Sex may permeate our popular culture, but conversations about it are still associated with stigma and shame in Indian households. As a result, most people dealing with sexual health issues or trying to find information about sex often resort to unverified online sources or follow the unscientific advice of their friends.
To address the widespread misinformation about sex, News18.com publishes this weekly sex column every Friday entitled “Let’s Talk Sex.” With this column, we hope to spark conversations about sex and tackle sexual health issues with scientific insight and nuance.
The column is written by sexologist Prof (Dr) Saransh Jain. In today’s column, Dr. Jain explains the importance of sex in a relationship and what happens when you stop having sex.
Sex is a healthy, loving act that strengthens the bond between partners. It’s a way to deepen a romantic relationship and have fun in a consensual and special way. Involvement in the office, tension and increased control over technology over our lives are some of the reasons that reduce the urge to have sex. At first this lack is shaky, but soon we get used to it and gradually we don’t really feel the need for sex. However, sex plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy relationship. It’s not just about physical needs, it’s also about emotional well-being.
We all know that sex gives us pleasure. And when our body receives pleasure, it releases happy hormones like dopamine that relax our mind. It has a calming effect that not only relieves physical pain but also helps reduce stress and anxiety. However, preventing your body from having sex or losing your sex drive can have negative effects. Here are eight things that can happen when you stop having sex.
1. You will be stressed more often
Sexual activity is a great stress buster. This is due to the release of endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters and certain other hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin. The hormones released during sexual activity play an important role in improving your mood and making you happy. Oxytocin released during orgasm is known to have positive effects on emotional health. In the absence of sex, the hormones that make relationships stronger are no longer released by your body, making your life stressful and exhausting.
2. Your Immune System May Be Weakened
Not having sex can also affect your body’s immunity levels. When you have sex, there is a sudden increase in immunoglobulin A (IgA) in your body, which helps fight viruses. When you stop having sex, almost a negligible release of immunoglobulin is released and thus you fall prey to illnesses such as flu, cough, seasonal fever, etc. People who had sex more than twice a week had higher IgA levels than those who had. no sex.
3. You could sleep less
Without sex, you miss the hormones that promote a good night’s sleep, such as prolactin and oxytocin. Women also get an estrogen boost. The reverse is also true. If you decide to have sex again, getting a good night’s sleep is exactly what will keep you from feeling frisky.
4. You will feel a change in your sexual response
It has been found that when people tend to avoid sex for whatever reason, their sex drive automatically decreases. They don’t feel an orgasm, or an urge for sex—no action, no reaction.
5. Your Prostate Cancer Risk May Increase
The reasons aren’t exactly clear, but in at least one study, men who ejaculated less than seven times a month were more likely to develop prostate cancer compared to those who did it at least 21 times a month. But unprotected anonymous sex and with multiple partners can also increase your chances of getting the disease, so be careful when having sex.
6. You can become less focused and creative
When you have sex or when you have an orgasm, the neurotransmitters light up your entire brain, improving its overall functioning. And that improves your focus, creativity and productivity. In some cases, it also helps to boost your memory.
7. You Might Have Sexual Problems
It may seem strange, but ‘use it or lose it’ can apply here. For women going through the menopause, vaginal tissue can thin, shrink and dry out without regular intercourse. That can make sex painful and weaken your desire. And some research says that men who have sex less than once a week are twice as likely to have erectile dysfunction (ED) than those who have it weekly.
8. The health of your relationship will be compromised
When you stop having sex, you may notice physical, mental and emotional changes in your body, but you may not be the only one affected by this. A sexual break can also take its toll on your partner. It’s all interrelated: the health of a person’s relationship can also affect a person’s physical health.
Resuming sex after a long break can be a challenge
Unless you have taken a vow of celibacy, there will probably come a time when you will want and/or be able to start having sex again. However, it’s possible that your time without sex has had an impact on your sex drive. Your libido may be lower if you’re not having sex. However, this problem can reverse itself.
If you don’t have sex regularly, ask yourself why. Sometimes visiting a sex therapist is the best way to resolve your relationship and personal issues.
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