How Important Is Sex For Heart Health?

Dr. John Carrozzella Sexual Health and Wellness

We talk about this constantly at the center with our patients and it’s at the very core of why we do what we do, so it’s only natural that we write about it. Some of our patients are surprised to learn just how significantly sex impacts their health, but others seem to innately understand the benefits and why they occur.

Whichever camp you’re in there’s surely something here that might intrigue and encourage you, so let’s jump in and look at the real health benefits of being sexually active and the inherent risks of the alternative.

Cardiovascular Health

If you do not have sex on a regular basis, you are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In addition to being a source of exercise, sexual intercourse helps keep your estrogen and progesterone levels in balance, which can lower your risk of heart disease.

“Studies suggest that men who have sex at least twice a week and women who report having satisfying sex lives are less likely to have a heart attack” according to a Director at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Having sex releases endorphins and the hormone oxytocin into the body. These neurochemicals can help manage the effects of anxiety or stress. Oxytocin has the additional benefit of helping you sleep. If you do not have sex regularly, your body may release these hormones less often, which might make it more difficult to cope with stress.

Ultimately, all signs point to the fact that being sexually active is good for cardiovascular health! In fact, for good measure, we looked into whether or not cardiologists recommend sexual activity for those with heart disease and what we found was both interesting and, in a way, inspiring!

“Instead of causing harm, sex may benefit your heart health. Studies suggest that men who have sex at least twice a week and women who report having satisfying sex lives are less likely to have a heart attack.

The protective benefits may be many: Sex is a form of exercise and helps strengthen your heart, lower your blood pressure, reduce stress and improve sleep. In addition, intimacy in a relationship can increase bonding. Strong social connections, says Blaha, can lower feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety, which have been linked to higher heart disease risk.” – Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.