5 reasons having sex is actually good for you
Sexologist Elvis Munatswa shares some of the surprising health benefits of having a roll in the sack
How many times have we seen someone in a jovial mood and exclaimed: "Someone got it all this morning!"
The insinuation is that they had sex that morning, which is what put that big grin on their face.
The opposite also rings true. When someone is grumpy, we often joke that they probably haven't had sex in a while.
These examples illustrate how we tend to believe that sex has a big impact on our moods. But how true is this?
We asked sexologist Elvis Munatswa, who also shared some other surprising health benefits of having a roll in the sack.
1. SEX LIFTS YOUR MOOD
Munatswa says that certain hormones secreted during sex may be the primary reason people are often in a good mood afterwards.
"There is a study ... which found that vaginal exposure to seminal fluid was related to lower levels of depressive symptoms," he adds.
2. IT MIGHT HELP YOU MAINTAIN A HEALTY WEIGHT
Sex and hunger are regulated through the brain chemical Neuropeptide Y (NPY), which decreases metabolism and increases appetite. Some have observed that having a healthy sex life could help you control your food intake.
3. IT CAN HELP YOU NOD OFF TO SLEEP
Munatswa explains that having sex boosts the production of oxytocin [a hormone that makes you feel connected to your partner] and lowers cortisol [a stress-related hormone].
"Plus, having an orgasm releases a hormone called prolactin, which makes you feel relaxed and sleepy," he adds. "All of that leads to a nice drowsy state that's perfect for cuddling up and falling asleep."
4. IT BOOSTS BRAIN ACTIVITY
"Research ... has found that there is a very widespread increase in the functional brain activity at orgasm," says Munatswa. "The mental exercises some people do to train their brains are often intended to increase this type of brain activity, but orgasm seems to do it in a larger portion of the brain."
5. IT MAY PROTECT AGAINST PROSTATE CANCER
Says Munatswa: "In 2004, a study from the National Cancer Institute [in the US] compared 50,000 men and found that those who had more than 21 orgasms each month were 30% less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who had fewer than seven.
"Another study in 2003 had 2,000 men report their ejaculation history from when they were younger. They found that men who reported more than five orgasms a week in their 20s had a one-third lower incidence of aggressive prostate cancer later in life."
• This article is adapted from one originally published on SowetanLIVE. Read the original article here.