Archive for the ‘Stress’ Category

What’s Causing Your Erectile Dysfunction? (ED)

December 2, 2015

Erectile dysfunction or impotence affects nearly 14 million American men.  The condition is often associated with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and literally hundreds of medications that side effects of ED.  There are a number of conditions that can be treated that can significantly improve your erection that doesn’t require medication or surgery.

  1. Vitamin D deficiency: vitamin D is a necessary vitamin and when the vitamin D level is decreased, which can be identified by a simple blood test, a man’s erection can be affected. A study has shown that men with severe erectile dysfunction had lower Vitamin D. The solution is as simple as getting outside in the fresh air and getting some sunshine as the sun helps convert inactive vitamin do to the active vitamin that is vital to good health. Many factors affect the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D, including season, time of day, latitude or how far you live from the equator, air pollution, cloud cover, sunscreen, body parts exposed, color, and age. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen and getting vitamin D from food and supplements rather than risk the harmful rays of the sun.
  2. Diabetes: Erectile dysfunction could be caused by undiagnosed or diagnosed diabetes. If your ED is sudden, consider getting screened and if you know you already have diabetes, expect this to be a risk factor. By getting the glucose level under control and lowering the HbgA1C to normal levels, you can improve your erections.
  3. Your drinking: Alcohol has a reputation of increasing the desire for sexual intimacy but decreasing the performance or make getting and holding an erection difficult. If you have issues getting it up and you have also started increasing the amount of drinks you have, including the frequency, then consider cutting back. Heavy drinking increases your risk of ED.  One to two drinks per day is acceptable will not impact your erections.  More alcohol will certainly impact your performance in the bedroom.
  4. Stress: If you are stressed at work, home or in your relationship, it will affect your sex life. You need to be a relaxed to get in the mood for sex. This problem can also be a catch-22, because if you cannot get it up, you start to stress about that too, making it even more unlikely you will have an erection. So, basically, just relax and take a deep breath and practice mindfulness.
  5. Coffee to the rescue: Studied have found that 42 percent of men who drink between two to three cups of coffee a day are less likely to have erectile dysfunction. Caffeine helps relax the arteries and the smooth muscle within the penis which, in turn, helps increase blood flow.
  6. Not enough sex: The more sex you have, the less likely you are to suffer from ED. What is considered regular? Experts say you can shoot for two – three sexual engagements including orgasms per week.
  7. Smoking: The more you smoke, the more you risk have a flat, flaccid penis. 23 percent of erectile dysfunction occur among men who smoked.
  8. Lack of exercise: Exercises, especially weight resistance ones, do a lot to increase a man’s testosterone which helps reduce the likely of ED. Your levels or testosterone normally drop about 1%a year after age 25.
  9. Bicycle riding: Studies have shown that the longer you ride your bicycle, the higher your chance of developing ED. You do not have to stop riding though, just make some modifications. You can ride shorter distances, get off of the seat every 10-15 minutes for 30 seconds, find comfortable seat and get a bike that is sized appropriately.
  10. Your medications: Some medications like antihypertensive drugs and antidepressants (SSRIs) can cause erectile dysfunction.

 

Bottom Line:  ED is a common problem affecting millions of American men.  Often times the problem can be related to diet, lack of exercise, and poor lifestyle choices. Take a look at these 10 factors that can significantly affect a man’ erection.  Make some adjustments and you will soon be “back in the saddle”!

 

 

Advertisements

Why Sex Is Good For You?

December 27, 2014

Sexual intimacy has been associated with having a heart attack, contacting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or having an unplanned pregnancy. However there are some significant health benefits for engaging in regular sex.

Immune Boosting

Eating well, getting enough sleep, and getting vaccinated are all important in boosting your immune system. Add regular sex to these and you have a great immune system that defends your body against infective organisms. This is because research has shown that those that are sexually active had a higher blood level of certain antibodies than those that were not so active sexually and these antibodies help you fend off infections.

Bladder control for women

About 30% of women will have urinary incontinence at one time or the other in their lives. This is when a person passes urine without intending to. Studies have shown that women who had sex regularly were less likely to develop urinary incontinence as sex helps strengthen their pelvic muscles which is important for bladder control.

Lowers Blood Pressure

People who had more sex have been found to have a lower blood pressure compared to others, ensuring that they stay healthy. One study found that those who regularly had sex had a lower blood pressure compared to those who did not.

