We get it, at the end of a long day, the idea of sex can be about as inviting as your next pap smear. Just like a smear, for too many women, having sex is often a matter of “oh, haven’t done that for a while, it’s probably time for another one”.
So if you need a little incentive to rev up your engine, studies show that sex is good for you and good for your health. Here’s why:
1. Alleviating stress levels
Rather than being something you need to stress about, sex can actually help you cope better with stress. Any type of physical intimacy – hugs and kisses – can alleviate stress too. Simply being touched can release the feel-good hormone oxytocin into the blood system so it isn’t necessary to experience an orgasm to feel the good effects of sex on stress levels. But seeing as you’re there anyway…
2. Sex reduces depression
Those feel-good hormones also help to keep depression at bay. Studies show that having regular sex makes your world a sunnier place to live in, all thanks to oxytocin.
3. Heart attack and stroke prevention
Despite what happens in movies, it is extremely uncommon for anyone to die during intercourse due to heart attack or stroke. Sex can be good but it is rarely THAT good! Sex actually gets your blood pumping through your blood vessels so having sex a couple of times a week may actually cut your risk of stroke or heart attack in half.
4. Sex prevents osteoporosis
We all know that women are more prone to osteoporosis, but we can actually build up a bone density closer to that of our partners thanks to increased hormonal levels during sex. Both oestrogen and testosterone increase, and the higher testosterone levels mean better bone density and lower risk of osteoporosis.
5. Sex reduces colds and flu
Not only will it keep you warmer in the cold months, but it will also help you stave off bugs! Having sex at least once a week increases the production of the antibody immunoglobulin. These antibodies are immune-boosting, so more sex means a better immune system and less colds and flu.
6. Sex relieves headaches
Instead of using a headache as an excuse not to, it might be a very good reason to go for it! Yes, it may be the last thing you feel like doing, but having sex when you have a headache can be a pain-reliever. In fact, the analgesic effects of the endorphins and corticosteroids released during sex can help other types of pain as well, including cramps, body aches and arthritic pain.
7. Sex helps sleep
Have you ever wondered how your fella can go from enthusiastically doing the deed to deep asleep in minutes? It turns out that the oxytocin that’s released during an orgasm can work better than the best sleeping tablets! Need a good night’s sleep? Simply chase the Big O and you’ll sleep like a baby.
8. Sex keeps you fit
Not only does sex give your pelvis, thighs, buttocks and arms a good workout, but if you really throw yourself into the act, you’ll get a good cardio workout too. Some experts estimate that 30 minutes of active sex is equivalent to 15 minutes on a treadmill. With your pulse rate up, you’ll be getting fit in bed!
9. Sex improves your pelvic floor
Sex gives all the pelvic floor muscles a good workout. If pregnancy and birth have had a detrimental effect on these muscles, or if you just want to prepare your body in advance, then aside from doing pelvic floor exercises each day, the next best thing you can do is have regular sex – and ideally, have regular orgasms as these will cause the entire pelvic floor to contract and tighten.
10. Sex improves intimacy
It may seem obvious but couples who have regular sex tend to be closer and enjoy greater intimacy. Enjoying a regular physical connection with your partner is a great way to remind yourself that you are lovingly and emotionally supported.
11. Sex fights aging
Studies show you can slow time’s march on your body by having regular sex. Because sex improves your mood, helps you to sleep better, and tones your body, regular sex can have an anti-aging effect on your body.
12. Sex heals wounds
Oxytocin, the hormone released during sex, has been shown to help wounds heal – even slow-to-improve wounds, such as those experienced by diabetics. In fact, regular sex will result in the oxytocin released into your body rejuvenating some types of cells.
Written by Lilly Potter
A beauty and fashion goddess with the mouth of a sailor, Lilly is our go-to for what’s happening in the world of celebs. With a green tea in hand 90% of the time, she loves photography, surfing and dominating board game nights. It’s a problem.
Favourite Disney film: Beauty & the Beast