6 Healthy Reasons You Should Have Sex — Right Now!

6 Healthy Reasons You Should Have Sex — Right Now!
6 min read

6 Healthy Reasons You Should Have Sex — Right Now!

Want to boost your mood, stress less, and cut your risk of cancer, heart disease, and other health hazards? No, the answer isn’t in a magic pill — it’s between your sheets. That’s right: A little loving can boost your overall health in a number of surprising ways.

“Sex can be good for your health for many reasons,” says Amy Wetter, MD, a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist at Pediatrix Medical Group in Atlanta. “Some of these include better sleep, lower stress, improved self-esteem, lower blood pressure, and pain relief.”

And nobody says you have to be with a partner to reap these benefits. Self-pleasuring can offer sex benefits, especially those specifically related to a good orgasm.

So whether you’re coupled up or flying solo, check out this list of the healthy knock-on effects of regular sex.

1. Improved Heart Health — Yes, Sex Is Exercise
Just like any physical activity, healthy sex is good for your heart. A longitudinal population-based study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that men who had sex at least twice weekly had less risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke or heart attack than those who had sex once a month or less.[1]
And an observational study published in 2020 found that sex may improve your long-term recovery after a heart attack. Researchers compared two groups of heart attack survivors: those who lowered their level of sexual activity or stopped having sex at all in the first six months of their recovery, and those who went back to their normal level of sexual activity or increased it. The people who had more sex had a 35 percent lower risk of death over the next two decades.[2]
For those who worry if sex is safe with heart disease, the American Heart Association (AHA) reports that as long as the condition is stabilized, you’re likely in the clear.[3] A good rule of thumb is if you can climb stairs or walk a mile without difficulty, it’s safe to have sex, per Johns Hopkins Medicine.[4]
Sex is actually considered a rather good form of exercise: A small study showed that men burned an average of 4 calories a minute during sex sessions that averaged 25 minutes, and women burned off 3 calories.[5]
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Energy Expenditure During Sexual Activity in Young Healthy Couples
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That’s a lot more fun than toiling away on a treadmill.

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2. Sweet Pain Relief, Even From Menstrual Cramps
Just looking at your partner — or even a photo of your partner — can help ease pain. In one study, people who were in the first nine months of a romantic relationship were exposed to thermal pain in a lab. They were shown photos of their romantic partners and other attractive people, and were engaged in a word game as a distraction. Participants reported looking at romantic partners significantly dulled the experience of pain, and brain imaging showed it also increased activity in areas associated with the brain’s reward system.[6] So if you think pain might be a barrier to full-on intercourse, take a moment to really look at your lover.
There’s also evidence women may get some relief from menstrual cramps through a good orgasm. In an informal survey conducted by a privately owned sex toy company called Womanizer, 70 percent of women said regular masturbation had an impact on the intensity of their period pain. Of these women, 62 percent said regular masturbation reduced the intensity of period pain somewhat, while 31 percent said it reduced the intensity by a lot

3. Less Stress and Lower Blood Pressure
Sex can help relieve stress by raising endorphins and other hormones that boost mood, Dr. Wetter says. At the same time, sex also lowers stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, according to research.[8]
What’s more, some research suggests sex may actually help lower blood pressure. A small study published in Sexual Medicine found that having sex the night before a blood pressure reading led to lower levels of systolic blood pressure. The more pleasurable the sex, the greater the effect appeared to be.[9]
4. Possible Reduction of Prostate Cancer Risk
A large prospective cohort study of nearly 32,000 U.S. men found that men who reported they ejaculated more than 21 times per month, compared with those who had done so four to seven times per month, were 20 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer.[10] While more research is needed to confirm this link, it appears that frequent ejaculation may lower your risk of prostate cancer.

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5. Better Sleep With a Bonus: Increased Sexual Desire
There’s a reason you and your partner tend to doze off shortly after a satisfying session — and wake up feeling refreshed. “Sex can improve sleep by the release of hormones called oxytocin, prolactin, and endorphins,” Wetter says. “This combination of hormones can produce a sedative effect.”

This sleep connection also works in reverse: according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, getting enough shut-eye can improve your sexual response and may increase the chance that you’ll engage regularly in sex. Researchers discovered that when women slept for longer periods of time, they reported greater sexual desire the next day.[11]
6. Happier Mood and a Stronger Relationship
It’s no wonder you’ve got a more positive outlook after sex: There are biochemical rationales for experiencing improved mood as a sex benefit, from the neurotransmitters that may be released during healthy sex to the mood enhancers contained in semen itself.

Plus, your frisky play may result in a serious afterglow that can, in turn, help you bond better with your partner. According to a study that examined newlywed couples who kept a two-week sexual diary, researchers found that partners were satisfied for a full 48 hours after sexual activity. And those who were lucky enough to experience this afterglow went on to report more happiness in their relationship several months later

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Natsu Dragnel 2
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