SEX Health Benefits
Surprising Health Benefits of Having Sex
More sex = Longer lifE
Men having frequent orgasms cut their risk of death in half -
For a decade, researchers at
the university of Bristol tracked the mortality of
about 1,000 middle-aged men of comparable circumstances, age and health. They
found that men who reported
frequency of orgasm twice a week or more had
a death rate half that of those reporting orgasm less than monthly .
Journal December 20, 1997; 315(7123): 1641-1644
Women who have enjoyed sex in the past live longer -
a Swedish study
found that women did not live longer if they had sex more frequently, and
neither did a study in North Carolina.
Persson, G. (1981). “Five-year
Mortality in a 70-Year-Old Urban Population in Relation to Psychiatric
Diagnosis, Personality, Sexuality and Early Parental Death.” Acta
Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 64, 244–53
However, in the North Carolina study, women who reported
enjoying sex in the past lived
longer than those who didn't report enjoyment. Longevity was not correlated to
current sexual enjoyment in either women or
Palmore, E. (1982). “Predictors of
the Longevity Difference: A Twenty-Five Year Follow-Up.” The Gerontologist,
Sex Relieves StresS
Sex produces a
lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction
Traditional sex lowers BP -
Keeping records of their sexual activity, 24 women and 22 men in a Scottish
study were subjected to stressful
situations E.g. speaking in public,
doing verbal arithmetic whilst tracking their blood pressure response.
Researchers found that blood pressure reactivity to stress is better for
people who recently had penile/vaginal intercourse than for people who had other
sexual behaviors (E.g. masturbatiion) or had abstained.
Blood pressure reactivity to stress is better for
people who recently had penile–vaginal intercourse than for people who had other
or no sexual activity
Volume 71, Issue 2, February 2006, Pages 214–222
OXYTOCIN that accompanies orgasm affects stress
Charnetski, Carl J. & Francis X.
Brennan. (2001). Feeling Good Is Good For You: How Pleasure Can Boost Your
Immune System and Lengthen Your Life. Emmaus, PA: RodalePress, Inc
Low OXYTOCIN levels are correlated with
higher incidence of anxiety disorders
Increased OXYTOCIN levels shown to reduce stress
and alter response to stress
Weeks, David J. (2002). “Sex for the Mature
Adult: Health, Self-Esteem and Countering Ageist Stereotypes.” Sexual and
Relationship Therapy, 17(3), 231–40.
Satisfying sex increases output of the
known to aid relaxation and counteract
hypertensive-related stress hormones, such as
CORTISOL . DOPAMINE
helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers and those with low
DOPAMINE activity are more prone to addictions. A deficiency of
DOPAMINE is involved in Parkinson's disease.
Sex Decreases Heart DiseasE
Reduced CHD is associated with higher DHEA levels – DHEA is released during
Feldman, Henry A., et al.
(1998). “Low Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate and Heart Disease in
Middle-Aged Men: Cross-Sectional Results from the Massachusetts Male
Aging Study.” Annals of Epidemiology, 8(4), 217–28.
shown to help reduce the risk of heart attack and to protect coronary muscle if
heart attack occurs –
this hormone is
involved in sex drive in women and men.
Booth, Alan, et al. (1999).
“Testosterone and Men’s Health.”Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 22(1),
Fogari, Roberto, et al.
(2002). “Sexual Activity and Plasma Testosterone Levels in Hypertensive Males.”
American Journal of Hypertension, 15(3), 217–21.
level in men and women before and after intercourse are
higher than when intercourse does not occur
Dabbs Jr., J.M. & S. Mohammed.
(1992). “Male and Female Salivary Testosterone Concentrations Before and After
Sexual Activity.” Physiology and Behavior, 52(1), 195–7.
Penile-vaginal sex correlates with greater HRV
(Resting heart rate variability)
HRV is associated with
indices of better mood, attention, self-regulation, responsiveness to emotional
experience, fewer antisocial personality features, and less sexual dysfunction.
