Pssst, not only is it great fun, but scientists have discovered that a good old roll in the hay has a sackful of health perks, too
You’ll be smarter
Regular sex creates new neurons in the brain, improving cognitive function and clear thinking. Lab studies in the US showed it boosts the number of brain cells in the hippocampus – an area associated with storing information. So you’ll have to keep it regular if you want to hold on to your newfound “genius” status.
You’ll defeat pain
Just before orgasm, the amount of “love hormone” oxytocin surges in the brain, and morphine-like endorphins are released. Scientists discovered that when women orgasm, their pain tolerance threshold and pain detection threshold both rise significantly – by up to a whopping 74.6 per cent and 106.7 per cent respectively. Fifty Shades Of Grey now makes A LOT more sense. Everything from headaches, ladypains and general aches can be eased away, thanks to the Big O.
You’ll be less stressed
Endorphins released during orgasm are mood-boosting, and couples were found to have significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their saliva after having sexual intercourse.
Researchers think this stress relief is one of the reasons why there are health benefits to being happily married.
You’ll banish sick days
Sex stimulates immunity cells that fight disease. People who had regular sex were found to have higher levels of antibodies (immunoglobulin A), which helps to protect us from infections. OK, so we’re not suggesting you can simply bonk your way to better health; you’ll need to take part in other immunity-boosting habits as well, such as good nutrition and staying on top of exercise, but there’s no reason it can’t be an important, ahem, part of your plan to stay fit and well.
You’ll sleep like a baby
Post orgasm, an intense wave of relaxation washes over you and we emotionally and mentally let go. Plenty of people who enjoy regular sexual intercourse say they sleep much better and feel alive and refreshed during the day. An Australian study investigating the connection found that 64 per cent of participants had better quality sleep after they had an orgasm.You’ll be more attractive
So we know you’re drop-dead gorgeous anyway, but sex is a great workout, with an hour’s session gobbling up more than 170 calories (think of your partner as your very own personal trainer). We’ll take that workout, thank you very much. And regular sex boosts oestrogen levels, directly linked with how attractive people consider you are.
You can increase your lifespan
So oestrogen’s a bit of a wonder hormone – when it’s not being your youth-boosting elixir, it’s busy helping protect you from osteoporosis and dementia and increasing cardiovascular health. A US study revealed women who had good-quality sex enjoyed better heart health and reduced their risk of hypertension. The hormones released during sex cause an increase in heart rate, and it can engage almost every muscle in the body, so a healthy sex life has knock on effects in other areas of health, too!
Sexual Experience Promotes Adult Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus Despite an Initial Elevation in Stress Hormones, Benedetta Leuner, Erica R. Glasper, Elizabeth Gould
Elevation of pain threshold by vaginal stimulation in women, Whipple B, Komisaruk BR
Sexual Frequency and Salivary Immunoglobulin A (IgA), Carl J. Charnetski, Francis X. Brennan
Cortisol, Sexual Arousal, and Affect in Response to Sexual Stimuli, Lisa Dawn Hamilton, Alessandra H. Rellini, Cindy M. Meston
Can Sex be Repositioned as a Sleep Therapy? Dr Michele Lastella
Energy Expenditure During Sexual Activity in Young Healthy Couples, Julie Frappier,
Isabelle Toupin, Joseph J. Levy, Mylene Aubertin-Leheudre, Antony D. Karelis
Facial Appearance is a Cue to Oestregen Levels in Women, M J Law Smith, David Ian Perrett, B C Jones, R E Cornwell, F R Moore, D R Feinberg, L G Boothroyd, S J Durrani, M R Stirrat, S Whiten, R M Pitman, S G Hillier
Is Sex Good for Your Health? A National Study on Partnered Sexuality and Cardiovascular Risk Among Older Men and Women, Hui Liu, Linda Waite, Shannon Shen, Donna Wang