Science & Tech

This is what happens to your body when you stop having sex

This is what happens to your body when you stop having sex

There are pros and cons to not having sex, but we'll warn you- there are more cons.


Sex is a basic human function that we don't talk about enough.

This means if you're going through a dry spell, there are some things to keep in mind. For example, did you know sex is a great stress reliever? So if you're feeling more anxious lately, maybe it's time to re-download that dating app.

Just like understanding how sleep can affect your professional, and personal, life it's important to understand how sex does too. Here are some things that can happen when you stop having sex.

1. You may feel unhappier

This is the most obvious one. Sex boosts the "happy hormone" serotonin which helps improve mood and fight depression. Dr. Mark Lawton from the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV told Metro, "Certainly sex releases endorphins and happy hormones that give a sense of wellbeing that you might no longer get."

But the pressure to have sex as a social responsibility can have an adverse effect too. "From a psychological point of view, someone might feel a responsibility to have sex – they feel that they should be having it. If they are not, that could also lead to a low mood," Dr. Lawton says.

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2. You may experience a loss of libido

The longer you go without sex, the more you grow accustomed to not having it, therefore filling that gap in your life with others things. Certified sex therapist Sari Cooper told Reader’s Digest, "For some people who refrain from sex, they begin to feel more sluggish, with less vitality and hunger for sex. Out of sight out of mind is how some of my clients describe the scenario."

3. Your sleep may get worse

This may also seem obvious to some people, but sex is correlated to sleep quality. According to the Sleep Foundation, "after an orgasm, the body releases hormones20, like oxytocin and prolactin, that can induce pleasant and relaxing feelings. Sex also reduces levels of the hormone cortisol, which is associated with stress."

4. Your risk of heart failure increases

Sex is a great way to get your heart pumping. While it does not fully replace a daily 30-minute workout, it still counts for something, and exercise is directly linked to a healthier heart.

A 2015 study found that men who had sex twice a week or more were less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases than men who had sex once a month or less.

5. Your immune system may decrease

No, it cannot prevent the common cold. But sex does help your immune system in the long run. By helping lower cortisol levels, sex helps lower your chances of getting sick.

A 2004 study, found that people who had sex frequently (three times a week or more) had higher traces of immunoglobulin A in their saliva than those who had sex infrequently (less than once a week).

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