can have a multitude of benefits to your overall wellbeing.
Research shows that sex is a great stressbuster. The pleasure that comes with sex helps you to cope with, just as a shortage of sleep increases it. munity.
But it’s not just intercourse and/or orgasm, hugging and any affectionate act of physical intimacy helps to release feel-good hormones that act as natural relaxants.
As previously mentioned, sex aids sleep too. Studies* have shown that in turn, this helps reduce anxiety, just as shortage of sleep increases it.
4. Intercourse reduces blood pressure under stress
In a study* examining the relationship of “sexual behavior patterns” in association with blood pressure and its reactivity to stress, it was found that blood pressure could be reduced through sex.
It also found that the blood pressure of participants who had penile-vaginal intercourse showed less reactivity to stress and lower baseline levels than participants who had abstained from all sexual activity.
5. It keeps you healthy
We all know the importance of staying healthy, and to no surprise, sex is a great body workout for your heart and lungs.
Sexual arousal increases the heart rate, which reaches its peak during orgasm. And that’s not it! Like other forms of physical excision, it exercises your heart. It may not provide the same cardiac benefit as a long run or gym-session (depending on how vigorous your sex life is), it still forms part of your cardio workout.
During sex*, you also tend to be working at your core, which can boost cardiovascular health. There are various sexual positions to try, if you want to amp up your core workout. Even the missionary can be good for your core, as well as glutes.
6. Sex can help tone and build your muscles
Sex is a form of exercise that, in turn, works your muscles. Depending on your intimate relationships, some sexual positions can give you a good stretch and keep you limber, acting almost like a form of sexual yoga. While others can work particular muscle groups, from your arms or legs, to your abdomen or buttocks.
Working your muscles in turns boosts your immunity*, especially as you age. This is because muscle stimulates chemicals that help the working of your thymus gland, where immune cells are produced.
You might not realize it, but sex activates all kinds of tiny muscles* in your body that might otherwise get little used. We have some 657 muscles in our body. Just to give you an idea, sending a text can use 38 of them… imagine what sexual arousal and sex can do!
7. It improves your mood and helps you live longer
In other good news, sex is great for your brain, body and mood. Most individuals and couples (as many as 80%) report that healthy sexual relationships are critical for relationship satisfaction and overall quality of life.
Conversely, an unhappy sex life is one of the three most commonly cited reasons for divorce. If you’re wondering does making love strengthen a relationship, you might just want to take note.
So that's it - 7 good reasons why you should be engaging sexually to stay healthy!
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*1 [Source of the Pennsylvania study cited above: (Charnetski CJ, Brennan FX. Sexual frequency and salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA). Psychology Report , 2004;94:839-44.
*2 [Source: https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/health_benefits_sex]
*3 [Source: Grewen KM, Anderson BJ, Girdler SS, Light KC. Warm partner contact is related to lower cardiovascular reactivity. Behavioral Medicine, 2003;29:123-30.]
*4 [Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15961213]
*5 [Source: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/benefits-of-love-sex-relationships/]