Sex is good exercise

It’s been found that on the average, you burn about five calories per minute while having sex. This can be a good source of exercise for those that hardly have time to exercise. The benefits of exercise are quite numerous and sex delivers some of those benefits. For a reference, jogging one mile burns about 100 calories.

Reduces Risk for Heart Attack

Men who had sex regularly were found to have a 50% lesser risk of developing a heart attack. This is not only because it raises your heart rate which is great; it also keeps your sex hormone, estrogen and testosterone, in balance which are important hormones and their balance can help avoid conditions such as osteoporosis and heart disease.

Better Sleep

You may have noticed that you sleep better after sex. This is because the hormone prolactin and melatonin is usually released after an orgasm. This hormone helps with relaxation and the feeling of sleepiness.

Reduces Stress

The arousal associated with sex is great in easing stress. This is because your brain releases some chemicals that help in exciting your entire body. Sex can also help stimulate happiness and boosts self-esteem.

Reduces Pain

Sex can help reduce the feeling of pain. Sex helps release a hormone, endorphins, which are much more potent than morphine, that usually raises your pain threshold. Sexual stimulation can combat chronic pain such as the pain associated with arthritis.

Bottom Line: Sexual intimacy is a healthy activity for consenting adults. This blog provides many of the reasons to engage in sexual activity.

Incontinence In Men-You Don’t Have to Depend on Depends

July 12, 2014

Loss of urine is one of man’s most devastating maladies. It usually is related to problems with the bladder or the prostate gland especially after prostate gland surgery.

Male Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) also known as, Post-Prostatectomy Incontinence, commonly occurs following a surgical procedure to remove a cancerous prostate. Studies have indicated that as many as 90% of men report leakage in the first few weeks following surgery for removal of the prostate gland, after removal of the catheter. Over the course of the first year, SUI can be a significant problem impacting the quality of life of men who suffer from this condition.

Fortunately, there are effective treatment options for many cases of post-prostatectomy incontinence. Men often say the leakage from post-prostatectomy incontinence is worse than the actual cancer. Unfortunately, there is a lack of information for men with stress urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence can be short-term or long-lasting (chronic). Short-term incontinence is often caused by other health problems or treatments.
Chronic urinary incontinence can be categorized as:
• Stress incontinence means that you leak urine when you sneeze, cough, laugh, lift something, change position, or do something that puts stress or strain on your bladder.
• Urge incontinence is an urge to urinate that’s so strong that you can’t make it to the toilet in time. It also happens when your bladder squeezes when it shouldn’t. This can happen even when you have only a small amount of urine in your bladder. Overactive bladder is a kind of urge incontinence. But not everyone with an overactive bladder leaks urine.
• Overflow incontinence means that you have the urge to urinate, but you can release only a small amount. Since your bladder doesn’t empty as it should, it then leaks urine later.
• Total incontinence means that you are always leaking urine. It happens when the sphincter muscle no longer works.
• Functional incontinence means that you can’t make it to the bathroom in time to urinate. This is usually because something got in your way or you were not able to walk there on your own.

Different types of incontinence have different causes.
• Stress incontinence can happen when the prostate gland is removed. If there has been damage to the nerves or to the sphincter, the lower part of the bladder may not have enough support. Keeping urine in the bladder is then up to the sphincter alone.
• Urge incontinence is caused by bladder muscles that squeeze so hard that the sphincter can’t hold back the urine. This causes a very strong urge to urinate.
• Overflow incontinence can be caused by something blocking the urethra, which leads to urine building up in the bladder. This is often caused by an enlarged prostate gland or a narrow urethra. It may also happen because of weak bladder muscles.
In men, incontinence is often related to prostate problems or treatments.
Drinking alcohol can make urinary incontinence worse. Taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs such as diuretics, antidepressants, sedatives, narcotics, or nonprescription cold and diet medicines can also affect your symptoms.
The diagnosis is easily made with a careful history and physical exam. Your doctor will do a test on your urine to be certain there is no evidence of infection. Often this is enough to help the doctor find the cause of the incontinence. You may need other tests if the leaking is caused by more than one problem or if the cause is unclear.
Treatments depend on the type of incontinence you have and how much it affects your life. Your treatment may include medicines, simple Kegel exercises, or both. A few men need surgery, but most don’t.
There are also some things you can do at home. In many cases, these lifestyle changes can be enough to control incontinence.
• Cut back on caffeine drinks, such as coffee and tea. Also cut back on fizzy drinks like soda pop. And limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink a day.
• Eat foods high in fiber to help avoid constipation.
• Don’t smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
• Stay at a healthy weight.
• Try simple pelvic-floor exercises like Kegels.
• Go to the bathroom at several set times each day and avoid your bladder getting to full. Wear clothes that you can remove easily. Make your path to the bathroom as clear and quick as you can.
• When you urinate, practice double voiding. This means going as much as you can, relaxing for a moment, and then going again.
• Use a diary to keep track of your symptoms and any leaking of urine. This can help you and your doctor find the best treatment for you.
If you have symptoms of urinary incontinence, don’t be embarrassed to tell your doctor. Most people with incontinence can be helped or cured.

