10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex
The perks of sex extend well beyond the bedroom.
6. Deeper Intimacy
Having sex and orgasms boosts levels of the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, which helps people bond and build trust.
In a study of 59 women, researchers checked their oxytocin levels before and after the women hugged their partners. The women had higher oxytocin levels if they had more of that physical contact with their partner.
Higher oxytocin levels have also been linked with a feeling of generosity. So snuggle up -- it might help you feel more generous toward your partner.
7. Sex May Turn Down Pain
Oxytocin also boosts your body's painkillers, called endorphins. Headache, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms may improve after sex.
In one study, 48 people inhaled oxytocin vapor and then had their fingers pricked. The oxytocin cut their pain threshold by more than half.
8. More Ejaculations May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely
Research shows that frequent ejaculations, especially in 20-something men, may lower the risk of getting prostate cancer later in life.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that men who had 21 or more ejaculations a month were less likely to get prostate cancer than those who had four to seven ejaculations per month.
The study doesn't prove that ejaculations were the only factor that mattered. Many things affect a person's odds of developing cancer. But when the researchers took that into consideration, the findings still held.
9. Stronger Pelvic Floor Muscles
For women, doing pelvic floor muscle exercises called Kegels may mean more pleasure -- and, as a perk, less chance of incontinence later in life.
To do a basic Kegel exercise, tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor as if you're trying to stop the flow of urine. Count to three, then release.
10. Better Sleep
The oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep, research shows.
Getting enough sleep has also been linked with a host of other health benefits, such as a healthy weight and better blood pressure. That's something to think about, especially if you've been wondering why your guy can be active one minute and snoring the next.