First things first: sex is great. There aren’t many people out there arguing that we should be having less sex, and you probably wouldn’t be all that interesting in reading an article about why you should be having less sex anyway.

But because sex is, well, sex, most people assume it pretty much stops there. You might be surprised to learn that your body reacts to sex—and the hormones released during sex—in many, many more ways than you think. Sex is an important part your life, in more ways than most of us know. Here are just a few perks.

Sex Boosts Your Immune System:

According to Yvonne K. Fulbright PhD, a sexual health expert, “sexually active people take fewer sick days.” That’s because sex jumpstarts your immune system, boosting your defenses against germs and viruses.

Sex Lowers Your Blood Pressure:

“There have been many studies,” says Joseph J. Pinzone, MD. “One landmark study found that sexual intercourse specifically (not masturbation) lowered systolic blood pressure.” Your blood pressure probably needs all the help it can get.

Sex Fights Cardiovascular Disease:

A study in the American Journal of Cardiology found that men who have sex twice a week lower their risk for heart disease. No one’s entirely sure why it works, but it does appear to work.

Sex May Help You Live Longer:

In 1997, the British Medical Journal published a study that found middle-aged men who engage in frequent sexual activity may actually live longer. According to the study, men with the highest orgasm rate had a death rate almost half that of those who did not engage in frequent sexual activity.

Sex gets the blood pumping, using about five calories a minute. It’s not exactly exercise (unless you’re having a lot of it) but it’s a physical activity that gets you moving, and that’s valuable.

Sex Might Decrease Your Risk for Prostate Cancer:

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, but there are a lot of ways to decrease your risk for it. One study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a link between frequent sexual activity and a decrease in prostate cancer. It’s a tentative conclusion right now but, at the very least, sex can’t hurt.

Sex Will Help You Sleep Better:

Prolactin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy, and sex releases it in droves. If you’re having trouble nodding off, a roll in the sheets might do you good. In any case, it’s more fun than counting sheep.

So if you’re struggling with your ability to have sex, it may be taking a toll on more areas of your life than you think. It’s a good as reason as any to set up an appointment with us, and make sure you’re living your best life possible.

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