Bottom Line: Urinary incontinence in men affects their quality of life. Help is available and it begins with sharing the problem with your doctor.

10 Reasons That Sex Contributes to Good Health

June 1, 2014

On so many occasions many of my male and female patients have indicated that as they reach middle age, that sexual intimacy has taken a back seat and is less important than it was years ago. For this blog, I would like to illuminate 10 reasons to take the sex drive off the back shelf and put it on the front burner. Both you and your partner will be glad you did.
Sex not only feels good. It can also be good for you. Here’s what a healthy sex life can do for you.
1. Revs Up Your Immune System Humming
Sexually active people miss fewer days of work and make fewer visits to the doctor.
People who have sex have higher levels of what defends your body against germs, viruses, and other foreign substances. Researchers found that those men and women who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the a certain antibody compared to those who had sex less often.
You should still do all the other things that make your immune system happy, such as:
Eat right.
Stay active.
Get enough sleep.
Keep up with your vaccinations.
Use a condom if you don’t know you and your partner’s STD status.
2. Boosts Your Libido
Having sex will make sex better and will improve your libido.
For women, having sex increases vaginal lubrication, blood flow to the pelvis, and elasticity of the vagina, all of which make sex feel better and help you crave more of it.
3. Improves Women’s Bladder Control
A strong pelvic floor is important for avoiding incontinence, involuntary loss of urine, something that will affect about 30% of women at some point in their lives.
Good sex is like a workout for your pelvic floor muscles. When you have an orgasm, it causes contractions in those muscles, which strengthens them.
4. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Research suggests a link between sex and lower blood pressure. Numerous studies have reported that sexual intercourse lowered systolic blood pressure, the first or top number on your blood pressure test.
5. Counts as Exercise
Sex is a really great form of aerobic exercise. It won’t replace the treadmill, but it counts for a short cardio workout.
Sex uses about five calories per minute, four more calories than watching TV! It bumps up your heart rate.
So get busy! You may even want to clear your schedule to make time for it on a regular basis. Consistency or regular sex helps maximize the benefits.
6. Lowers Heart Attack Risk
A good sex life is good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate and provide you with a cardio workout more fun than spinning, sex helps keep your estrogen levels in women and testosterone levels in men in balance.
When either one of those is low you begin to get lots of problems, like osteoporosis and even heart disease.
Having sex more often may help. During one study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease than the less sexually active men who had sex rarely.
7. Lessens Pain
Before you reach for an aspirin, ibuprofen or a pain pill, try an orgasm.
An orgasm can block pain by releasing endorphins which are much more powerful than morphine. Orgasm releases endorphins that helps raise your pain threshold.
Stimulation without orgasm can also be effective. Vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women report that genital self-stimulation can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headache.
8. Send Big “C” Out To Sea
Going for the sexual homerun or orgasm may help ward off prostate cancer.
The prestigious the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer.
You don’t need a partner to reap this benefit: Sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation were all part of the equation.
9. Improves Sleep
You may nod off more quickly after sex, and for good reason.
After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness after sex.
10. Eases Stress
Being close to your partner can soothe stress and anxiety.
Even touching and hugging can release your body’s natural feel-good hormones. Sexual arousal releases a brain chemical that revs up your brain’s pleasure and reward system.
Sex and intimacy can boost your self-esteem and happiness, too,
Bottom Line: Who would have “thunk” that sex is good for you and can help keep you healthy and well. As my wise Jewish mother, St. Sara, would say, “It may not help but it voidn’t hoit!” Rest in peace St. Sara.

