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Sex Vs No Sex: Which Is Best For Your Health?

Published : Monday April 25, 2016 | Posted in : Sexual Health

If you ask anyone this question, they will probably say that sex is best for health and more of it please. Having plenty of good sex makes you happy and could mean you're well and truly in love. However, what about the increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? That must definitely cross your mind if you're getting yours.

There are always two sides to a story so let's look at the pros and cons of each, some of which may surprise you...

The Pros of Sex

Cardio Without The Cross Trainer

Sex gets your heart rate pounding, not just through movement and thrusting but, during orgasms, your beats per minute increase even more. Even thinking about sex can get you all flustered. Even those with heart disease can have a fulfilling sex life if you find everyday activities to be no problem.

There is a certain amount of cardio burned during a steamy session, however the NHS have stated that this still isn't enough of your weekly exercise requirement of two and a half hours, especially as an orgasm lasts a couple of minutes anyway, sadly.

Reduces The Risk of Angina and Ulcer

For the males, more sex could mean no chest pain (angina) or stomach ulcers. This isn't just reserved for sex though, with findings suggesting that those men who were in a loving relationship in general, and in a loving and well-supported family to boot, will be less at risk.

It's not that women definitely won't have this benefit, however the study conducted and issued on the NHS Livewell site only took into account 10,000 men.

Happy Chemicals

Researchers report that sex releases oxytocin and endorphins, which improves our mood, decreases anxiety and reduces stress. Who hasn't fallen asleep after sex, or sometimes even during?

This sounds like something a man would make up, but researchers claim that compounds found in semen boost mood levels in women. All these natural, happy, free chemicals are certainly pointing towards the benefits of sex aren't they?

All in all this can help:

  • Lower heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure

The aspect of having sex that is so influential to your mental health is the reduction in stress. Studies have shown that having penetrative sex can significantly lessen the amount of stress, which therefore decreases the amount your blood pressure rises during nerve-racking times.

But what if you're not having sex? It seems unfair that you have to miss out on all the happiness just because you're single.

Well, you can find intimacy without needing penetration. For example, in your platonic relationships. You can also relax through medication, hobbies and exercise.

Prostate Exercise

Men who have regular sex have a 20% drop in their risk of prostate cancer. The American Urological Association suggests it's because ejaculation removes harmful substances from the prostate. Which begs the question - are these harmful substances simply transferred to the cervix?

pros of sex

It's also thought that regular sex prevents erectile dysfunction. Use it or lose it boys. Hugh Hefner must be able to hang twenty towels on his.

A Good Relationship

Sexual attraction and a fulfilling sex life make a happy relationship because it increases your self-esteem and enhances intimacy. The confidence you gain with having a partner in crime is something to perk you up, however the typical relationship stuff can be a game changer for some as well:

  • Hugging and holding hands can help reduce stress
  • The loving actions in relationships can help subsequent stress issues (public speaking for example, according to the NHS)
  • Hugging decreases blood pressure
  • As can sexual stroking in men and women
  • Non-sexual stroking can reduce low blood pressure in men

Immune System Boost

The Wilkes-Barre University found a 30% increase in immunoglobulin in those who had sex once or twice a week. Immunoglobulin A (IgA) defends us against viruses - hello strengthened immune system.

"Not only is sex linked with health and wellbeing, but your frame of mind THINKS that you're healthier too. Research has shown that those having sex and/or are in a loving relationship consider themselves healthy, "excellent" in fact."

Whilst any studies related to sex helping steer off dodgy bugs and keep you healthy haven't been 100% proven, we don't need any excuse to test out the theory.

Boosts your sex drive

With an abundance of sex comes an increase in libido according to Lauren Streicher from the obstetrics and gynaecology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago when speaking the webmd.com.

How Can I Get The Benefits If I'm Not Having Sex?

Well, the good news is a lot of these stress relieving benefits and intimacy factors can be between friends and family. Just the closeness and connection with those you love can help you live longer and reduce potential health risks.

Pros Of No Sex

Those who choose to be celibate shouldn't feel like they're missing out. As with anything there are cons, and a fulfilling life of education. Love and friendship breeds positivity and therefore longer life.

No STIs

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are rife. With reports of 'Super Gonorrhoea' spreading around the UK as well as viral STIs, you could be living with your infection your entire life. If you're having unprotected sex, that's sex without a condom, chances are significantly increased that you may have picked one up. Use a condom if you are sexually active outside a monogamous relationship, and get tested regularly if you have casual sex. Luckily in the UK, the NHS provides this for free, so there's really no excuses; get yourself tested! Ask yourself, if you're responsible enough to have bountiful amounts of brilliant sex, then you should be responsible enough to take the right precautions.

Also, if you're a lady and not taking the pill – or taking the pill correctly – you could be in line for more than just chlamydia.

Fewer UTIs

That's urinary tract infections, especially if you're a woman. It's a fact that most cases of cystitis in females are sex-related and it's not exactly surprising. All the movement pushes the bacteria up the urethra and BAM! you're peeing heated ketchup whilst sweating, crying on the bathroom floor and spending all day in a boiling bath. No sex means less chance of developing a traumatic and horrific UTI - I'm not exaggerating. On the plus side, these sort of events build character.

Bye-Bye Thrush

Oh look, another infection you can get from doing the naughties. Thrush can be a real problem too; it's painful, itchy and very frustrating, although thankfully rarely leads to any long-term problems.

Just imagine if you got an STI, a UTI AND thrush at the same time (there must be some poor souls out there, answers on a postcard). That sort of suffering deserves a place on the honour list (with Lizzie's 90th yesterday, now's the time to ask, her guard will be down).

cons of sex

Bacteria breeds in warm damp environments, like your knickers. Sex increases the amount of dampness down there and helps thrush to develop. Partners can transfer it back and forth too, so a period of abstinence is needed.

Pregnancy

If you are not planning a pregnancy, a lack of sex is an obvious pro; even if you or your girlfriend is late, your genitals haven't seen the light of day. There's no need to panic bulk-buy the pregnancy tests.

We've all worried when our periods have shown up late like that really annoying friend who likes to look popular in the pub but a lack of sex solves that problem. See, THAT is the real reason you haven't had sex in so long. Pfffttttt, dry sex, AS IF, you've got control of this.

No Soreness

Lots of sex sounds great but in reality it can lead to chafing, soreness and torn foreskins (eek!). It's natural for a woman's body to produce its own lubrication, but it doesn't always happen, no matter how much News at 10 you watch (Huw Edwards - phwoooar). Get some lube to prevent damage and imitating John Wayne.

The amount of sex you have is your own decision of course, but like everything in life, moderation is key. There are lots of health benefits if you practice it safely but if you are exhausted and need to sleep then forgo the sexy times. Your neighbours will thank you.

Sources

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