In two studies of
healthy German adults, a
greater HRV was associated with greater penile/vaginal sex frequency, but not
frequency of either masturbation or of noncoital (i.e. not penile/vaginal)
Brody S, Veit R, Rau H. A preliminary
report relating frequency of vaginal intercourse to heart rate variability,
Valsalva ratio, blood pressure, and cohabitation status. Biol Psychol
Brody S, Preut R. Vaginal intercourse
frequency and heart rate variability. J Sex Marital Ther 2003;29:371–80.
Sex may lower blood pressure -
Well not at the time, but in the long run.
The first of the Brody
studies above was found to lower diastolic blood pressure
(resting heart rate / 2nd
# in BP reading) –
the second study did not replicate this result
Women who hugged their partners had
lower BP –
a study examined 59 premenopausal women
before and after warm
contact with their husbands/partners ending with hugs and found that frequent
hugs lowered BP and raised OXYTOCIN (“bonding hormone”) levels.
Light KC, Grewen KM, Amico JA. More frequent partner hugs and higher oxytocin
levels are linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate in premenopausal women.
Biol Psychol. 2005 Apr;69(1):5-21. Epub 2004 Dec 29.
Contrary to prevailing belief, frequent sexual
intercourse does NOT result in an increased risk of stroke
Ebrahim, S., et al. (2002).
“Sexual Intercourse and Risk of Ischaemic Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease: The
Caerphilly Study.” Journal of Epidemiology Community Health, 56, 99–102.
Low libido / erectile dysfunction can be a “red-light” for high blood
pressure / cardiovascular problems
Sex for weight control / physical fitnesS
Sex is a physical workout
an estimated 50 - 60 calories per
encounter - so sex three times a week
for a month would burn about 700 calories - the equivalent of jogging about
An aroused person’s
pulse rate rises from ~ 70 to 150 beats/minute
the same as that of an athlete putting forth maximum effort. Also, more nutrient
and oxygen-carrying blood is pumped to the brain and other body tissues,
improving brain function and overall health.
during intercourse work the back, pelvis, thighs, buttocks, arms, neck and
flexibility in the limbs and strengthens the muscles.
production - leading to stronger bones and muscles.
Higher levels of body fat are associated with less brain
this hormone/transmitter is output during satisfying sex
A study of healthy German adults revealed that
men and women who had sex more frequently tended to be slimmer than those who
didn't have as much sex
Slimness is associated with greater
intercourse and lesser masturbation frequency.
J Sex Marital Ther
Sex boosts immune systeM
Sex reduces frequency of colds and flu – scientists at Wilkes University in
tested saliva samples of 112 students,
and found that those who had sex once or twice a week had
30% higher levels of the antibody
immunoglobulin A (IgA),
than those who abstained or had sex less than once a week. IgA is a “front-liner” for boosting the immune system. Interestingly, those who had sex three or more times a week had lower levels than those who
had sex once or twice a week. It has been speculated that the more sexually
active group was using sex to cover up for uncertainty or anxiety in the
Charnetski, Carl J. & Francis X.
Brennan. (2001). Feeling GoodIs Good For You: How Pleasure Can Boost Your
ImmuneSystem and Lengthen Your Life. Emmaus, PA: RodalePress, Inc.
(The bonding hormone)
heals wounds -
is responsible for that warm glow that comes after good sex. Studies show
that high levels of OXYTOCIN decrease inflammation-causing chemicals and speed
up healing by as much as 25%.
Sex improves academic
and possibly sporting performancE
Improve your next day performance of doing something stressful by having
penile/vaginal sex the night before - a Scottish study found that previous night sex can beneficially
prepare you for such as making a speech or taking an exam
Brody Stuart. (2006). “Blood Pressure
Reactivity to Stress Is Better for People Who Recently Had Penile-Vaginal
Intercourse than for people who had
Other or No Sexual Activity.” Biological
Psychology, 71, 214–22.