Sex After a Heart Attack: What You Need To Know

May 29, 2013
Your Average Middle Age Couple Who Are In Love And Wish To Be Sexually Active

Your Average Middle Age Couple Who Are In Love And Wish To Be Sexually Active

Every man or woman who has had a heart attack has concerns when they can begin having sexual intimacy after recovering from a heart attack. Certainly the movie, Something’s Gotta Give with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, offers the protagonist advice about engaging in sexual intimacy after a heart attack until the man can climb two flights of stairs without shortness of breadth or chest pain. Every woman is concerned whether resuming sexual activity may trigger another heart attack in her partner. We know depression is extremely common after a heart attack, especially for women. This blog will attempt to answer some of those questions that men and women have after a heart attack.

First, most cardiologist believe it is helpful for men to be in a supervised exercise program. These cardiac rehab programs teach men and women that it’s OK for them to exercise after a heart attack.

However, if you begin to feel symptoms such as chest pain, abnormal shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, or palpitations, it definitely makes sense to slow down what you’re doing, whether you’re a man or a woman. If you’re pretty certain it’s angina, which is temporary pain or pressure in the chest when the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen, it might help to take your nitroglycerin tablet under your tongue.

Now the warning: Just like the movie, Something’s Gotta Give, men who use medication for erectile dysfunction, such as Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis, — they should not take nitroglycerin. Your blood pressure can fall to dangerously low levels, and there’s an increased risk of heart attack and even death. If you’re on an erectile dysfunction drug and have heart-related symptoms during sex, call your doctor.

Yes, and sexual intimacy is often related to the emotions that follow a diagnosis of heart disease. It influences people’s lives in many different ways, and sexual activity is one of them. A new diagnosis of heart disease — or even a surgical scar — can make people feel less attractive. Some drugs have side effects that diminish sexual interest and performance. When patients feel angry and frustrated, it affects not only their sex lives but also their “couple” relationships.

Sexual intimacy is like a stress test. Engaging in sex shows that you’re capable of doing physical activity in which your heart rate and blood pressure go up. In a sense, you’re doing a stress test on your heart. If you tolerate that well and you feel good doing it, it suggests good things about your overall level of fitness and therefore your risk of heart disease.
Sex can also be a sign of healthy relationships and social supports. It shows you have the opportunities, frankly, and that you’re interested and engaged. Sex is a barometer for overall health.

Bottom Line: Sex is a good thing and sex is okay after a heart attack if your doctor gives you permission to exercise and engage in sexual intimacy. This is a discussion every man and woman needs to have with their doctor after having a heart attack and before leaving the hospital.

All You Need Is Love-Putting Romance Into Your Sex Life

January 19, 2013

February is the month of love and romance. Wouldn’t it be nice to jump start your love life and put some fun and fantasy back into your relationship with your significant other? Let me give you a few suggestions that may just light the fire of your partner.

Exercise. Aerobic workouts (running, biking, swimming) not only improve blood flow to the tissues “down there” for both men and women but can also boost your mood, pumping up “feel good” brain chemicals called endorphins. Exercise also has the benefit of increasing the testosterone level for both men and women about one hour after working out and will have a natural way of increasing your libido or sex drive.

Stress. Stress is anti-erotic. Too much stress increases the stress hormone cortisol, which causes testosterone to plummet. Stress relief can be obtained in just 15 minutes a day, whether through meditation, yoga, chilling to music, or just lay down and get your legs up and take the weight off of your shoulders.

Try something different. Recent research shows that partaking in new and challenging experiences with your partner can boost the brain chemical dopamine, which helps fuel sex drive. Try watching an erotic video or a sex toy. I recommend Lelo.com for some very sophisticated erotica.

Consider supplements. Ginkgo biloba has been used to treat sexual dysfunction, although the evidence for benefit is very weak. Still, it’s relatively safe (just don’t take it if you’re on a blood thinner), and the placebo effect may be enough to put you in the mood.

Take a deep breath. Certain scents are known to be attractive to women. Humans have a complex sense of smell. Certain scents have the effect of making a person hungry, tired, relaxed, happy and sometimes, turned on. Aromatherapy has been used for over 5000 years as a healing art and is still widely practiced in the Far East. Certain scents have been used for lovers for almost as long. In fact, scents are mentioned in the Kama Sutra as part of the art of seduction. You can uses these in baths, in a diffuser, or added to massage oil for extra intimacy. Some of these erotic scents include basil, cedarwood, frankincense, ginger, lavender, lime, orange, lime and rose.

Alcohol, just enough to turn on but not so much to turn off. One alcoholic drink can lubricate a nervous first-date situation. By reducing anxiety one drink can help get you in the mood. Remember, that too much booze can be a depressant and dampen the moment of intimacy and can even make it difficult for a man to obtain an erection.

