Why sex boosts older women’s health

senior couple

No matter how old any of us become, sex should and can be an important part of our lives. This is especially true for women. While Hollywood and marketing focus on youth, do not believe that older women are uninterested in sex. In fact, at the virtual annual meeting of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), held back in September of 2020, results from a recent study found just the opposite. More than 3,200 women participated in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation and found that over a quarter of the women (28%) stated sex remained highly important to them as they age.

When it comes to sex, women are different from men. While men reach their sexual peak early in life, most women do not reach this same pinnacle until their mid to late 30s. But many women also find their interest and enthusiasm for sex increasing and improving in their 50s and beyond.

Sexual activity is a normal and necessary function of human life. It’s how we express our intimacy towards our partner that ultimately leads to a strong bond between us. But sex also has multiple health benefits for women helping them stay sexually active for years.  Here is what women can expect when they frequently engage in bedroom activities:

Healthy pelvic floor muscles

Regular sex helps women maintain their pelvic floor muscles which can improve bladder control. Up to 30% of all women will have embarrassing issues of poor bladder control such as leakage of urine when laughing or sneezing. That’s why a strong pelvic floor in women is important for avoiding incontinence. Good sex resulting in an orgasm is like a workout for these muscles. Orgasm in women causes contractions of the pelvic floor muscles which helps strengthens and tightens them each and every time.

Reduces blood pressure

Sex can have as many of the same effects on the body as an intense workout. During sex, the heart races, metabolism increases, calories are burned, and muscles strengthened. Like any aerobic exercise, sex is good for heart health and that means it may also help reduce blood pressure.  Studies have shown that the release of oxytocin during orgasm has a direct effect on lowering blood pressure, particularly systolic blood pressure, the first number mentioned when blood pressure is taken.

Increases pain threshold

Aging for women can mean more aches and pains from issues such as arthritis. One trick that helps raise pain threshold is having orgasms. Even just simply stimulating the vagina (without necessarily resulting in an orgasm) blocks chronic back and leg pain.  This same stimulation when done by women themselves (masturbation) may also reduce the pain of menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and perhaps even headaches.

Better sleep

Men often swear by sex for a good night’s sleep. Women who lack good sleep, should take note. Sex that leads to orgasms releases a hormone called prolactin which can help individuals feel relaxed and sleepy. That’s why having a romp in bed right before going to sleep, is a much better solution than relying on sleeping pills for getting a good night’s rest.

Improves immune health

People who are sexually active, take fewer sick days. That’s because having sex results in higher levels of what defends the body against germs, viruses, and other intruders. However, while it’s fun to think just simply having more sex is all that’s necessary for a strong immune system, eating healthy foods, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and keeping up with vaccines, are also important factors for immunity and health.

Boosts libido

Longing for lively sex life? Have more sex. For women, having sex increases vaginal lubrication, blood flow, and elasticity, each important for making sex feel more comfortable and more likely to result in orgasm.

Why sex boosts older women’s health
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Dr. David Samadi

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Dr. David Samadi