I once said to a male patient would you like to have a pill that would reduce your stress level, reduce chronic pain, give your cardiovascular system a work out, enhance your body’s immunity and enhance your relationship with your partner? Nearly every man wanted a prescription with plenty of refills. My response was, “It’s not a pill but it is frequency of sexual intimacy. In addition to all of these benefits, regular sex will also provide plenty of psychological benefits. Here’s why.
It’s a natural pain reliever
Sex causes increased production of oxytocin, which is often referred to as the love hormone. Before orgasm, oxytocin is released from the brain, surges into the bloodstream and is accompanied by the release of endorphins, our natural pain-killing hormones that are far more powerful than morphine. The area of the brain involved in pain reduction is highly activated during arousal and endorphins are released. Endorphins soothe nerve impulses that cause migraines and joint pain from arthritis. Oxytocin also affects the way we feel, helping us form strong emotional bonds as well as reduce pain.
It’s a stress reliever
The endorphins released during sexual intercourse and orgasms are natural mood boosters and stress relievers. Regular sex can also boost your self-esteem and increase intimacy between partners. For those in a monogamous relationship, studies have found that semen does contain several mood-altering hormones that can reduce depression and elevate mood.
Regular sex boosts immunity
Endorphins released during intimacy have been found to stimulate immune system cells that fight disease. Researchers have found higher levels of immunoglobulin A in individuals who have regular sex. Immunoglobulin A is a type of antibody that helps to protect us from infections.
Sex is good for your heart
Intercourse, depending on your level of enthusiasm, can be considered aerobic exercise, burning up to 200 calories per session…that’s more calories burned than after running or jogging a mile. Take this fact and deposit in your health bank: research has found that men who have sex two times per week have fewer heart attacks than those who do not. The hormones released during sex cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and it can engage almost every muscle in the body.
And finally, regular sex gives you a glow
The glow of good sex is real. People who have more sex have higher levels of hormones like testosterone in men and estrogen in women, which is essential to enjoying healthier, smoother skin. This increase in hormones also helps to protect those who regularly engage in sex from heart disease, osteoporosis and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. It also promotes the production of collagen, which keeps the skin supple and gives you a healthy glow.
Bottom Line: Still not feeling in the mood? If you notice a decrease in your sex drive, do not let it go unaddressed but consider getting undressed! Relationship problems, depression, hormonal imbalance or stress can contribute to a lack of libido. Consider supplements to raise testosterone or reduce stress, such as those suggested in one of my previous articles (https://neilbaum.wordpress.com/tag/hormone-replacement-therapy-for-men/). I also encourage you to see your doctor/urologist for proper assessment. Tulane Urology, in the Garden District, has several doctors who can help you with this problem.
Dr. Neil Baum is a physician at Touro Infirmary. He can be reached at (504) 891-8454 or via his website, www.neilbaum.com.