No One Tells You Your Sex Life Benefits Your Health In These 5 Ways, But It Totally Does

by Georgina Berbari

Orgasming doesn't just feel amazing; it improves both your physical and mental health in so many ways. Whether you're masturbating or having sex with a partner, all the stimulation and pleasure happening throughout your body can have long-lasting effects that go far beyond a single, toe-curling moment of satisfaction. In other words, there are a handful of hidden health benefits of sex that you probably had no idea were even related to your time in the bedroom. But make no mistake: Each time you find pleasure in your sex life, you're technically taking care of your health, too.

In fact, according to Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., a sexpert, therapist, and author of the book Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters—And How to Get It, whether you're having sex with a partner or climaxing on your own, "there are so many physical and emotional health benefits to sexual activity that it is difficult to limit it to just one or two."

Mintz filled us in on five benefits in total (more on those in a bit), but, she notes, many of them tend to come from the experience of orgasming in and of itself, not just sexual activity. "For women, there is clear research evidence that those who use vibrators have more frequent and easier orgasms," Mintz tells Elite Daily over email. "So, to up these physical benefits of sex, I recommend purchasing a vibrator." And since many women orgasm from clitoral stimulation, Mintz recommends a clitoral vibrator, like the ones sold by sex toy brand LELO.

And while you're enjoying some "me time" with your new vibrator, know that you're also doing these five amazing things for your overall health.

An Orgasm Is A Natural Pain-Reliever

Skip the ibuprofen and whip out your vibrator instead, because "the hormones secreted during orgasm can alleviate pain," according to Mintz. Headaches? Back pain? I kid you not, as far as this sexpert is concerned, sex may be the answer to your discomfort. "In one lab study of women, orgasm increased women’s pain threshold and lessened their ability to detect pain," Mintz explains.

And get this: According to Mintz, orgasms are particularly effective in alleviating menstrual cramps and pain, too. God. Bless.

If You're Having Frequent Sex, You Might Get Fewer Colds

Sex is apparently pretty good for your immune system, so take that, flu season. According to Mintz, in one study, published in the academic journal Psychological Reports, women who had genital contact or stimulation from their partner once or twice a week had higher amounts of immunoglobulin A — aka an antibody that is the body's first line of defense in fighting off disease and infections — than those who had sex less than once a week or not at all.

Go forth and fornicate, friends!

You'll Be Significantly Less Stressed The More You Orgasm

Perhaps this one seems like a no-brainer, but according to Mintz, while some of the benefits of having sex with partner may be due to the physical contact, most of the stress reduction actually comes from the orgasm itself, which means you can get these benefits alone or with someone else.

I mean, have you ever tried masturbating to relieve stress? There's nothing else like it, girl.

Sexual Arousal Is Great For Your Vaginal Health Overall

There's such a huge emphasis on self-care these days, but don't forget that your vagina deserves some TLC, too. Thankfully, according to Mintz, it's as easy as giving yourself the occasional orgasm or having safe sex with a partner. "Sex is good for women’s vaginal health," she tells Elite Daily. "The blood flow to the vagina during sexual activity [and] arousal helps keep the tissue smooth and supple."

Sex Helps You Sleep Soundly, Too

If you're having trouble dozing off at night, try ~getting between the sheets~, if you know what I mean.

See, when you're sexually active with a partner, Mintz explains, your body benefits from the feel-good hormones released by both the physical contact with another person and the hormones released via orgasm, which the sexpert says can help induce a peaceful slumber.

Alternatively, when sexually active alone, you still get the same benefits of the hormones released during orgasm, which Mintz says will help you sleep soundly through the night. Talk about sweet dreams, right?