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However, several studies on the subject are now outdated, and not all potential benefits apply to everyone. Scientific research has highlighted several possible benefits besides procreation that come with sexual intercourse. These pluses include preserving heart health in some people, reducing blood pressureand boosting immunity. In this article, we look at the possible health benefits of sex and highlight relevant research, focusing on the physical rather than emotional aspects.
Partnered sex appears to have some protective effect on cardiovascular health, especially in women. This research found that sexually active women have a lower risk of cardiac events later in life. However, the study also concluded that high levels of sexual activity might increase the risk of cardiovascular events in men. This conclusion contradicts most earlier research, and further studies are necessary to verify this risk.
Males and females with heart problems should ask a doctor about how much sex is safe for them. They should also be specific about the regularity and intensity with which they have sex, as this may affect the potential strain on the heart. The same study also measured blood pressure as one of the markers of heart health. The researchers found that older women who expressed satisfaction with their sex lives were less likely to have high blood pressure. Medication for high blood pressure can also reduce libido and cause erectile dysfunction.
While this does not confirm a benefit, it may show a link between blood pressure and sexual health. Many people with high blood pressure, or hypertensionhave safety concerns when it comes to sexual intercourse. While it is always important to speak with a doctor, it is usually safe for people with high blood pressure to have sex.
If hypertension medication is causing sexual difficulties, a person can talk to their doctor who may be able to prescribe a different medication or dosage to relieve the adverse effects. Some early research found that regular sex increased the effectiveness of the immune system. Researchers found that people who had frequent sex, which they defined as one to two times per week, had more immunoglobin A IgA in their system than others.
IgA is an antibody that lives in the mucosal tissue, such as the salivary glands, nose, and vaginal tissue. However, it is important to recognize that this study appeared inand researchers have not repeated it since. A new study might yield different .
A more recent study looked at a small group of women to see if there were differences between the immune activity of those who were sexually active and those who are not. While the suggest that there might be some differences between the groups, the authors say more research is necessary before drawing any conclusions. An early study, again fromfound that high frequency of ejaculation may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
The study investigated almost 30, maleslooking at how often they ejaculated at different points in their life. They concluded that those who ejaculated more than 21 times per month had a lower risk of prostate cancer than men who only ejaculated 4—7 times per month. This follow-up confirmed the initial findings. The males who ejaculated most frequently had a lower risk for prostate cancer those who ejaculated less often. Sex can serve as a natural way to relieve stress.
A study looked at the effect that intimacy with a partner had on cortisol levels. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that circulates the body in response to stress.
The researchers found that expressions of intimacy, whether sexual or not, helped to bring cortisol levels in both males and female back within normal range. Here, learn more about stress. The National Sleep Foundation suggest that sexual activity has hormonal benefits for sleep. The same hormones that reduce stress and anxiety are also responsible for inducing sleepiness. Sex le to the release of oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins throughout the body. After a person has an orgasm, another hormone called prolactin starts to circulate.
Prolactin induces feelings of satisfaction and relaxation. While sex can be a pleasurable and potentially healthful activity, it is essential to remember that sex without protection can pose a risk to overall health. People who have sex without using contraceptives have a risk of sexually transmitted infections STIs and unplanned pregnancies.
Using a condom or other contraceptive method can reduce the risk of these outcomes. If a person has multiple partners, they can bring down the risk by reducing the of people with whom they have sexual contact. Sex can truly be the spice of life, but what does it do to the brain, and how does it impact our hormonal activity?
This Spotlight investigates. There are many biological reasons that sex is pleasurable for males and females.
In this article, we examine how sex affects both the body and the…. Many people with bipolar disorder find that some symptoms can lead to risky sexual behavior and difficulties in relationships. Here, learn about…. Orgasm headaches are sudden, intense headaches that occur just before or during an orgasm. They are generally harmless and a person can often treat…. Does sex provide health benefits? Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.
Helping heart health. Share on Pinterest. Reducing blood pressure. Boosting the immune system. Reducing prostate cancer risk. Relieving stress. Improving sleep. Latest news Hypertension, gut bacteria, and sleep apnea: Is there a link? Why are scientists massaging mice with robots? Molnupiravir vs. Related Coverage. How does sex affect your brain? Why is sex pleasurable? What to know about bipolar disorder and sex. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph. What is an orgasm headache?
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