Sex And Sexuality
Sex and Sexuality are an integral part of life and as such can’t be ignored. Asides procreation, sex can create an intimate bond between partners and as well for pleasure. Sexual activities offer a large range of benefits to all aspects of life.
Sexual health entails more than just avoiding contracting sexually transmitted diseases(STDs) and unplanned pregnancies. It’s more about acknowledging the enriching benefits sex has to human health.
Benefits of Sex to Human Health
Some studies are of the belief that sex can be a good cardiovascular exercise both in younger men and women. Having sexual intercourse isn’t enough as an exercise activity. However, it can be considered a light exercise.
Some benefits that can be gotten from sex include:
o Burning of Calories
o Increased Libido
o Strengthening Muscles
o Improves mood
o Increases happiness
o Relieves off stress
o Reduces anxiety and depression
Studies also show that sexual activity can lead to:
ü Increased satisfaction with one’s mental health
ü Increased level of trust, intimacy, and love in one’s relationships
ü Improved ability to perceive, identify, and express emotions
ü lessened use of your immature psychological defense mechanism, or the mental processes to lower discomfort that arises from emotional conflict.
sexual activity at an older age may affect one’s well-being and ability to reason properly. Research showed that sexually active adults between the ages 50 to 90 years old had better retentive memory. They also had lower chances of feeling depressed and lonely.
People who are actively engaged in sex tend to exercise frequently than the norm and also have better dietary habits than those who are not active sexually. Physical fitness can also help in improving one’s performance during sex.
Below are health benefits of sex:
Sex helps strengthen the immune system:
A study of immunity conducted in the year, 2004 on people engaged in active romantic relationships showed that people who had sex regularly (at least one to two times a week) had more immunoglobulin A (IgA) in their body system while people who had sex not too often (less than once a week) had significantly less IgA.
IgA is the antibody that plays a role in preventing illnesses. It is most resident in the mucosal tissue such as the salivary gland, nose and vaginal tissue.
But those who had sex more than three times a week had the same amount of IgA as those who had infrequent sex. The study suggests that anxiety and stress can possibly cancel out the positive effects of sex.
Sex helps in boosting Heart Health:
Sex between partners possess a protective ability on cardiovascular health especially in women. A 2016 study examined the likely health benefits of sexual activity with a regular partner.
This research found out that sexually active women are less likely to develop cardiac events later on in life.
However, this study further concluded that too much sex tends to increase the chances of cardiovascular problems in men. This conclusion contradicts earlier research, and further studies are important to verify this risk.
Males and females with heart issues should consult a doctor about how much sex is safe for them. Regularity and intensity of sex should also be specified as this may pose a threat to the Heart.
Sex helps reduce blood pressure:
The same study conducted in 2016 found that older women who were satisfied with their sex lives had lower chances of having high blood pressure. However, such wasn’t the case for men.
It is important to note that increased blood pressure can affect both a man’s ability to get and maintain an erection and also his libido.
Many people diagnosed of high blood pressure or hypertension, have concerns as regards safety when it comes to sexual intercourse.
While it is always recommended and important to speak with a doctor, it is equally safe for people with high blood pressure to have sex.
Sex helps in reducing the risks of Prostate Cancer in men:
An early study also from 2004, conducted an investigation on about 30,000 males and researched deeply on how often they ejaculated at different times in their lives and found that ejaculating frequently may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Conclusion was that those who ejaculated more than 21 times in a month had a lower chance of having prostate cancer than men who ejaculated 4–7 times only in a month.
In 2016, the same group of researchers dived further and extended this study for 10 more years to continue with their research on the participants chances of developing prostate cancer.
This extended research confirmed the initial findings that males who ejaculated more frequently had a lower risk for developing prostate cancer than those who ejaculated less often.
Sex helps increase the flow of blood and also release natural pain-relieving chemicals in women:
Engaging in sexual activity in women can help:
v Improve control of the bladder
v Reduce incontinence
v Relieve menstrual and premenstrual cramps and pain
v Improve fertility
v Build stronger pelvic muscles
v Produce more vaginal lubrication
v Protect one against endometriosis (growing of tissue outside the uterus)
Sexual activity can also help strengthen one’s pelvic girdles. A strengthened pelvic girdle can be beneficial in reducing pain during sex and also a lower risk of a vaginal prolapse.
Women who continue to be active sexually even after menopause are less likely to have vaginal atrophy (thinning of vaginal walls). Vaginal atrophy can cause pain during sex and also urinary problems.
Sex helps improve sleep:
The same hormones that help relieve stress and anxiety are also responsible for inciting sleep. Sex leads to the release of oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins in the body.
Once a person has an orgasm, another hormone called prolactin is released and begins circulating. Prolactin hormone triggers the feelings of satisfaction and relaxation.
Better and Improved sleep quality can:
· Boosts the immune system
· Prolong one’s lifespan
· Increases strength and energy during the day
· Gives a sense of rest and peace of mind
Sex helps boost one’s Confidence:
Frequent sexual activity can help one look younger which is due to the release of estrogen hormone during sex.
Sex helps improve relationships and love lives:
Sex helps one connect to his/her partner, increases bond between partners, intense satisfaction due to fulfilment of sexual desires. This is as a result of the hormone, Oxytocin which plays a role in developing and improving relationships and love life. One may also find positive growth in his/her relationship when there is freedom of expression in communication and also sexual desires.
However, while sex can be a pleasurable and a potentially healthful activity, it is vital to note that sex without protection can threaten general health of an individual and precautionary steps are necessary to prevent the risks of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.
Sex isn’t the only indicator of health or happiness. One can still lead an active and happy life without sex. The benefits of sex comes from the feeling of pleasure, which various studies have shown that pleasure, joy and happiness can also be come from listening to music, interacting with pets, and having strong religious faith, exercising, having a strong network of friends etc. could offer the same benefits of sex too. Sex is just one of the numerous ways of improving quality of life.
In conclusion, if sex is part of your life, due to a relationship or desire, it is important to note that communication and sexual satisfaction be able to communicate and experience sexual satisfaction are very vital. One may find relief from stress and as well happiness when engaged in sexual activity.