10 Reasons Why Sex is Good for You
Author : Laura Lim

Regular sex is more than just fun. It can also play an important part in our physical and emotional well-being. Researchers have found that it can bolster the immune system, relieve pain, help regulate hormones, cure migraines... in fact, it does so much good we should consider "doing it" as often as possible.

1. Sex Improves Health and Happiness
Sexually active people take fewer sick leaves, are more gregarious and enjoy life more. This is the finding of Dr Ted Mcllvenna, from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, when he conducted an ongoing study of the sex lives of 90,000 American adults. Now you know why your bosses are so sickly while grandma is still alive and kicking at 89.

2. Sex Regulates Your Hormones
Women who have intercourse at least once a week are more likely to have normal menstrual cycles than women who are celibate or who take a "feast-or-famine" approach. This finding is based on a research done by Dr Winnifred Cutler, a specialist in behavioural endocrinology, and director of the Athena Institute for Women's Wellness in Pennsylvania. So, if your spouse is holding a job that requires frequent travel, tell him it's high time he considered a change.

3. Sex Boosts Oestrogen
The research by Dr Cutler, who had asked several hundred female students to keep a record of their menstrual cycles and sexual behaviour, also reported that women who enjoyed regular weekly sex with a man had significantly higher levels of oestrogen in their blood than women experiencing either sporadic sex or none at all. The benefits of oestrogen are numerous: a healthy cardiovascular system, lower bad cholesterol, higher good cholestrol, more bone density and supple skin. Save money on expensive face creams. Switch to condoms.

4. Sex Burns Calories
At least 4.2 calories per minutes; compared to four calories per minute playing tennis for an average woman weighing 54kg. That's the estimate given by a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr Alfred Franger. Just don't use Nutella or whipped cream for foreplay.

5. Sex Strengthens Pelvic Muscles
Martica K Heaner, American fitness guru and author, believes that gripping a penis with your vagina does what Kegel exercises do- tones and conditions the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles play a vital function when it comes to good posture, straighter back and flatter abdominals. Every woman's dream. No points for guessing what athletes really do when they're not training...

6. Sex Relieves Menstrual Cramps
Orgasms may also help to relieve period pains which are the result of the endometrial lining of the uterus being oversensitive to the hormone-like substance, prostaglandin. "These nasty hormones have a way of making the uterus go into spasm, triggering pain- inducing nerve fibres," explains Dr Roy Levin, a lecturer in Physiology at the Sheffield University, England. To cut a long story short, just do it.

7. Sex Boosts Your Immune System
Orgasms boost infection-fighting cells up by 20 per cent... so says Dr Dudley Chapman, a gynaecologist. Someone should call this the sex vaccine.

8. Sex Reduces Stress
"During arousal, your muscles tense; during orgasm, they twitch, then relax completely," says '50s sex researcher, Alfred Kinsey. This may explain why the institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality has found people with fulfilling sex lives less anxious, violent and hostile- the perfect tranquilizer for those who slog all day in the office for that big promotion.

9. Sex Relieves Pain
In studies carried out by researchers Beverly Whipple and Barry Komisaruk from Rutgers University, New Jersey, women with conditions such as arthritis and whiplash gain a higher pain threshold through regular orgasms. Historically, midwives advised women to masturbate to orgasm to relieve labour pains. (Quite a tall order considering you have to do it in front of those nurses.)

10. Sex Can Cure Headaches
A South Illinois School Of Medicine study on 52 migraine sufferers reported that 16 experienced considerable relief after an orgasm and another eight had their headaches completely gone. No reason now to say, "Not tonight honey, I'm having a headache."

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