Sex, Stress, and Lasting Health

December 20, 2018 3 min read 7 Comments

Stress is so commonplace, people just accept it as normal. We work, take care of our families, run errands, and try to fit in exercise, friends, cleaning… the list goes on and on. Sound familiar? We have no doubt that it does.
We don’t have to tell you about the physiological toll that stress takes on you. Not only can it have a huge impact on your physical and emotional health, but it can greatly affect your productivity, relationships, and overall quality of life, as well.
In fact, chronic stress has been linked to headaches, stomach issues, high blood pressure, and other heart problems, as well as insomnia and restless sleep. It also weakens your immunity, making it harder for your body to fight off illness and disease. And on an emotional level, chronic stress can cause depression and anxiety.

 

Yikes…….right!!?

Fortunately, there is good news. Not only are there natural, effective stress relievers, but one in particular is particularly enjoyable, if not surprising….sex

The Sex-Stress Connection!!

There are a couple of ways sex helps to reduce stress, both of which involve hormones (though not the ones you’d think).

First is dopamine, the “feel good” hormone that energizes and elevates your mood. Not only does dopamine have a powerful antidepressant effect,but it also supports alertness, optimism, motivation, zest for life, and sex drive.

This is important, because when you are sexually aroused your brain releases dopamine, which not only increases your brain’s pleasure system, but also lets stress take a back seat.1

Second, when you are turned on, cortisol levels drop.2 Given that cortisol is your primary stress hormone, anything that decreases cortisol decreases your risk for chronic stress-related issues, including increased blood sugar and triglyceride levels.

This was seen in one study specifically. Researchers asked 46 participants (24 women, 22 men) to keep a log of their sexual activity.3 After putting the participants in a variety of stressful situations, researchers found that those people who had intercourse not only had lower pressure, but they also responded better to stress than those people who abstained.

 Sex and Overall Health

Reducing stress is just one of the many benefits of regular sex. In fact, it may because of lower stress that sex is just so darn good for you.

Many of the conditions improved by reduced stress. For example, in addition to lowering blood pressure, sex has also been associated with decreased risk for cardiovascular disease. Researchers found that those men who had sex two or more times a month had a lower risk of heart disease than those who had sex just once monthly.4

Sex can even boost immunity. After studying a group of college students, researchers found that those who had the most sex—one to two times per week—had the highest levels of salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody that protects you from viruses, bacteria, etc.5

Additionally, regular sex has been found to improve bladder control in women and lower the risk of prostate cancer.6 And, if you are looking for a rebuttal to the common “I’ve got a headache” excuse for avoiding sex, research shows that sex actually helps to ease headaches.7

Finally, as any romantic comedy will show you, sex is often quickly followed by sleep. That’s because your body releases the hormone prolactin shortly after orgasm. In addition to promoting relaxation, prolactin also triggers sleepiness.

What more incentive do you need? Whether you start with cuddling, caressing, hand holding, and other forms of physical intimacy or jump straight into the sack, just dim the lights, shut the door, and enjoy safe sex.

 

Tell us about your stress relieving solutions.....

References:

  1. Maclaran K and Panay N. Managing low sexual desire in women. Women's Health (Lond). 2011 Sep;7(5):571-81.
  2. Hamilton LD and Meston CM. The role of salivary cortisol and DHEA-S in response to sexual, humorous, and anxiety-inducing stimuli. Horm Behav. 2011 May;59(5):765-71.
  3. Brody S. Blood pressure reactivity to stress is better for people who recently had penile-vaginal intercourse than for people who had other or no sexual activity. Biol Psychol. 2006 Feb;71(2):214-22.
  4. Hall SA, et al. Sexual activity, erectile dysfunction, and incident cardiovascular events. Am J Cardiol. 2010 Jan 15;105(2):192-7.
  5. Charnetski CJ and Brennan FX. Sexual frequency and salivary immunoglobulin A(IgA). Psychol Rep. 2004 Jun;94(3 Pt 1):839-44.
  6. Leitzmann MF, et al. Ejaculation frequency and subsequent risk of prostate cancer. JAMA. 2004 Apr 7;291(13):1578-86.
  7. Hambach A, et al. The impact of sexual activity on idiopathic headaches: an observational study. Cephalalgia. 2013 Apr;33(6):384-9.

7 Responses

Wanda
Wanda

March 30, 2020

Hi Ladies. I don't know the product you are referring to, but I will share that 2 yrs ago I put aside my fears of using pescription hormone vaginal cream and has helped tremendously!

