By Oladapo Ashiru
Sexual intercourse can sometimes be a marker for a healthy heart because sex can be a form of exercise. It gives your heart a workout. People who have a desire for frequent sex, and are able to do so, are likely healthier overall. It also offers stress reduction and emotional benefits.
A new study showed that men who had sex at least twice in a week almost halved their risk of heart disease. This study was conducted with over 1,000 men.
Sex is an activity that involves intense physical and emotional elements. The medical world is finding that regular sex is so good for you, that, when you go to see a doctor they are asking many questions about your sex life to give them an indication of your overall health. Apparently sex is not only good for your heart; it is also good to keep many other illnesses away.
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, an antibody that fights infection.
Sex can also help women to 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 reduces as it 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! Sex improves your memory because blood flow increases to your brain. It increases feelings of motivation because of the release of endorphins.
As you can see, a good sex life is one way to stay happy, healthy and fit. So, if your doctor starts grilling you about your bedroom habits, now at least you will know why.
And this is actually only the tip of the iceberg. 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 PMS. It can also help you to get a better night’s sleep.
Further, for women, having sex can help to strengthen 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 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, and this is why they also control your sexual desire, as well as orgasms. This is 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 centre 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 is dependent on a messenger molecule called cyclic 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 to maintain your erection. But, these pills will not create an erection in and of themselves. 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, by acting as road blocks to desire.
So says Professor Gert Holstege with 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.”