Health Benefits of Sex: For Men, For Women, For Both

When it comes to sex there are several heath benefits. We've put together this list to help you learn everything you need to know.

The Promescent Team
Expert in male sexual health, leading Urologist in USA
by The Promescent Team Last updated 04/08/2024

Sildenafil Generic Viagra®



Just arrived in store
Arrow pointing right
benefits of sex for men and women

Without question sex can be pleasurable, encourage intimate connection with a partner, and can even be considered fun.

However, are there proven benefits of sex? The overarching answer is a definitive yes.

We’ll go over what the benefits of sex are for your health. Discover how it can be good for you both physically and mentally.

Physical Health Benefits of Sex

1. Provides Cardiovascular System Benefits

One of the most profound benefits of sexual intercourse is its effect on the cardiovascular system. 

A study by Johns Hopkins University suggests that women who have satisfying sex lives and men who have sex twice weekly have a reduced risk of heart attack.

Blood pressure can have a major impact on overall sexual health. It affects everything from erectile function and lower sex drive in men, to libido and vaginal dryness in women.

However, is sex good for high blood pressure? Do orgasms lower blood pressure? Some research indicates sexual satisfaction may have a positive impact on blood pressure.

Sex post-cardiac event is generally considered safe as long as an individual obtains a doctor's clearance.

Sex can increase your heart rate, but typically, if you climb stairs or handle other physical activities without issue, the heart is likely healthy enough for intercourse.

2. Delivers Immune System Benefits

Research suggests that it’s possible sex can help with sickness. Some studies have shown that sex boosts the immune system

People who have intercourse at least three times a month seem to have a better ability to combat pathogens that cause illness and disease.

3. Supports Longevity

One of the more surprising benefits of having sex is it may support longevity. 

Research indicates that both men and women, middle-aged and older, who are sexually active are more likely to be in excellent health

A strong link exists between a healthy sex life and overall health and longevity.

4. Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer

A major benefit of sex for men is that it may be important for prostate health. A meta-analysis of various studies found that men who had fewer sexual partners, started having sex at an older age, and ejaculated moderately frequently were linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.

5. May Boost Testosterone

Sexual stimulation is known to increase testosterone levels in men. Among women, research shows a measurable boost in testosterone levels from baseline levels the day after having sex.

Testosterone is often thought of as an important hormone for only males, but this primary sex hormone is important for everything from cognitive function to mood for women as well.

6. Improves Fertility

Sex is undoubtedly important when trying to conceive traditionally. However, if you are trying to conceive via in vitro fertilization (IVF), sex can still be important. 

In one study of couples undergoing IVF, patients who engaged in sexual activity had a higher pregnancy rate (51.72% vs. 37.07%) and implantation rate (38.31% vs. 24.77%) compared to those who did not have sex.

7. Lessens Pain

Due to the release of endorphins during sex and after orgasm, it may cause lowered pain perception.

For women, regular sexual activity may be good for negating pain during intercourse. Additionally, sex may be good for pain during menstruation

But pain-relief due to sex is not just a female-specific benefit. For example, both men and women have been shown to find partial or even complete relief from cluster headache or migraine pain with sexual activity.

8. May Help with Kidney Stones

Another potential benefit of sex is that it may help people who have kidney stones. 

Having intercourse can potentially lead to the spontaneous passage of kidney stones. In fact, some doctors recommend patients with kidney stones aim for having intercourse three to four times a week.

Mental Health Benefits of Sex

Is sex good for health psychologically? Yes. The production of dopamine and other feel-good endorphins during sex may contribute to several mental health benefits of sex for males and females.

1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Lower levels of sexual activity are directly linked to higher stress levels. Sex can provide an emotional boost when dealing with stress and anxiety because of the hormones that are released.

2. Helps with Sleep

Sexual activity improves sleep and may even help with sleep latency for those who struggle to fall asleep. 

Interestingly, lack of sleep due to insomnia or otherwise may heighten sexual arousal but does not always mean heightened sex frequency.

3. Supports Cognitive Health and a Better Memory

For older adults, sex quality is linked to better cognitive function. In fact, in adults between the ages of 50 and 89, sexual activity has shown to support a better memory.

4. May Help with Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common sexual health challenges for men. However, one reason why sex is important for men is it may negate the risks of ED, especially later in life.

Studies have found men between 55 and 75 are less likely to develop ED if they have participated in sexual intercourse regularly.