My doc told me (I even went for 2nd opinion, same ) that the cream doesn't cross through blood barrier like pill and therefore much lower risk of cancet concerns. I not became painful during sex, but I was so physically uncomfortable all the time that I can no longer even wear blue jeans , yeast infections etc. Vaginal atrophy is no joke can affect your bladder at cetera.

Also I have found that a daily regimens of calcium vitamin D3 and recently couple hundred RDA of vitamin C has really made a difference. This not even how I feel but my skin looks better Etc.

My husband's libido is actually lower than mine by the way I am very recently and he 64 (40 yrs together !) And always has been, but no sex compared to 3/4 timed month is seriously a reason well worth heeding doc advice.

My opinion is , a natural approach products is a good thing to try but if it doesn't work please go to the doctor. Much more sophisticated ways of handling it than in Generations past.
Natural Products will come and go , be available online one day and gone the next.

The biggest thing that discourages us now was orthopedic issues… so we have found different positions and are little gentler with each other. I think men as they age identify sadly often the only remaining thing that makes him feel like a man.

I have learned that that vaginal health crossed over to more than intercourse! I had buy and use a dido medical package (graduating sizes) when first using cream, to restrenghen and open my vagina , after a year if no sex.

Sometimes we also need to remind husband our boyfriend's at that we do still, also need some Romancing. This done in a gentle way to not bruise their incredibly fragile ego especially at this age.
And sending them some articles about women needing more time in the change to their bodies might also be helpful.

I've taken to communicating challenging awkward topics via email to my husband. That seems to be very effective.

Good health to us all and talk to your (ideally gynecologist) doctors!

Ana Amat
Ana Amat

March 30, 2020

Dear Dr. Northrup,

I would like to know if could take amata life pills to improve my menopause symptoms.
I was diagnosed of a Hodkin lymfoma, in January 2010. First I was treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. They did not work so after that doctors did me a bone marrow transplant in December 2011. Since then, I have menopause. I am 46 . I go once a year to my check controls. I am well since then.
I wonder if I could take pueraria mirifica , the dosage, and how to take the pills at the beginning and then how to continue, the maintenance dose.
Thank you very much in advance.

Ana Amat

Amata Life
Amata Life

March 30, 2020

Ana – hope that you understand that we are prohibited from providing medical advice or from commenting on individual medical circumstances. We can,however, direct to you to some resources that may be helpful to you and your doctors. There is a site maintained by the manufacturer of Puresterol, www.puresterolpm.com, that has research posted on Pueraria Mirifica. There is also a recent book by Richard Passwater, PhD., a famous nutritional researcher, entitled The Amazing Health Benefits of Pueraria Mirifica, which is available on Amazon and we also carry it on our site for the convenience of our customers who wish to understand more about the herb. Pueraria Mirifica Plus is a supplement that contains Puresterol plus other nutrients and has helped many thousands of women with relief of menopausal symptoms. The dose is one capsule twice a day. We hope this is helpful, and we wish you the absolute best. Thanks.

Dona
Dona

March 30, 2020

Hello! I am 65 years old and passed through an easy menopause at age 57. I feel great and use Pueraria Mirifica vaginal moisturizer when needed. A divorced mother of 4 and grandmother of 5, I enjoyed great sex all my life but in the last five years I find myself less interested in sex. I have a younger boyfriend of five years who would have sex twice a day if he could but I find myself less interested and would rather read a book or watch a movie then go straight to sleep. This upsets him and he makes me feel guilty and accuses me of not caring about him or loving him. I do love him and feel attracted to him but desire sex just once or twice a month. But this isn't enough for him. Any other pre or post menopausal women (married or single) who feel like me?

Stella
Stella

March 30, 2020

I will say (and I know I am in good company here) that post menopausal intimacy with lower hormonal levels and other naturally occurring changes make this a whole new challenge rather than pleasure!

Amata Life
Amata Life

March 30, 2020

Stella – there is much evidence that more and more women are enjoying the best sex of their lives in their 60's & 70's……and we hope to provide them the help to enjoy it even more. Thanks.

Barbara
Barbara

March 30, 2020

I agree with Stella. Just last night, I was unable to participate even with considerable trying. And I wanted to say to my husband, "Everyone says sex is so great. Why is it so horrible for me?" I've been taking Pueraria Mirifica for a couple years, and in the past year lost 90 pounds which I thought would help, but no. Still an annoying chore for me. I used to love it. . .

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