Stop Smoking. It’s well known that smoking can have a terrible affect on blood flow to the sexual organs as it causes the blood vessels to narrow. It also saps your stamina and most people don’t like kissing cigarette breath.

Massage. Massage techniques can do wonders for sexual arousal particularly if you’re stressed, worried or angry. Prepare the room with soft lighting and soothing music then start with a back massage.

Bottom Line: Loss of libido is just one aspect of male and female sexual dysfunction. This Valentine’s Day make a commitment to bring Cupid into your sex life. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new and put a little romance into your relationship with that special someone.

Dr. Neil Baum is a physician at Touro Infirmary and the author of What’s Going On Down There-The Complete Guide To Women’s Pelvic Health. Available from Amazon.com

10 Actions Steps To Prevent Impotence

August 28, 2012


1. Recognize the Normal Signs of Aging. Remember, it may take longer to obtain an erection at age 60 than at age 20. More genital stimulation and foreplay are required as a man ages.
2. Beware of Medications that can Cause Impotence. There are literally hundreds of medications associated with the side effects of impotence. These common medications include tranquilizers, medication for high blood pressure and ulcers.
3. Avoid Tobacco. Tobacco it is a performance-zapper because its effect on blood vessels can decrease blood flow to the penis.
4. Drink Alcohol in Moderation.1-2 drinks per day may relax you and even protect your heart. More than 2 drinks per day may impact your sexual performance.
5. Timing can be Everything. Sexual performance is influenced by body rhythms. Hormonal levels can vary at different times of the day. It is important to find that time of day or evening that is best both mentally and physically for you and your partner.
6. Accept Occasional Failure. One episode of impotence-even if it last for weeks- does not mean that a man is permanently impotent. Stress and fatigue, and anticipation of failure, can paralyze your sex life. Accept occasional impotence as something that happens to every man at different times in his life.
7. See your Physician at least Once a Year. If you are more than 50 years of age, the cause of your erectile dysfunction is usually physical and not due to psychological or emotional reasons. You need to be sure there are not more serious, life-threatening conditions lurking behind the sexual problem.
8. Balanced Nutrition is important for Sexual Function. The American Heart Association states that a low-fat, a low-cholesterol diet prevents heart disease and arteriosclerosis which also affects a man’s erection.
9. Excess Stress. Excessive, long-term stress is “counter erotic” and affects both a man and his partner’s capability to have a happy sexual relationship.
10.Get Help. Persistent, chronic impotence needs medical attention before it interferes with relationships. Not treating erectile dysfunction may result in more severe illnesses including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Bottom line: If you or your loved one is suffering from erectile dysfunction see your physician because help is available and no one needs to “suffer the tragedy of the bedroom.” If you want to keep it up, get a checkup!

The New Equation: Stress = Excessive Eating = Obesity

May 25, 2012

Stress can impact your eating habits and lead to obesity, the national epidemic affecting millions of Americans. Doctors have now unraveled the relationship between stress and obesity. With chronic stress, the hypothalamus, located in the brain and where stress starts, sends a signal to the pituitary gland to release ACTH or adrenocorticotrophic hormone, which travels via the blood stream to the adrenal gland and stimulates the release of cortisol. Chronic stress leads to far more cortisol than is necessary which in turn stimulates the appetite as the cortisol secretion is turned on and off with excess stress resulting in excess ACTH to fuel the reaction. Cortisol has now been shown to activate lipoprotein lipase, the enzyme that facilitates the deposition of fat. Finally chronic stress is associated with increase anxiety, apathy, and depression, which by themselves may lead to excessive eating and obesity.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that exercise can help relieve chronic stress, reduce your appetite, and promote weight loss. Physical activity can protect against feelings of distress, defend against symptoms of anxiety, guard against depressive symptoms and the development of major depressive disorder and enhance psychological well-being.

Studies have documented that 30 minutes of exercise a day appear to have stress-reducing benefits. The type of exercise does not seem to make a difference. However, the intensity of the exercise does have an impact on stress reduction. The research shows that moderate to vigorous physical activity reduces stress better than low-intensity activity.

Bottom Line: Stress can be a killer just like heart disease. Want to make yourself heart healthy? Then reduce your stress by exercising. Your heart and so many other organ systems in your body will thank you.

For more information go to my website, http://www.neilbaum.com

Sex Is More Than Sexy-It’s Healthy

January 22, 2012

Sexual intimacy for the most part is enjoyable, feels good, and is fun. But did you know that that there are other benefits of jumping into the sack with your partner? This article will take a look at how our sexuality adds to our life and enhances our life and our health, both physical and psychological.

