Health benefits of the 'Big O'

Published: Wednesday | May 15, 2013 Comments 0

According to sex and health experts, it is quite beneficial to both a man and woman's overall health if they have an orgasm three to five times per week - be it through sexual intercourse or masturbation. In fact, due to circumstances beyond your control, you may not always find a willing partner to achieve that 'Big O' that frequently, so, according to the experts, there is nothing wrong with 'self-service', and, as a matter of fact, you may be healthier for it in the end.

Here is what they have to say:

MEN

1 Prevents prostate cancer: An Australian study found that men who ejaculated more than five times a week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer. Disease-causing toxins build up in the man's urogenital tract and when he rubs one out, he flushes the bad guys out of his system, says Gloria Brame, PhD, a clinical sexologist.

2 Strengthens your organ: As a man ages, he naturally loses muscle tone - even down there. Regular sex or masturbation works out his pelvic floor muscles to prevent erectile dysfunction and incontinence. Aim to ejaculate three to five times a week for rock-solid results.

3 Strengthens your semen: According to a review published in Sexual and Relationship Therapy, the semen produced from actual intercourse is higher in quality than the semen from masturbation. However, the review points to evidence that says if you don't ejaculate for a period as short as five to 18 days, the quality and quantity of your sperm can decrease.

4 Helps you last longer: Mastering your own body teaches you control. "Masturbating an hour before a date will give you more control," says Brame. Train yourself by timing how long it takes you to orgasm, suggests Ava Cadell, PhD, founder of loveologyuniversity.com. If it usually takes two minutes solo, try for three next time. Or count how many strokes you need to get to your happy place. If you're spurting after 50, shoot for 60. "Most men can double the number of strokes and the time within one month," Cadell says...

WOMEN

1 Helps prevent cervical infections: Studies are showing that female masturbation can provide protection against cervical infections because when women masturbate, the orgasm 'tents' or opens the cervix. In her book Sex: A Natural History, Joann Ellison Rodgers describes how the process of tenting stretches and pulls the mucous within the cervix, allowing for a rise in acidity in the cervical fluid. This increases 'friendly' bacteria and allows more fluid to move from the cervix into the vagina. When 'old' fluid moves from the tented cervix, it not only lubricates the vagina, but also flushes out unfriendly organisms that can cause infections.

2 Helps relieve urinary tract infections: Many women with urinary tract infections (UTI) report the desire to masturbate when they feel a UTI coming on, and for a good reason: masturbating helps relieve pain and it flushes the old bacteria from the cervix. It's the body's way of getting the bacteria out.

3 Associated with improved cardiovascular health and lower risk of type-2 diabetes: In a number of studies, women who experienced more orgasms, and overall greater frequency and satisfaction with sex - whether with a partner or not - were shown to have greater resistance to coronary heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

4 Increases pelvic floor strength: There are so many benefits to having a healthy pelvic floor. In the 'plateau' stage of orgasm, the pelvic floor gets a real workout. The clitoris surges with increased blood pressure. Muscle tone, heart rate, and respirations increase. The uterus 'lifts' off the pelvic floor, increasing pelvic muscle tension. This strengthens the entire region, as well as your sexual satisfaction.

5 Keeps your vagina healthy: The extra stimulation causes blood to rush into the genital tissue, keeping it supple and refreshed. For best results, have an orgasm at least once a week. Studies also show that having orgasms while menstruating actually protects against endometriosis, a potentially dangerous uterine condition that can lead to infertility.

6 Powerful pain relief: Some studies suggest that a good orgasm can more than double a woman's tolerance for pain. Plus, it's an analgesic, not an anesthetic, meaning it suppresses pain without affecting sensitivity to touch.

7 Protects your heart: Sexual activity and orgasms are shown to reduce stress due to the surge of oxytocin, the so-called 'cuddle hormone', that occurs with orgasm. What's more, studies show that orgasms lower blood-pressure levels - at least among women - and high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks.

MEN/WOMEN

1 Helps you stay in shape and lose weight: According to some estimates, you can burn up to 200 calories with a hot, passionate 30-minute lovemaking session, which climaxes with an orgasm or two ... or three.

2 Helps you sleep better: Dopamine, or the 'feel-good' hormone, rises during the anticipation of a sexual climax. After the orgasm, the calming hormones oxytocin and endorphins are released, which have a sedative effect. So it's no surprise why most people have a peaceful night's sleep after a big release.

3 Improves your mood: The slew of feel-good neurochemicals released during an orgasm lift your spirits, boost your satisfaction, and activate the reward circuits in your brain. "An orgasm is the biggest non-drug blast of dopamine available," says Brame. "A brain scan of someone having an orgasm looks like a heroin addict's". In her book For Yourself, noted sex therapist Lonnie Barbach explains that the stress resulting from avoiding sex can create body imbalances. So having regular orgasms create that balance, relieving depression and stress.

4 Helps your immune system: Orgasms increase levels of the hormone cortisol, says Jennifer Landa, MD, a specialist in hormone therapy. Cortisol, which usually gets a bad rap as a havoc-wrecking stress hormone, actually helps regulate and maintain your immunity in small doses. "Masturbation can produce the right environment for a strengthened immune system," she says.

5 Better sex life: Masturbation helps to make your sex life better by allowing you to know what you will like in bed, as you experiment with your body and find your erogenous zones. Discovering your pleasure zones on your own allows you to show your partner what turns you on, which makes for a much better sex life.

yourhealth@gleanerjm.com

 


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