6 Surprising Benefits of Sex

Sex doesn’t just feel good; it builds your immune system and can put you in a better mood, too.

June 16, 2009

The health benefits of sex are far reaching! Does this mean doctors should be prescribing sex? Well, maybe it does. Here are six surprising ways sex can boost your health, keeping you out of the doctor's office and able to, well, have more health-promoting sex!

1. It can boost your immune system. Wash your hands often, cover your mouth when you sneeze ... you know the drill! But how about this? Kick your immune system into high gear with biweekly sex sessions. Researchers at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, found that having sex once or twice a week boosts the immune system. They found a 30 percent increase in immunoglobulin A (IgA) proteins in people who had sex once or twice a week, compared to those who didn’t have sex. IgA proteins act as antibodies, binding to pathogens when they first enter the body and summoning the immune system to destroy them.


More: 12 Surprising Immune System Killers

2. It's a must-have for a man's health. Men who have sex three or more times a week cut their risk of suffering heart attack and stroke in half, according to research out of Queens University in Belfast. Beyond that, having sex regularly may protect men against prostate cancer. A National Cancer Institute survey of 30,000 middle-aged men found that those who averaged 21 ejaculations a month showed a 33 percent lower risk of prostate cancer than those with 4 to 7 ejaculations a month.

3. It can melt away pain. Ah, the power of orgasm. As it turns out, enjoying the big O also sends a shockwave of oxytocin, known as the love hormone, into your system. This sends an army of endorphins into your system, which can alleviate arthritis pain. Research has also shown sex can lessen the aches associated with menstrual cramps, while also helping to regulate a woman's monthly cycle.

4. It banishes bad moods. A recent study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility suggests taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants, commonly known as SSRIs, could not only cause sexual dysfunction in men (such as trouble ejaculating), but could also cause genetic damage to their sperm. While medicine can be crucial for the severely depressed, strategies like exercise, and yes, regular sex, have been successfully boosting moods for centuries. That's because sex unleashes a wave of feel-good endorphins that help ward off depressive symptoms.

More: 14 Foods You Should Never Eat

5. It can make you look younger and live longer. Research released earlier this decade made big headlines after finding that having sex several times a week on a regular basis can make people look four to seven years younger. Other studies have shown it doesn't just appear to turn back the hands of time, but also can make you live longer. On top of that, it keeps your bod in top-notch shape. The average 30-minute tussle between the sheets burns about 200 calories, all the while chiseling your tummy and backside (or other muscles, depending on your position of choice). Just be sure to avoid scented candles to set the mood. In 2014, scientists found common scented candle chemicals could actually accelerate aging.


6. It makes you $100,000 happier. Having sex regularly makes people happier than earning more money. In fact, a study done by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that marriages featuring frequent sex left couples feeling as happy as earning an extra $100,000 annually.

For more ways to have truly safe sex, use these 10 tips for poison-free foreplay.