7 reasons why having sex is good for you

Rachel Burge
The Health Benefits Of Having Sex
The Health Benefits Of Having Sex

Making love isn't just pleasurable, it could help you look younger, fight disease, and prolong your life. Here are 7 reasons why you should think about having sex tonight...

1. Boosts your immune system
Getting frisky between the sheets could improve your immune system, according to researchers in America. A study in Pennsylvania found that people who had sex regularly had higher levels of antibodies in their body, which help the immune system fight bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Those who had sex once or twice a week had 30% higher levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA), compared to those who had no sex at all. There's a fine line between too little and too much, however. Researchers found that people who had sex more than twice a week had the lowest levels of IgA.

A separate study found that stroking a dog resulted in raised IgA levels – so if you don't have a partner right now, you could always think about getting a pet.

See also: Female orgasm facts

2. Burns calories
In terms of aerobic activity, having sex won't get you super fit – but it will burn some calories. And the more active you are between the sheets, the more calories you'll burn. Research from the University of Montreal suggests that men burn 100 calories in the average sex session, while women expend 69. Have moderately-active sex twice a week, and that could add up to an extra 10,400 calories a year.

3. Wards off dementia
Having sex as you get older isn't just good for your body – it helps your brain stay active too. According to a study published in the journal Age and Ageing, older men who have sex on a regular basis perform better in memory tests. Researchers quizzed 6,800 people aged 50-89 from across England and found that men who were more sexually active scored 23% higher on word recall tests.

4. Relieves migraine and other pain
Sex has been described as 'nature's analgesic' and there's a body of research to show that the feel-good chemicals (such as oxytocin) released by the brain during orgasm act as painkillers. Got a headache tonight? Sex might actually make you feel better. Research published in the journal Headache in 2001 found that 50% of women who suffer with migraines experienced pain relief after orgasm.

5. Makes you look 10 years younger
Ditch the anti-ageing creams – if you want a youthful glow, have more sex. Dr David Weeks of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital spent a decade analysing the lifestyles of 3,500 people (aged 18 and 102) who age prematurely. He found that people who make love at least three times a week looked 10 years younger than those who had sex twice a week or less.

6. Prolongs life
As well as helping to keep you feeling young, researchers have found a link between sex and life expectancy. A recent British study of 1,000 men found that those who had two or more orgasms a week halved their risk of dying prematurely compared with those who had only one orgasm a month.

7. Lowers prostate cancer risk
According to researchers at Nottingham University, an active sex life is linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer in older men. The study analysed the sex lives of 840 men and found that those who were sexually active in their 50s (ejaculating more than 10 times a month) were less likely to develop prostate cancer.

A separate study of 29,000 men carried out by the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. found that those who had the most orgasms lowered their risk of having prostate cancer by a third.

Three products that may improve your pleasure in the bedroom:

Swoon Release Vibrating Pleasure Wand, £17.99

Durex Play Perfect Glide 50ml, £9.99

The Joy of Sex: The timeless guide to lovemaking, £9.99 Kindle Edition

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