Written by Oladapo Ashiru
Professor of Anatomy/Consultant Reproductive Endocrinologist
~Punch Nigeria. Tuesday, July 26, 2016.
Men who have sex at least two times in a week can almost halve their risk of heart disease, a new research says. The study, which was conducted with over 1,000 men, describes sex as an activity that involves intense physical and emotional elements. Sexual intercourse may be a marker for a healthy heart because sex can be a form of physical activity, which, like exercise, gives your heart a workout.
Those who desire frequent sex and are able to get it, are likely to be healthier than others. Men who have regular sex may also be in a supportive relationship, which offers stress reduction and emotional benefits.
Regular sex is so beneficial that when you see a doctor he is likely to ask many questions about your sex so as to find out about your overall health condition. Apparently sex is not only good for your heart; it also keeps many diseases at bay.
For example, sex can actually cause you to get fewer colds.
Research has shown that couples who have sex weekly have a 30 per cent increase in immunoglobulin A, which is an antibody that fights infection. Sex can also help women have a more predictable period schedule, as a result of being exposed to male pheromones.
In addition, having sex reduces stress - for physiological as well as emotional reasons. Anything that will reduce stress is good for you as too much stress can lead to many diseases including cancer. Sex activates a nerve that has a calming effect. Having sex also lowers blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
Sex can even reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol and increase HDL ("good") cholesterol.
These are the good results that a healthy sex life can give you:
- Fewer colds because of an increase in immunoglobulin A, an antibody that fights infection.
- Women can get more predictable periods because of exposure to male pheromones.
- A better physical response to stress
- Lower blood pressure, which lowers your risk of heart disease.
- Lowers your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol.
- Helps to tone your abs, gluts and pretty much any muscle in your body.
- Naturally increases estrogen level which improves the appearance of your hair, skin and nails.
- Helps to improve your memory because of increased blood flow to your brain.
- Increased feelings of motivation because of the release of endorphins.
Sex has also been found to boost self-esteem and improve intimacy in your relationship. This is because sex and orgasms result in increased levels of the hormone oxytocin — the "love" hormone - that helps you to feel bonded to your partner.
As oxytocin increases, so do hormones known as endorphins, which in turn lessens feelings of pain related to everything from headaches and arthritis to symptoms of menopause. It can also help you to get a better night's sleep.
Further, for women, having sex can help strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor (the same ones used to stop urination). As you age, having strong pelvic floor muscles reduces your risk of accidents.
Of course, these benefits are assuming that you're having sex with a mutually monogamous partner - otherwise you risk catching a sexually transmitted disease.
Sexual pleasure begins in your brain
Your brain and nervous system control your sex glands and genitals. This is why they also control your sexual desire, as well as orgasms. It explains why, for example, visual images trigger sexual desire in both sexes.
Your brain stem also emits nerve impulses that control erectile function. These nerve impulses navigate through the erection center of your spinal column to the erectile tissue of your penis where they trigger a chain reaction in the membranes of your vascular muscle cells.This sophisticated chain reaction depends on a messenger molecule calledcyclic guanosine monophosphate, or cGMP.
However, this works in reverse as well. An erection softens as soon as another enzyme called phosphodiesterase starts to degrade the cGMP molecules.
Drugs like Viagra, Levitra and Cialis work by inhibiting phosphodiesterase, which may help maintain your erection. But, these pills will not lead to an erection. Your initial erection still has to be triggered psychologically. Without that initial impetus, potency pills will have no effect whatsoever. This is also why these pills are ineffective for many men who take them hoping for a magic jack-in-the box effect.
As you might suspect, because your sexuality is so intimately tied to your mind, anxiety, defensiveness, fear, and failure of communication are all destructive psychological forces that can take a heavy toll on your libido, whether you're a man or a woman. They are road blocks to desire. So handle them.
According to Professor Gert Holstege of the University of Groningen in the Nederlands, "Fear and anxiety need to be avoided at all costs if a woman wishes to have an orgasm."
How to improve sexual desire naturally
If you would like to take advantage of some of the health benefits that regular sexual activity has to offer, yet find that your desire just isn't what it used to be, there are many natural tips that can help.
Your sexual fires may also be fanned simply by eating less sugar. High levels of sugar in your bloodstream can actually turn off the gene that controls your sex hormones.
Four other tips to give your libido a big-time boost include:
Getting physically active. Studies have shown that men who engaged in regular physical activity lowered their risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction. Remember, when using exercise as a drug, it's important to vary your routine.