Sex and relationship expert Tracey Cox, who has her own range with leading online sex toy retailer Lovehoney, reveals 10 ways that a great sex life and can help you (and your man) to look younger and live longer.
1. Regular sex can make you look five to seven years younger
Sex boosts the levels of a human's anti-ageing hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) - a key factor in keeping us young. After orgasm, levels of DHEA in the blood rise to five times the normal level. A study found that couples in their sixties still having regular sex looked between five and seven years younger than those no longer having sex.
2. You live longer
Regular sex (twice a week) has been linked to an increase of 3-8 years in a person's lifespan.
3. Makes men more fertile
The quality of sperm improves when men have regular sex. Tests show that sperm quality lowers through abstinence, particularly after 10 days.
4. Protects against colds
Having sex once or twice a week raises the level of immunoglobulins (IgA) in the body, increasing protection against colds and flu. Couples who have regular sexhave 30% higher levels of IgA than abstainers.
5. Sex keeps you slim
Sex can keep you fit. Quickies of 20 minutes weekly mean 7,500 calories annually, that's as much as you consume jogging 120km. A sex session can burn about 200 calories. This is like running 15 minutes on a treadmill.
6. Makes you more attractive
The more active your sex life is, the more attractive for the opposite sex you are. High sexual activity makes the body release more pheromones, chemicals that attract the opposite sex.
7. Sex can cure PMT for women
Many women say they feels less pre-menstrual pain if they have intercourse before their cycle. Muscle contraction that occurs during sexual arousal releases tension in the muscles of the uterus, which are responsible for menstrual pain. Women who regularly have sex also have more regular periods. Sex contributes to more balanced hormone levels, including those that regulate the monthly cycle.
8. Wards off heart attacks
Studies have shown that regular sex can help prevent a heart attack. Studies in Belfast showed that sex three times a week could halve the risk of a heart attack or stroke. A separate study found that women who had at least two orgasms a week were 30% less likely to have heart disease than women who did not regularly have sex.
While having sex, the heart rate goes from 70 beats per minute to 150, a good training for the heart. Having sex three times a week decreases the risk of heart attack by half. Also during sex, the breath is deeper, meaning better oxygenation.
9. Relief for a stuffy nose
Sex is a natural antihistamine. It can even help combat hay fever and asthma.
10. Flattens facial wrinkles
During sex the body significantly increases the production of oestrogen, a hormone that tightens the skin and smooths fine lines on the face, and it's especially useful after menopause in women.