5. Boosts Mood

The rush of endorphins with sex may improve stress and anxiety, but it may also support a better overall mood. Anxiety and depression scores are found to be lower in people who are sexually active, even in challenging life situations.

6. May Improve Body Image

People with a healthy sex life may also have a better level of self-esteem. Research found better sex for women was associated with a better body image and a healthy level of self-confidence.

Common Sexual Health Benefits Fact or Fiction

Is it good to have intercourse every day?

Maybe. Social relationships have always correlated with better health, and sexual intimacy is a fundamental component of certain social relationships. However, the "more is better" rule for sex may not apply the same to every person.

Research indicates that any benefits from sex may be based on frequency to some degree. Other factors like sexual quality and whether sex is with a long-term partner may be just as important. 

Further, age and gender play a role in reaping the benefits of having sex every day.

For example, women may have better cardiovascular health beyond age 65 if they have a rewarding sexual relationship with a partner.

Does sex build muscle?

Sexual intercourse is a physical activity that requires the use of different muscle groups. 

For instance, one of the benefits of sex for women is it strengthens pelvic floor muscles. 

However, you're not likely to see big muscle gains from simply having intercourse, regardless of frequency.

There is also a link between male sex hormones and muscle mass. Men who are sexually active, which helps them have healthy testosterone levels, may maintain muscle mass better than those who are not.

Does sex count as exercise? Is sex good exercise? Sex can provide some physical activity, but it doesn't replace a dedicated exercise regimen.

Does masturbation provide the same health benefits as sex?

Masturbation, while often met with stigma or taboo, offers numerous physical and mental health benefits.

Masturbation can reduce stress, relieve tension, improve sleep, enhance focus, boost your mood, and alleviate aches and pains. 

Additionally, it can enhance your sex life, prevent anxiety and depression, and release feel-good hormones like dopamine and oxytocin.

Are there benefits to sex without an orgasm or abstinence?

Yes. Sex does not have to involve orgasm to be physically or emotionally rewarding. 

Engaging in sexual activity, even without orgasm, can still promote intimacy and emotional connection due to the release of oxytocin, which is often called the "cuddle chemical."

People can even reap the benefits of oxytocin without sex at all by taking part in other activities, such as:

  • Hugging or cuddling
  • Kissing
  • Giving or receiving a massage
  • Eating certain foods
  • Bonding with friends, family, and even pets

Abstinence can also provide individuals with a sense of control over their sexual health, promote self-awareness and self-discipline, and allow for the exploration of alternative forms of intimacy. 

Abstinence may even be the healthiest decision for some, such as during the postnatal period after a woman gives birth.

Is it safe and healthy to have sex on your period?

Studies show most women do have sex during menstruation, especially those in a committed relationship. Further, most men say they have had sex with a menstruating partner.

However, sex during menstruation may be related to greater risks of endometriosis due to retrograde menstruation that pushes endometrial cells into the reproductive cavity.

Is anal sex unhealthy?

Heterosexual anal sex is not always done under the best circumstances or the proper levels of protection. Therefore, it is associated with a higher incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Fecal incontinence may also be a risk of anal sex. One study found that rates of fecal incontinence were slightly higher for both men and women who had anal intercourse.

For these reasons, anal sex should be entirely consensual and done with open communication and caution to avoid injury.

Is it true women with sexual dysfunction issues cannot have a healthy sex life?

False. Sexual dysfunction in women can stem from various factors, including pelvic floor issues, cancer treatments, menopause, and psychological factors. Some common sexual dysfunction issues for women include:

  • Pelvic floor disorders, such as pelvic organ prolapse
  • Vaginal atrophy and dryness
  • Difficulty achieving orgasm or reduced sexual arousal
  • Painful intercourse, known as dyspareunia
  • Lack of sexual desire or libido
  • Genital pain disorders like vulvodynia or vestibulodynia
  • Hormonal imbalances affecting sexual function
  • Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, or depression

While these challenges can make sex for women a bit more of a challenge, women can have a healthy sexual life despite the challenges. Further, most women remain sexually active even with dysfunctions.

Is sex during pregnancy healthy?

Yes, usually. Some women may desire to continue regular sexual activity during pregnancy, while others may experience a drop in libido.

Additionally, there may be risks involved for some women that could make sex unhealthy. For example, a woman at risk of preterm labor or cervical incontinence may be advised to avoid sexual intercourse.

Is morning the best time to have sex?

Possibly, but only for men. Morning sex may be better for men who often experience morning erections. 

Testosterone levels are often higher for men between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. after a good night of sleep.

