Discover How Sexual Wellness After 50 Can Extend Your Life

Sexual wellness is not just for the young people, in fact studies have proven that sexual wellness can help seniors live longer and healthier. As we navigate the complexities of modern life, one stark reality looms over us: our life expectancy is declining. Despite advancements in medicine and technology, our collective lifespan is not stretching as it once did. A myriad of factors contributes to this concerning trend – from sedentary lifestyles and poor dietary choices to rising stress levels and environmental challenges. Many of these issues have been exacerbated by socioeconomic conditions like poverty, which determines access and the quality of healthcare you receive as a growing number of uninsured populations continues to grow with the increase in the cost of healthcare.

Entering the the golden years, we confront the undeniable implications of aging on our health. The specter of chronic diseases and age-related ailments looms ever larger, reminding us of our mortality. Sudden death, once a distant concern, becomes a tangible threat. In the face of this sobering reality, it becomes imperative to explore diverse avenues to promote good health and longevity, especially as we cross the threshold of 50 years.

In their groundbreaking book titled “Ageless Vitality: Reawaken Passion and Enjoy Intimacy Like a Youth in Your Golden Years (for men)”, and “Beyond Menopause: Reawaken Passion and Enjoy Intimacy Like a Youth in Your Golden Years (for women)”, Dr. Augustina Baker, Dr. Mary Lawson, and Dr. Larry Kyrian presents us with an opportunity to discover and utilise the benefits of intimacy in our golden years; it’s not just for young people.

Sexual activity or sexual wellness is linked to some impressive, research-backed health benefits, says Kate Thomas, director of clinical services at the John Hopkins Sex and Gender Clinic. Having sex regularly may be a tool to extend your lifespan. Blue Zones, an organization that researches the world’s longest-lived cultures, found that people in Ikaria, Greece, live significantly longer than average. They also found that more than 80 percent of people in Ikaria in the ages 65 to 100 surveyed, are having sex. Does that sound as a surprise to you?

Let’s figure out the diverse ways sex after 50 helps us live longer.

1. Boosts immunity

Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex one to two times a week had significantly more immunoglobulin A in their systems than people who had sex less often. Immunoglobulin A is an antibody in the mucosal membranes that is considered a first-line defense against infection. This is not just applicable to young people, but older people too.

2. Improves heart health

Some men worry that sex could trigger a heart attack, but studies show that’s exceedingly rare, especially if you exercise regularly. In fact, the latest research shows that regular romps with your partner are linked to a lower risk of heart problems.

A large study published in The American Journal of Cardiology found that men who had sex at least twice a week were 50 percent less likely to die of heart disease compared with men who had it once a month. In another study, British researchers followed 914 men for 20 years and found that as sexual activity increased, the risk of stroke and heart attack decreased.

For women, a large analysis revealed that those who are satisfied with their sex lives are less likely to have peripheral artery disease, a condition that narrows the arteries and makes stroke more likely.

3. Strengthens the pelvic floor

A study published in International Urogynecology Journal found that sexually active women were significantly more likely to have a strong pelvic floor compared with those who were not sexually active.

That’s probably because every time you have sex, you give the muscles in your nether regions a workout. When you’re aroused, muscle tension in the pelvic region naturally increases. Then, during orgasm, all the muscles contract, just as they would during a Kegel exercise.

Having strong pelvic floor muscles gives you control over your bladder and helps prevent incontinence. In men, a weak pelvic floor can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Another bonus to strengthening your pelvic floor: Researchers say it may make sex even more pleasurable.

4. Relieves headaches and other pain

Before you reach for an over-the-counter pain reliever, try an orgasm. Whether you have headaches, arthritis or another type of chronic pain, sex may offer relief.

One large observational study found that of those who had a sexual experience during a migraine attack, 60 percent reported partial or complete relief from pain. However, another 33 percent reported their migraines worsening. The researchers noted that some people — particularly male migraine sufferers — used sexual activity as a therapeutic tool for their pain.

Another study found that vaginal stimulation in women elevated their pain tolerance by about 40 percent, while orgasm pushed it up nearly 75 percent. Experts credit the release of feel-good hormones including endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever.

5. Helps with symptoms of menopause

Regular sexual activity can help counteract the physical changes, such as vaginal dryness and atrophy, that come with menopause, says Amir Marashi, a gynecologist practicing in Brooklyn, New York, according to a post by AARP.

Sex stimulates blood flow and helps keep vaginal tissues healthy, toned and stretchy. In fact, studies show the more you have sex, the healthier your tissues will be.

6. Reduces the risk of prostate cancer

For men, several studies have revealed a link between frequent orgasm and a lower risk of prostate cancer. The prostate holds some of the fluid that is released at ejaculation.

One Harvard study of almost 32,000 men found that the more a man ejaculated, the lower his risk of the cancer. In fact, those who ejaculated more than 20 times per month reduced their prostate cancer risk by about 20 percent, compared with those who ejaculated four to seven times per month.

7. Boosts mental health

A large body of research has found that sexual activity and intimacy are linked to lower rates of depression, anxiety and feelings of isolation, and that regular sexual activity can boost happiness and mood. One of the more recent studies, published in 2021, found that anxiety and depression scores were significantly lower in those who were sexually active during the COVID-19 lockdown compared with those who weren’t.

8. Reduces stress

“One of the top benefits of sex, particularly in the acutely stressful world in which we’re living these days, is its ability to immediately melt away built-up stress,” says Paul Hokemeyer, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in New York City.

When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. One 2019 study showed that intimacy with a partner, whether sexual or not, reduced elevated cortisol levels in both men and women.

9. Burns calories

Getting busy with your partner isn’t going to replace a session on the treadmill, but it does count as physical activity. In a study published in the journal PLOS One, Canadian researchers found that men burned 101 calories on average during a 24-minute session, while women burned 69 calories. “These results suggest that sexual activity may potentially be considered, at times, as a significant exercise,” the authors wrote.

10. Enhances brain health

Several studies suggest that frequent sexual activity may have a beneficial effect on the brain, particularly in older adults. A 2016 study of nearly 7,000 adults aged 50 to 89 found that those who engaged in sex more often demonstrated enhanced recall on memory tests.

11. Helps you sleep

If you tend to doze off after sex, there’s a scientific explanation for that. During sex, the body releases hormones such as oxytocin and prolactin that induce pleasant and relaxing feelings. Sex also reduces cortisol, which is associated with stress. This can cause someone to feel relaxed and drowsy and make it easier for them to fall asleep.

In one study, about 63 percent of participants reported that it was easier to fall asleep after orgasm, and 71 percent of participants reported better sleep quality after orgasm. Despite common perceptions that men are the ones who roll over and start snoring after sex, there was no gender difference in the results.

Sex Therapy For Seniors: Discover How Sex After 50 Can Extend Your Life - Bevuz
The share of Americans not having sex has reached a record high

What’s stoping you from having enough sex

By neglecting sexual activity, you may shorten your lifespan and heighten vulnerability to various health concerns. As various studies have proven, lack of sex can compromise cardiovascular health, weaken immunity, and increase stress-related ailments, while embracing intimacy promotes longevity, enhances well-being, and safeguards against a host of age-related conditions.

Despite its benefits, numerous individuals in their later years experience a deficit in sexual activity. Factors like societal taboos, health concerns, lack of passion, relationship dynamics and a host of other deeply personal issues contribute to this shortfall. Addressing this disparity is crucial to unlocking the full potential of sexual intimacy for health and vitality in older age.

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