Stopping sex could lead to a number of detrimental health effects, including a higher risk for health problems such as prostate cancer and heart disease.

Five Negative Effects of Stopping Sex

  1. Infrequent sex can increase a man's risk of prostate cancer.

    Researchers from Harvard looked at comprehensive lifestyle data for nearly 30,000 middle-aged to elderly men for a period of eight years. They found that those who ejaculated at least 21 times per month had a 33 percent lower prostate cancer risk than men who reported infrequent ejaculation. A similar study from Australia came to the same conclusion. Researchers aren't yet sure exactly why a man's level of sexual activity and prostate cancer are linked, but one theory is that ejaculation empties the prostate of harmful chemical compounds.

  2. Stopping sex can actually reduce your libido.

    Don't let this turn into a vicious cycle. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine in 2008 discovered that men who had sex less than once a week were twice as likely to develop erectile dysfunction than men who were intimate once a week or more. A similar effect is found in women, too, with infrequent sex leading to a decreased ability to become aroused and to self-lubricate. The libido-boosting effects of frequent sex are probably due to the fact that sex helps keep the nerves and blood vessels to the genitals functioning properly. Sex is essentially exercise for your reproductive system. There is also a psychological component to it: The more often you have sex, the more confident about it you become, and therefore enjoy having it more frequently.

  3. A lack of sex can make you more vulnerable to stress. 

    Stopping Sex Can Be Detrimental to Your HealthA study done at the University of Paisley in Scotland and published in 2005 examined 46 people to find that people who haven't had sex recently have higher blood pressure results in response to stress than people who did have sex recently. Getting frisky with your partner on a regular basis not only relieves any current stress you might be experiencing, but also prevents future stress from affecting you too badly.

  4. Stopping sex could leave you with a weaker immune system.

    Data from 30 women, half of which were sexually active and half of which were not, was collected by the Kinsey Institute. The data revealed that sexually-abstinent women had weaker immune systems than those who were sexually active. The sexually-abstinent women had fewer helper T-cells as well has lower immunoglobulin levels than the sexually-active women. Helper T-cells function in the immune system by activating other cells that destroy harmful microbes. Immunoglobulins are antibodies released by white blood cells. Additionally, the sexually-active women experienced changes in their immune system that are geared toward preparing the body for pregnancy. This means that a woman who is trying to conceive should have frequent sex, not only to increase the chances of conception but also to prepare her immune system for the changes to come.

  5. A dead bedroom could potentially increase your risk of heart problems.

    A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology determined that men who had sex only once a month were more likely to develop heart disease than men who had sex more frequently. The most obvious reason for this is that sex is aerobic exercise, which is great for heart health. However, the emotional side of sex also has an effect. Studies show that experiencing chronic negative emotions, such as stress, loneliness, or anxiety, contributes to heart attack risk. Sex is great for alleviating these negative emotions.

There are many reasons to maintain a healthy sex life. Not only does regular sex confer real health benefits, but it also strengthens your relationship with your partner, boosts your self esteem, and improves your overall sense of well-being. Life stress can sometimes get in the way of intimacy, but don't put your sex life on the back burner!

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