Sex for athletes? - one theory is that they
get a boost from raised levels of the male hormone
Sex may or may not help
male athletes -
Endocrinologist Emmanuele Jannini, of
the University of L’Aquila in Italy, who has studied the effect of sex on
sporting performances, says: “Some personalities need more concentration. In
this case sex may be a bad idea. For other athletes, a bit of extra aggression
could be the difference between winning and losing. In this case I would suggest
complete and satisfactory sexual intercourse the evening before the game.”
Sex may boost sporting
performance in women –
according to some studies
For max. performance levels, an athlete
may need a couple hours after sex before a competetive event to allow sufficient
cardiac recovery time
Sztajzel, J., et al. (2000). “Effect of Sexual Activity on Cycle Ergometer
Stress Test Parameters, on Plasmatic Testosterone Levels and on Concentration
Capacity. A Study in High-Level Male Athletes Performed in the Laboratory.”
Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 40(3), 233–9.
Sex improves fertilitY
Sex improves semen quantity
and quality -
In three studies, men who had
frequent intercourse had a higher volume of semen, a higher sperm count and a
higher percentage of healthier sperm, compared with men who tended to
participate in other sexual activities.
Regular, intimate sex improves menstrual
regularity, which together with increased intercourse frequency,
improves chances of fertility –
1975 thru 1986 studies found that women who engaged in
penile-vaginal intercourse at least once every non-menstruating week had cycle
lengths that were more regular than women who had intercourse sporadically or
who were celibate
Cutler, Winnifred B. (1991). Love
Cycles: The Science of Intimacy. New York: Villard Books.
A woman having an orgasm after
the man may increase likelihood of conception
study found that women
who had orgasms during intercourse after their male partners’ ejaculation
retained more sperm than those who did not reach orgasm or who had orgasm
before their partners ejaculated
Singh, Devendra, et al. (1998).
“Frequency and Timing of Coital Orgasm in Women Desirous of Becoming Pregnant.”Archives
of Sexual Behavior, 27(1), 15–29.
Sperm retained for 10–15
minutes in the vagina is associated with increased rates of fertilization
Levin, Roy J. (2002). “The Physiology of Sexual Arousal in
the Human Female: A Recreational and Procreational Synthesis.” Archives of
Sexual Behavior, 31(5), 405–11
OXYTOCIN released during
orgasm enhances the peristaltic waves that run along the uterine wall towards
the ovulating ovary - aiding the transport of sperm
Blaicher, W., et al. (1999). “The Role of
Oxytocin in Relation to Female Sexual Arousal.” Gynecological
ObstetricalInvestigation, 47, 125–6
Kunz, G., et al. (1996). “The Dynamics of
Rapid Sperm Transport Through the Female Genital Tract: Evidence from
Vaginal Sonography of Uterine Peristalsis
andHysterosalpingoscintigraphy.” Human Reproduction, 11(3),627–32.
Wildt, L., et al. (1998). “Sperm Transport in
the Human Female Genital Tract and Its Modulation by Oxytocin as Assessed by
Hysterosalpingoscintigraphy, Hysterotonography, Electrohysterography and Doppler
Sonography.” Human Reproduction Update, 4(5), 655–66.
Sex reduces risk of endometriosis -
Yale and Southern Connecticut State Universities found that women who had sex
(or used tampons) during their periods
reduced their chances of endometriosis, an abnormal growth of uterus-like cells
outside the uterus that is a common cause of infertility among women.
Meaddough, Erika L., et al.
(2002). “Sexual Activity, Orgasm and Tampon Use Are Associated with a Decreased
Risk for Endometriosis.” Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation, 53,
Sex can diminish
headaches and reduce other painS
“Honey I have a headache” is apparently not a
good excuse to avoid having sex -
Orgasms release OXYTOCIN and
endorphins, neurotransmitters or brain chemicals which reduce pain sensation.
