Science Shows that Sex is Healthy for Him AND Her
A study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology in 2018 found that women who had active sex lives were less likely to develop heart disease than those who were less sexually active. Additionally, a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology in 2015 showed that women who had regular sex were less likely to develop hypertension and metabolic syndrome. Another study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology in 2012 found that sexual activity was associated with higher levels of estrogen, which can improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
And a recent large scale study of people over 40 years of age conducted in Japan showed that all-cause mortality and cancer mortality were significantly elevated among men who lacked sexual interest.
When we visit the doctor, we often hear a lot more about the drawbacks than the health benefits of sex.
Danish doctor and professor of sexology, Christian Graugaard, says that patients and doctors alike have it all wrong. He makes the case for the health benefits of sex and sexual health, advocating for doctors to spend more time considering the sex lives of their patients. For many adults, especially those in their later years, sexual well-being is important every aspect of an individual’s health.
Loving sex is good for the head and the heart
There are several reasons that partnered sex for older couples are beneficial for heart health.
First, sexual activity is a form of exercise. During sexual intercourse as well as foreplay, both men and women experience stretching of muscles and tendons, flexion of joints, and hormone fluctuation which promotes cardiovascular fitness.
Second, the intimacy built into a sexual relationship is a source of emotional and social support, which is a key component that defines life context and in turn shapes health.
Third, partnered sexuality and satisfaction with it reduces exposure to stress, modify response to stress, and promote recovery from stress, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Graugaard quotes the World Health Organization (WHO) in his definition of sexual health. They say that sexual health as “a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being related to sexuality.” This definition suggests that sexuality “is closely linked to personal integrity, identity, body image, bonding, and social curiosity.”
In January 2023 the results of a large scale study were published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine that showed that men with ED who used PDE-5i pills had fewer heart problems and live longer than non-users. And, the study found, the more of these pills men take the longer they live. The reason is likely that users benefit from regular sex in a positive feedback loop.
Yes – that’s a lot of key factors in a person’s well being. Sexual health affects us mentally, emotionally, culturally, and (of course) physically. With so many important components, it is no wonder Dr. Graugaard is urging doctors to speak with their patients about this issue!
Why is sexual health so critical for maturing adults?
Sexual health is important for adults, but those dealing with other health issues should be particularly aware of this issue. According to Dr. Graugaard, a healthy sex life is proven to aid in the treatment and morale of chronically or critically ill patients.
There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, sexual encounters can be a “refuge” from the stress of illness. Close physical relationships can also add meaningfulness to the life of patients who are otherwise suffering.
His statements are backed by recent studies: In Italy, it was discovered that men with type 2 diabetes who had frequent sexual problems suffered more illness-related distress that their sexually healthy counterparts. According to Dr. Graugaard, “a fulfilling sexual life might reduce morbidity and perhaps even mortality of patients. Sadly, nearly two-thirds of the aforementioned diabetes patients reported that sexuality had not been addressed by any doctor within the past year.”
Is the quality of sex important for health?
Yes, particularly for women.
Clinical studies show that multiple domains of relationship quality have stronger effects on women’s health—including immune system and cardiovascular function—than on men’s and that sexual quality is more important for women’s happiness and life satisfaction than for men’s.
Sexual health is no small matter
At FullMast, we wholeheartedly agree that sexual health is no small matter.
In Dr. Graugaard’s article, he cites a population study from Holland which showed that 90% of 16 to 95 year olds considered their sex life important, very important, or extremely important. Undoubtedly, men and women in Canada have similar feelings about intimacy in their own lives. But what can they do if physiological barriers stand in the way?
For men facing issues related to erectile dysfunction who want to enjoy the many health benefits of sex, we are here to help. If you would like a free consultation with an accredited doctor specializing in erectile dysfunction in Vancouver or Toronto, call 1-844-500-1177 or book your confidential appointment online today.