Some people (including myself) might argue that a life without sex isn’t a life worth living. Anna Hodgekiss over at ioL in London compiled some interesting research on how knocking the boots leaves you not only happier but healthier as well. Some highlights:
IT PROTECTS AGAINST HEART DISEASE
Sex can have a protective effect on the heart. A study at Queen’s University in Belfast found that having sex three times a week could halve the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Another study in Israel found that women who had two orgasms a week were up to 30 percent less likely to have heart disease than those who didn’t enjoy sex or didn’t orgasm.
Dr Lisa Turner, a sex and relationship therapist, says: “One theory is that these women may have felt depressed, which has been linked with an increased risk of a heart attack. The endorphins released during sex also neutralise the stress hormones in the body, which are linked to heart disease.”
And the old cliche of sex causing heart attacks? “It’s a very low risk – it accounts for less than 1 percent of all deaths,” says Dr Graham Jackson, consultant cardiologist at the London Bridge Hospital and chairman of the Sexual Advice Association.
However, if you’re over 50, overweight and unfit, there is a risk to your heart – just as there would be if you suddenly and vigorously took up any form of exercise.
Here’s one I haven’t heard before:
IT’LL STRENGTHEN YOUR BONES
United States research found menopausal women who had sex every week had oestrogen levels twice as high as their abstaining counterparts. The hormone has a protective effect in bone health and a lack of it after the menopause has been linked with osteoporosis.
“Regular sex increases the production of oestrogen,” says Dr Peter Bowen-Simpkins of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Some bad news for men of the cloth:
IT STAVES OFF PROSTATE CANCER
Researchers at Nottingham University have found that men who enjoy a regular sex life in their 50s are at lower risk of developing prostate cancer. “Clearing the prostate out regularly is the reason behind this,” says Dr Ghosh.
“The link was suggested after research showed that monks appear to have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer.”
Here’s one that will come as no surprise to anyone who grew up with those flaccid cigarette PSAs (or were those only a Hawaii thing?):
IT’LL HELP YOU QUIT SMOKING
Here’s a simple way to get your man to kick his smoking habit – remind him that it causes the penis to shrink and can cause impotence.
Erections are all about good blood flow, and lighting up worsens blood flow to the spongy tissues in the penis, says Raj Persad, consultant urological surgeon at Bristol Royal Infirmary.
“As a result, they become starved of oxygen and the delicate cells die away. They then become fibrotic – forming scar tissue – which is less elastic and less able to expand during an erection than regular healthy tissue.”
Smoking is also a known cause of erectile dysfunction as it causes hardening of the arteries and hampers good blood flow.
A study of more 7,000 Chinese men, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that the more cigarettes smoked a day, the higher the risk of impotence.
Ladies, don’t get too angry with your men when they want to doze off after doing the deed. Apparently
IT’S A NATURAL SEDATIVE
For a man, a powerful orgasm is the equivalent of having a 2-3mg shot of diazepam (or Valium), says Dr Ghosh. “And diazepam works as a muscle relaxant which is why so many men nod off after finishing – there really is a biological reason.”
Women benefit emotionally, too. “The endorphins released during sex can really help treat depression and clear the mind.
“One endorphin is serotonin, known as the happy hormone; the other is the endogenous endorphin and this creates a sense of bliss (orgasm) for five to ten seconds in men – and up to four or five minutes in women, which is excellent for mental health.
“One theory is that women orgasm for longer because their cervix is contracting to draw the sperm up towards the ovaries.”
In The 40 Year Old Virgin, Andy asks a woman at Planned Parenthood, “is it true that if you don’t use it, you lose it?” Apparently the answer is yes:
USE IT OR LOSE IT
“Just like smoking or diabetes, a lack of regular blood flow to the penis will over time cause some of the tissues to die,” says Mr Persad.
Indeed, Finnish research has confirmed that men who had sex less than once a week at the start of the study were twice as likely to develop erectile dysfunction as those who had it at least once a week.
In the study of 1,000 men aged between 55 and 75, those who had sex three or more times a week lowered their risk fourfold.
There’s no reason not to enjoy a full sex life in old age, adds Dr Jackson.
“We have some patients in their 80s taking Viagra-type drugs and studies have shown that a regular sex life can prolong life – it’s basically another form of exercise.
“There seems to be a myth that you’re past it once you hit 65, but that’s rubbish.”
There you have it. Don’t let age get in the way of your sexual adventures! Keep at it and you might live long enough to see Alf make a comeback.
Images from ioL
See original article here