The best time to have sex for women can be a bit more complicated, as libido can fluctuate based on:

  • Menstruation
  • Ovulation cycles
  • Relationship quality
  • Sleep-time preferences

Nevertheless, studies show females are more likely than males to prefer to have sex in the evening or at night between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Can sex affect your physical performance?

No. Studies have shown that healthy sex anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours before aerobic exercise does not affect endurance, strength, or aerobic fitness. 

Can you get testicular cancer from masturbating too much?

There is no definitive link between masturbation or sexual activity and testicular cancer. The only sex-related factor for testicular cancer is STIs.

Does sex protect against endometriosis?

When it comes to the benefits of sexual intercourse to a woman, some studies have shown a link between sexual activity and a lowered rate of endometriosis. However, sex during menstruation may have the opposite effect.

Does sex treat painful ejaculation?

Painful ejaculation can have many underlying causes, including taking certain medications, ejaculatory duct blockages, and more. 

Reaching orgasm and ejaculation more often may not always help with painful ejaculation. The condition should be carefully explored with the help of a physician.


Sex Health List of Benefits

Sex is certainly a healthy activity on many levels. Not only is the physical act itself good for the body and possibly a way to curb some illnesses, it is also valuable for your mental health.

Having sex is good for the heart, may reduce certain types of cancer, and could even be good for kidney stones or pain. 

The euphoric release of endorphins can mean everything from better sleep and mood to better sexual performance for the long term.

Sex can be fun and provide good physical sensations. But it can also be a powerful tool for supporting physical and mental health.

The Promescent Team

The Promescent Team

Our team has over a decade of experience in the sexual wellness field and are experts in sexual dysfunctions, like premature ejaculation. We help couples and individuals better understand treatment options available for different types of sexual needs and educate the public on all things related to intimacy. All of our authored content is medically reviewed for accuracy and reliability.


Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC (Promescent) has strict informational citing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic or research institutions, medical associations, and medical experts. We attempt to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references and only citing trustworthy sources. Each article is reviewed, written, and updated by Medical Professionals or authoritative Experts in a specific, related field of practice. You can find out more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • "Is Sex Dangerous If You Have Heart Disease - Johns Hopkins Medicine., 2024, Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Liu H, Waite LJ, Shen S, Wang DH. Is Sex Good for Your Health? A National Study on Partnered Sexuality and Cardiovascular Risk among Older Men and Women. J Health Soc Behav. 2016;57(3):276-296. doi:10.1177/0022146516661597. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Ramadhan MA, Hashim HT. THE EFFECTS OF SEXUAL FREQUENCY AND IMMUNE BOOSTING MINERAL INTAKE ON IMMUNE STATUS IN COVID-19 SUSCEPTIBLE INDIVIDUALS. Fertil Steril. 2021;116(3):e113. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2021.07.316. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Lindau ST, Gavrilova N. Sex, health, and years of sexually active life gained due to good health: evidence from two US population based cross sectional surveys of ageing. BMJ. 2010;340:c810. Published 2010 Mar 9. doi:10.1136/bmj.c810. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Jian Z, Ye D, Chen Y, Li H, Wang K. Sexual Activity and Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis. J Sex Med. 2018 Sep;15(9):1300-1309. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2018.07.004. Epub 2018 Aug 16. PMID: 30122473. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Goldey KL, van Anders SM. Sexual thoughts: links to testosterone and cortisol in men. Arch Sex Behav. 2012 Dec;41(6):1461-70. doi: 10.1007/s10508-011-9858-6. Epub 2011 Oct 13. PMID: 21993767. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Hamilton LD, Meston CM. The effects of partner togetherness on salivary testosterone in women in long distance relationships. Horm Behav. 2010;57(2):198-202. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2009.10.014. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Hou JW, Yuan LH, Cao XL, Song JY, Sun ZG. Impact of sexual intercourse on frozen-thawed embryo transfer outcomes: a randomized controlled trial. Contracept Reprod Med. 2023;8(1):19. Published 2023 Mar 2. doi:10.1186/s40834-023-00218-y. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Lakhsassi L, Borg C, Martusewicz S, van der Ploeg K, de Jong PJ. The influence of sexual arousal on subjective pain intensity during a cold pressor test in women. PLoS One. 2022 Oct 5;17(10):e0274331. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0274331. PMID: 36197910; PMCID: PMC9534408. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Mollazadeh S, Sadeghzadeh Oskouei B, Kamalifard M, Mirghafourvand M, Aminisani N, Jafari Shobeiri M. Association between Sexual Activity during Menstruation and Endometriosis: A Case-Control Study. Int J Fertil Steril. 2019;13(3):230-235. doi:10.22074/ijfs.2019.5601. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Hambach A, Evers S, Summ O, Husstedt IW, Frese A. The impact of sexual activity on idiopathic headaches: an observational study. Cephalalgia. 2013 Apr;33(6):384-9. doi: 10.1177/0333102413476374. Epub 2013 Feb 19. PMID: 23430983. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Doluoglu OG, Demirbas A, Kilinc MF, Karakan T, Kabar M, Bozkurt S, Resorlu B. Can Sexual Intercourse Be an Alternative Therapy for Distal Ureteral Stones? A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Study. Urology. 2015 Jul;86(1):19-24. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2015.03.037. PMID: 26142575. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Bodenmann G, Atkins DC, Schär M, Poffet V. The association between daily stress and sexual activity. J Fam Psychol. 2010 Jun;24(3):271-9. doi: 10.1037/a0019365. PMID: 20545400. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Oesterling CF, Borg C, Juhola E, Lancel M. The influence of sexual activity on sleep: A diary study. J Sleep Res. 2023 Aug;32(4):e13814. doi: 10.1111/jsr.13814. Epub 2023 Jan 16. PMID: 36646500. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Costa R, Costa D, Pestana J. Subjective sleep quality, unstimulated sexual arousal, and sexual frequency. Sleep Sci. 2017;10(4):147-153. doi:10.5935/1984-0063.20170026. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Shen S, Liu H. Is Sex Good for Your Brain? A National Longitudinal Study on Sexuality and Cognitive Function among Older Adults in the United States. J Sex Res. 2023 Nov-Dec;60(9):1345-1355. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2023.2238257. Epub 2023 Jul 28. PMID: 37506374; PMCID: PMC10615694. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Wright H, Jenks RA. Sex on the brain! Associations between sexual activity and cognitive function in older age. Age Ageing. 2016;45(2):313-317. doi:10.1093/ageing/afv197. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Koskimäki J, Shiri R, Tammela T, Häkkinen J, Hakama M, Auvinen A. Regular intercourse protects against erectile dysfunction: Tampere Aging Male Urologic Study. Am J Med. 2008 Jul;121(7):592-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2008.02.042. Epub 2008 Jun 4. PMID: 18538297. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Mollaioli D, Sansone A, Ciocca G, et al. Benefits of Sexual Activity on Psychological, Relational, and Sexual Health During the COVID-19 Breakout. J Sex Med. 2021;18(1):35-49. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2020.10.008. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Pujols Y, Seal BN, Meston CM. The association between sexual satisfaction and body image in women [published correction appears in J Sex Med. 2010 Jun;7(6):2295]. J Sex Med. 2010;7(2 Pt 2):905-916. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01604.x Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Liu H, Waite LJ, Shen S, Wang DH. Is Sex Good for Your Health? A National Study on Partnered Sexuality and Cardiovascular Risk among Older Men and Women. J Health Soc Behav. 2016;57(3):276-296. doi:10.1177/0022146516661597. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Xu Y, Wen Z, Deng K, Li R, Yu Q, Xiao SM. Relationships of sex hormones with muscle mass and muscle strength in male adolescents at different stages of puberty. PLoS One. 2021;16(12):e0260521. Published 2021 Dec 2. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0260521. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Kaestle CE, Allen KR. The role of masturbation in healthy sexual development: perceptions of young adults. Arch Sex Behav. 2011 Oct;40(5):983-94. doi: 10.1007/s10508-010-9722-0. Epub 2011 Feb 4. PMID: 21293916. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Uvnäs-Moberg K, Handlin L, Petersson M. Self-soothing behaviors with particular reference to oxytocin release induced by non-noxious sensory stimulation. Front Psychol. 2015;5:1529. Published 2015 Jan 12. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01529. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
  • Wannarit LO. Sexual abstinence as a reproductive health-promoting behavior for women: A perspective. Belitung Nurs J. 2022;8(4):372-377. Published 2022 Aug 18. doi:10.33546/bnj.2155. Accessed on Mar, 18, 2024.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Share article:

Buy Sildenafil 50mg or 100mg online for erectile dysfunction (Sildenafil Citrate). Shop generic Viagra when prescribed through online Telehealth ED doctor visit.


Generic Viagra®



Just arrived in store
as low as $6.00 per dose
Save up to 92%
Shop Now