OXYTOCIN boosts pain threshold 50% -
A study in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine found that
volunteers who inhaled OXYTOCIN vapour boosted their pain threshold by more than
Sexual activity-induced pain-suppressing
chemicals provide relief in:
sex also prompts production of
estrogen in women, which can reduce the pain of PMS. 9% of ~1,900 U.S. women who reported masturbating in
the previous 3 months cited relief of menstrual cramps
Ellison, Carol Rinkleib. (2000). Women’s
Sexualities. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Lower back pain
Shapiro, D. (1983). “Effect of Chronic Low Back Pain on Sexuality.” Medical
Aspects of Human Sexuality, 17, 241–5. As cited in Komisaruk & Whipple, 1995.
Migraine – a 2001
study of 83 women demonstrated some
pain relief . Although not as effective as drugs, effects of orgasm as an
analgesic were quicker
Evans, Randolph W. & James R. Couch. (2001).
“Orgasm and Migraine.” Headache, 41, 512-4.
Stimulation of vaginal G-spot helped women
tolerate 40% more pain – research carried out
at the Rutgers University, New Jersey, established that during orgasm this
ability to tolerate pain increased to 75%. Sexually active people are thus
believed to better handle the pain associated with conditions such as arthritis,
back pain and migraine.
Whipple, Beverly & Barry R.
Komisaruk. (1985). “Elevation of Pain Threshold by Vaginal Stimulation
in Women.” Pain, 21,
Komisaruk, Barry R. & Beverly
Whipple. (1995). “The Suppression of Pain by Genital Stimulation in Females.”Annual
Review of Sex Research, 151–86.
Sex puts you to sleeP
by satisfying sex or masturbation is nature’s Vallium -
Men are more
susceptible to this hormone than women, generally
falling asleep within 2-5 minutes after sex, compared to women who take 20-to-25
minutes to nod off. Women, now you know why your man is not into post-coital
Odent, Michel. (1999). The
Scientification of Love. London, UK:Free Association Books imited.Odent1999
One study found that 32% of 1,866 U.S.
women who reported masturbating in the previous 3 months did so to help go to
Ellison, Carol Rinkleib. (2000). Women’s
Sexualities. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Sex has an anti-cancer
Sex lowers risk of prostate cancer -
One possible reason may be that frequent ejaculation helps eliminate waste
products from their semen and prevents carcinogens from building up in the
prostatic ducts. Sex reduces tension and associated increase in potentially
damaging oxidants. However, for
the non-monogamous male, masturabation is a better choice for flushing the
prostate, since having sex with multiple partners can raise a man's risk of
cancer by up to 40% due to the increased risk of contracting sexual infections.
The more frequently men
aged 20 -50 ejaculate, the less likely they are to develop prostate cancer –
Men in their 20s who ejaculated on average seven times a week or more were
one-third less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer when compared with
men who ejaculated less than three times a week at this age.
Hopper JL.Sexual factors and prostate cancer.
BJU Int. 2003 Aug;92(3):211-6.
involving approximately 29,000 men also found that high ejaculation frequency (21 or more
ejaculations/month averaged over
lifetime – includes
sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation)
was related to a 33% lower lifetime
risk of prostate cancer than the baseline
each increase of three ejaculations per week during a man's lifetime
was associated with a 15% reduction in prostate cancer risk.
Leitzmann MF, Platz EA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC,
Giovannucci E. Ejaculation frequency
and subsequent risk of prostate cancer. JAMA.
Sex lowers risk of breast cancer -
A French study found that the risk of developing breast cancer was three
times higher in women who have not given birth having intercourse less than
once/month, compared with women who have intercourse more often.
Lê, M.G., et al. (1989).
“Characteristics of Reproductive Life and Risk of Breast Cancer in a
Case-Control Study of Young Nulliparous Women.
Sex is a natural
Sex produces the “Love Hormone”phenylethylamine
possibly acting as a neurotransmitter, PEA is
a chemical produced in greater
quantities when we are in love which elevates mood and energy (we’ve all
seen or experienced this starry-eyed phenomenon).
Conversely, a deficiency (common in manic-depressives) causes unhappy feelings.
PEA is also present in cocoa and chocolate.
