Published On: Sat, Jan 12th, 2013

Does Sex Lower the Risk of Cancer?

Sex and Feel-Good Brain Changes

Sex and Feel-Good Brain Changes

Does Sex Lower the Risk of Cancer?

-by Kristie Leong, MD

What does sex have in common with a bowl of spinach?

Well…they’re both good for you!

In fact, when you compare the health benefits, sex wins by a landslide!

That’s because sex combines the power of exercise with changes in brain chemicals and neurotransmitters that create a stress-relieving, feel-good experience.

But sex stands out for more than just its feel-good properties.

A regular roll in the hay can actually reduce the risk of certain health problems!

Finally, something other than a bowl of broccoli that’s good for you!

Sex and Feel-Good Brain Changes

Not only is sex a good workout, but it also alters the levels of brain chemicals and neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood.

One of these neurotransmitters is dopamine.

When we become aroused, dopamine levels rise, increasing the desire for sex.

At the same time, levels of a hormone called oxytocin go up.

Oxytocin is referred to as the “cuddle hormone” since it helps you feel a stronger connection with your partner.

Other feel-good chemicals called endorphins also rise during sex.

Endorphins are the same chemicals that are responsible for the high that runners experience during a long run.

Endorphins have a calming effect and help to reduce stress and dull sensations of pain.

Considering the avalanche of hormones and brain chemicals that are released during sex, it’s not surprising that sex is a boon to mental health.

Because of the release of oxytocin and endorphins, sex makes us feel more loving and at peace with the world. It can also temporarily dull the discomfort of life’s little aches and pains.

People who have back pain often notice that their back pain is less noticeable after being intimate, and the oxytocin and endorphin release makes it easier to fall asleep afterwards.

Sex is a natural stress reliever!

The Physical Benefits of Sex

Sex makes us feel good and relieves stress, but what can it do for physical health?

Sex boosts heart rate and burns calories so it counts as exercise.

Contrary to popular belief, you’re not likely to die during sex – it’s actually good for your heart.

 Research shows that men who have sex at least twice a week cut their risk of heart attack in half.

 In one study, only 0.6% of sudden deaths among men occurred during sex.

Sex also burns calories, which helps to ward off obesity and lowers blood pressure – two more ways that sex is good for heart health

Does Sex Lower the Risk of Cancer?

The cancer that non-smoking men most have to worry about is prostate cancer.

Sex has health benefits here too!

Research shows that both younger men as well as older men who have frequent ejaculations, (21 or more a month), have a lower risk of prostate cancer.

Thus,  sex is good for the immune system too!

Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania discovered that young adults who had sex one to two times per week had higher levels of an antibody called IgA in their saliva than those that did not.

Increased IgA may help to ward of cold and flu viruses.

Does Sex  Prolong Life?

One study carried out at Duke University showed that men who had sex more often lived longer.

They also found that women who enjoyed a happy sex life outlived women who didn’t enjoy sexual intimacy.

 The Bottom Line?

 Less stress, better immunity, a stronger heart, a lower risk of prostate cancer, and a longer lifethese are all good reasons to make more time for sex!!!!

 A little sexual intimacy will also bring you closer to the one you love – and that may be the biggest benefit of all!!!!

References:
Leitzmann, M. Journal of the American Medical Association, April 7, 2004; vol 291: pp 1578-1586.
Ebrahim, S. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, February 2002; vol 56: pp 99-102.
WebMD. “Ten Surprising Health Benefits of Sex”
Wall Street Journal. “The Joy of Researching the Health Benefits of Sex”

 Articulo en Español

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