Protecting your sexual health allows you to enjoy more than the intimacy of sex. While sex can contribute to living a fulfilling life, it also promotes good mental health. However, issues with sexual dysfunction can interfere with sexual health and impact the way you feel about yourself and interact with others.
The sexual health specialists at Ovation Wellness in Madison, Mississippi, deliver expert support of women’s sexual health through all stages of life. Our providers can recommend an individualized treatment plan with solutions for your concerns about comfort, performance, and pleasing your partner to help you maintain your sexual health.
Chemical effects of sex
During sex, your mental health benefits from the release of endorphins, chemicals that relieve pain and produce a positive sensation similar to that of morphine. Participating in sex also boosts the production of serotonin, a hormone that improves mood and fights off depression and anxiety.
During orgasm, men and women experience an increase in prolactin levels, which contributes to the feeling of relaxation that you experience at this time. The hormone oxytocin is released during orgasm, which results in your feeling relaxed and free from stress after you achieve climax.
The simple act of being close to your partner and touching and hugging during sex helps to relieve anxiety and stress. The effect has many of the same benefits as exercise, helping you to feel happier and improving your mood, which can continue into the following day.
Research indicates that women who participate in sex and physical intimacy feel less stress and have an improved mood the day after. The effect also leads to those women experiencing more physical affection or sexual behavior with their partner the day following sex, extending the stress relief and better mood past the immediate period of their encounter.
Better mental health
Participating in sexual activity can improve the way you feel about yourself and your mental health.
Studies indicate that participating in sexual activity can improve your ability to identify and express emotions. The effect can help improve your intimate relationships by promoting higher levels of intimacy, trust, and love.
The benefits of having sex can also help offset the effects of age-related cognitive decline. In a study of the sexual habits of over 6,000 people over age 50, researchers found a correlation between memory performance and more frequent sexual activity.
Having sex can improve your confidence and self-worth. The feelings of intimacy you experience with your partner can make you feel desired and nurtured. These feelings can reduce insecurities and help you develop a more positive image of yourself.
Maintaining sexual health
It’s important to maintain the physical aspects of your sexual health in order to enjoy the mental health benefits of sex. When factors such as menopause, illness, or the natural aging process interfere with your ability to have a healthy sexual relationship, getting appropriate treatment can help you maintain your sexuality.
Common physical changes that can interfere with sexual health can include reduced sex drive, painful intercourse, and vaginal dryness. The good news is that effective treatments are available to improve your condition.
Bioidentical replacement hormone therapy (BHRT) can be used to counter the hormonal changes caused by menopause. These plant-derived compounds can help restore a lost sex drive and improve other problems caused by an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone.
Other treatments such as the O-shot and MonaLisa Touch® can restore normal vaginal function and appearance. Professional services such as weight management can improve your self-image and make you feel good about your body.
Find out more about the advantages of protecting sexual health so you can enjoy the mental health benefits of intimacy in your relationship. Call our office or make an appointment online today to schedule a medical consultation.