Sex as Medicine

We’ve been saying it for years. Sex is good for you. In fact, especially as we age it becomes even more important. I consider it an issue of public health. Many prostate, erection, orgasm, pain,  and mood issues can be addressed through regular sexual activity.

“The physical benefits of sex range from improved sleep and increased immune system response to things like regulating your metabolism and hormones. You also strengthen your body through muscle contraction and alleviate other physical pain through the release of oxytocin, Deep breathing and muscle contraction improves blood flow as well. And also by having sex three or more times a week, you reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke by half.

Psychologically, those who express themselves sexually on a regular basis experience less depression and stress. These individuals generally report a higher satisfaction with their lives overall and tend to feel more bonded to their partners as a result of sexual expression.

Orgasm specifically benefits the body (and mind) in three ways: through increased blood flow (vasocongestion), muscle contraction and release, and by releasing and regulating various hormones. As fresh blood supply arrives, your cells, organs and muscles are saturated with fresh oxygen and hormones, and as the used blood is removed, you also remove waste products that cause fatigue and even illness. This can be contributed to all of that deep breathing and muscle contraction occurring up to and through orgasm.

Muscle contraction as a form of exercise is generally good for any muscle. The muscle contraction associated with orgasm can also address issues such as erection problems and incontinence. When 178 Belgian men with minor erection problems participated in a four month daily rehabilitation program which primarily focused on Kegel and orgasm exercises, 74% showed improvement and 43% reported they were cured. For women, Kegels and orgasms strengthen the entire uro-genital tract, aid in easing childbirth and prevents the onset of incontinence.

The effects of DHEA, oxytocin, prolactin, and various other natural stimulants released into the body upon sexual stimulation and orgasm can help you feel more connected and bonded to others, regulate mood and improve sleep patterns.

Less stress usually leads to less depression and therefore a healthier and happier life. Specifically, the relaxation that typically follows orgasm is often one of the few times people actually allow themselves to completely relax and let go of their stresses. In the afterglow of an orgasm it’s usually impossible to focus on distracting thoughts and worries. Regular sex can help to regulate hormones and contribute to one feeling more “even-keel” in their daily lives.

Self-esteem can be profoundly affected by allowing individuals to feel more grounded in their bodies (you wouldn’t believe how many people feel disconnected in this way). It can build confidence as one learns how to satisfy themselves and not feel reliant on someone else to validate their self worth. The opposite of sexual self-expression is repression. Most individuals who feel repressed experience a sense of self-loathing and shame because it goes against their bodies’ natural rhythm to seek out sexual stimuli.

British researchers who looked at about 900 middle-aged men found that men who had sex twice or more a week had a lower risk of heart attack over the course of 10 years than men who had sex less often. The study was published in 2002 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Another study, published in 2002 in the journal Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation, found that women who were sexually active during menstruation were 1.5 times less likely to develop endometriosis than women who didn’t have sex during their periods. The researchers also found that self induced orgasm during menstruation lowered risk.

April 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), indicates that frequent ejaculation might help protect men from prostate cancer. This study supports a smaller Australian study from 2003 that found that that men in their 20s who ejaculated more then five times a week were one-third less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer than men who ejaculated four to seven times a month. Ejaculating regularly might lower risk because cancer-causing substances get flushed out of the body in the seminal fluid, instead of staying in the prostate.
Queens University  of Belfast examined the mortality of about 1,000 middle-aged men over the course of a decade. The study was designed to compare persons of comparable circumstances, age and health. Its findings, published in 1997 in the British Medical Journal, were that men who reported the highest frequency of orgasm had half the death rate of the rest of the population.

Sex is medicinal.