Sex is an interesting topic, isn't it? You either love it, hate it, or are pretty lukewarm about the whole experience. It's either a top priority for you in a relationship, or really doesn't rank at all. Whatever your stance, there are actually several physical benefits of orgasms, that, if you were aware of, might make you wonder why you're not having one every night! Oh right, reality probably hits and then you remember that not everyone has time for that. But these under-the-radar physical perks that benefit your well-being might make you consider rearranging your schedule.
A longer life expectancy, a more regular menstrual cycle, and even younger looking skin are all reported physical benefits that can come from orgasms. Consider the big "O" the new magic potion. Well, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but orgasms certainly do have health benefits which stem from the release of the hormone oxytocin, better known as the "love hormone."
The Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism explained that oxytocin "is now believed to be involved in a wide variety of physiological and pathological functions such as sexual activity, penile erection, ejaculation, pregnancy, uterine contraction, milk ejection, maternal behavior, social bonding, stress, and probably many more." So next time you climax, think of all the ways that you're benefiting from it, besides the obvious.
1. Younger-Looking Skin
It almost sounds too good to be true, but a study by head psychologist at Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Dr. David Weeks, found that sex could make people look "five to seven years younger." In an interview with The Telegraph, he posited that this could be due to a trifecta of things: "It causes the release of endorphins, the ‘feel good’ chemical which acts as a natural painkiller and reduces anxiety aiding sleep; exercise boosts circulation which is good for the heart; and it also causes the human growth hormone to be released which makes the skin look more elastic." Multitasking at its best.
2. Longer Life Expectancy
The fun things in life don't always extend your life expectancy, so it's a nice revelation that orgasms can, at least according to a study by Dr. Howard S. Friedman, Director of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside and author of The Longevity Project. Friedman took Stanford psychologist Lewis Terman's study of women's reported sexual satisfaction, and compared them with the dates of the women's death certificates twenty years later. What he found should be interesting to us all: As reported in The Huffington Post, the study discovered that "the women who reported a frequency of orgasm during intercourse tended to live longer than those who reported being less sexually fulfilled." Win-win in my book!
3. Stress Relieff
In an interview with Best Health, registered sex therapist Judith Golden explained that focusing on the singular task of masturbation or sex can help you relax, and we all know that stress can have negative effects on our physical well being, from muscle tension to hair loss to breakouts. She also added that the chemical dopamine released during sex gives us a sense of pleasure.
4. Helps You Sleep
While you might feel sleepy after sex simply because you've exerted yourself or you're most likely lying in a bed, it could also be because "oxytocin and vasopressin, two other chemicals released during orgasm, are also associated with sleep," journalist Melinda Wenner of Scienceline (New York University) told LiveScience.
5. Increased Brain Function
Speaking with The Times of London following his studies of the female brains during climax, Dr. Barry Komisaruk, a psychology professor at Rutgers University, explained that his research has shown that there is an increase in blood flow that brings nutrients and oxygenation to the brain at the time of orgasm.
6. Can Help Regulate Your Menstrual Cycle
If your monthly period tends to be all over the place, having regular orgasms might help get it on a more consistent schedule. Behavioral endocrinologist Winnifred Cutler and her colleagues at both Columbia and Stanford "found that women who have intercourse at least weekly (except during their period) cycle more regularly than abstainers or the sporadically active," reported Newsweek.
7. Pain Relief
One of the most discussed physical effects of orgasms is pain relief as well as the lowering of one's pain tolerance overall. Having an orgasm has been purported to lower the pain of childbirth, according to a study by Beverly Whipple, professor emeritus at Rutgers University. NBC News reported that Whipple's studies discovered that when women masturbated to the point of having an orgasm “the pain tolerance threshold and pain detection threshold increased significantly by 74.6 percent and 106.7 percent respectively.” So while having a lot of sex while you're pregnant might not sound appealing at the time, it might have longer term repercussions you would definitely enjoy, especially when it's time to have the baby.
We can't go so far as to say orgasms will cure the common cold, but Health24 explained it can actually help prevent you from catching one and help ease the symptoms if you fall ill. Psychologists Carl Charnetski and Francis Brennan of Wilkes University, Pennsylvania, claimed that sexual activity boosts immunity because "sex can lead to higher levels of Immunoglobulin A (IgA), which may offer some protection against disease." IgAs function as antibodies, which can help your body fight off a cold before it takes hold. And if you catch a cold, orgasms can use their pain killing and sedative powers to help you get healthier faster.
9. Increased Fertility
While it's not necessary in order to get pregnant, some scientists theorize that your uterus contracting during an orgasm can cause "a vacuum effect which could theoretically move sperm up into the uterus," according to Babble.
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