Sex Is a Stress Buster

A big health benefit of sex is lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction. Studies have show that those men and women who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.

It’s Blood Pressure Lowering Event

Elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for coronary artery disease, heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke. Frequent intercourse is associated with lower diastolic blood pressure (the lower, or second, number in a blood pressure reading). Even partner hugs have the effect of lowering blood pressure in women.

An Immune Booster

Good sexual health may mean better physical health. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections.
Men and women who have intercourse once or twice a week had higher levels of IgA than those who reported being abstinent or having sex less than once a week.

It’s An Aerobic Exercise

The benefits of sex as a form of exercise are many – sex can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, and balance, not to mention your emotional health. People who get regular exercise tend to sleep better and have more restful sleep

It Burns Calories

Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more. It may not sound like much, but it adds up: 42 half-hour sessions will burn 3,570 calories, more than enough to lose a pound. The number of calories burned during sex is about the same as the number burned by walking at 2 miles per hour. Doubling up on the 30 minute sessions, you could drop that pound in 21 hour-long sessions.

Sex Is Heart Healthy

While some older folks may worry that the efforts expended during sex could cause a stroke, that’s not so. Let the truth be told that frequency of sex is not associated with stroke.
If you can walk up two flights of stairs without shortness of breath or chest pain, you can safely indulge in sexual intimacy without risking injury to your heart.

Fact: having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half for the men, compared with those who had sex less than once a month. However, it is important to have sex with your regular partner as a sexual tryst outside of your regular relationship does place you at risk for a unhealthy heart event. Just ask Happy Rockerfeller!

It’s an Ego Booster

One of the reasons people say they have sex is to feel good about themselves. Great sex begins with self-esteem, and it raises it. If the sex is loving, connected, and what you want, it raises it.

Sex Strengthens Your Well-Being

Sex, like any activity that fosters a close and loving connection to your partner, not only raises self-esteem, but strengthens your overall sense of well-being. Studies have shown that people with strong social support networks (which includes lovers) are healthier and happier than their less-connected peers. That’s why happily married men live longer than men who are divorced.

Sex Improves Intimacy

Having sex and orgasms increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, which helps us bond and build trust. A study of premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their husbands and partners ending with hugs found that the more contact, the higher the oxytocin levels.
Higher oxytocin has also been linked with a feeling of generosity. So if you’re feeling suddenly more generous toward your partner than usual, credit the love hormone.

Sex Reduces Pain

As the hormone oxytocin surges, endorphins increase, and pain declines. Endorphins are natural pain relievers and are even more potent than morphine. So if your headache, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex, you can thank those higher oxytocin levels. And if you have a headache, don’t use it as an excuse to avoid intimacy, use it as a reason to engage in intercourse.

It’s Prostate Healthy

Frequent ejaculations, especially in 20-something men, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer later in life. But they found men who had five or more ejaculations weekly while in their 20s reduced their risk of getting prostate cancer later by a third.
Also the Journal of the American Medical Association found that frequent ejaculations, 21 or more a month, were linked to lower prostate cancer risk in older men, as well, compared with less frequent ejaculations.

Sex Strengthens Pelvic Floor Muscles

For women, doing a few pelvic floor muscle exercises known as Kegel exercises during sex offers a couple of benefits. You will enjoy more pleasure, and you’ll also strengthen the area and help to minimize the risk of incontinence later in life.
To do a basic Kegel exercise, tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor, as if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. Count to ten, then release. Do the exercises 8-10 times a day.

Additional Benefits of Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises have a number of proven health benefits in addition to making sex more enjoyable. The strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles can help prevent prolapse (a slipping out of position) of the vagina, uterus, and bladder. Pelvic floor muscles may be weakened later in life as a result of childbearing, being overweight, and aging. Kegel exercises help offset the consequences of weakened pelvic floor muscles.

It’s a Sedative

The oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep, according to research. And getting enough sleep has been linked with a host of other good things, such as maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure. Something to think about, especially if you’ve been wondering why your guy can be active one minute and snoring the next.

Bottom Line: Not because it is Valentines Day is it good to have intimacy and bonding with your partner. It’s good for your health. If you are looking for reasons to have sex, tell them Dr. Baum recommended it!

Modified from article on WebMD by Kathleen Doheny
http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/10-surprising-health-benefits-of-sex