Male sexual intercourse frequency found to be
inversely related to depression –
this study of men from 4 different cultures also found a direct
correlation between sexual satisfaction and intercourse frequency. i.e. A
perceived lack of a “healthy” sex life increases depression symptoms, as seen in
those with erectile dysfunction.
Nicolosi, Alfredo, et al. (2004). “A
Population Study of the Association between Sexual Function, Sexual Satisfaction
and Depressive Symptoms in Men.” Journal of Affective Disorders, 82,
Women directly exposed to semen are less
depressed –a Study of
~300 sexually active college women found that less depression and fewer suicide
attempts were associated with those women who had sex without a condom compared
to those who didn’t or abstained from sex.
Of course, it could just be that a woman who casts care to the wind by
having unprotected sex is by nature a carefree, happy person!
Gallup, Gordon G., et al. (2002).
“Does Semen Have Antidepressant Properties?” Archives of Sexual ehavior,
However as the study leader,
pschologist Gordon Gallup points out, “I want to make it clear that we are not
advocating that people abstain from using condoms.” Understandable, since
getting an STD or experiencing an unwanted pregnancy is not going to brighten
Interestingly, a 1994 study of psychiatric
patients in the Netherlands found that having sexual intercourse decreased the
need for psychiatric medications
Stiefelhagen, S. (1994). De social
erotische dienstverlening. In:Seks, lang zo gek nog niet. Symposium over
seksualiteit en relaties in de psychiatrie. Rutgers Stichting Eindhoven.
Frequent sex reduces
menopausal / andropausal symptomS
Women who continue to be sexually active after
menopause are less likely to have any significant vaginal atrophy
- sexual activity includes masturbation;
Laan, E. & R.H. van Lunsen. (1997).
“Hormones and Sexuality in Postmenopausal Women: A Psychophysiological Study.”
Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 18(2),126–33.
Leiblum, Sandra, et al. (1983).
“Vaginal Atrophy in the Postmenopausal Woman: The Importance of Sexual Activity
and Hormones.” JAMA, 249(16), 2195–8
van Lunsen, R.H. & E. Laan. (2004).
“Genital Vascular Responsiveness and Sexual Feelings in Midlife
Women:Psychophysiologic, Brain, and Genital Imaging Studies.”Menopause,
11(6 Pt 2), 741–8.
Menopausal women in Nigeria experienced fewer hot
flashes when they had sex at least once a week – possibly by regulating hormonal levels of FSH and LH, which affect
Comparative study of coitus and
non-coitus in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
Afr J Med Med Sci
S. The relative health benefits of different sexual activities. J Sex Med
Having regular erections increases the delivery
of oxygen through increased blood flow – helps keeping penile tissue healthy
Montorsi, F., et al. (1997).
“Recovery of Spontaneous Erectile Function After Nerve-Sparing Radical
Retropubic Prostatectomy With and Without Early Intracavernous Injections of
Alprostadil: Results of a Prospective, Randomized Trial.” Journal of Urology,
Zippe, C.D., et al. (2001).
“Management of Erectile Dysfunction Following Radical Prostatectomy.” Current
Urology Reports, 2(6), 495–503
Sex keeps you looking “Super-young”
One of the strongest correlates to being judged
7-12 years less than your age was an active sex life –
in a 10 year study involving
> 3,500 European and American women and men examining various factors associated
with youthful appearance, a panel of judges viewed the participants through a
one-way mirror and then guessed the age of each subject. On average,
“superyoung” participants reported engaging in sexual intercourse three times a
week compared to the control group’s average of twice a week.
Weeks, David & Jamie James. (1998).
Secrets of theSuperyoung. New York: Berkley Books.
Sex gives women better bladder controL
Sex strengthens the pelvic floor muscles that
control the flow of urine -
Kegel exercises occur naturally during sex, giving women
better bladder control.
Sex improves sense of
PROLACTIN hormone production surges after sex -
this causes stem cells to develop new neurons in
the brain's olfactory bulb, its smell center.