For many, sex is the answer to happiness, longevity and a healthy body. Sex education enjoys and suffers the same fate as other aspects of behaviour; from myths to advice and best practices, one must be aware of what sex education implies. Here are 25 things you should know about sex.
1) 'No penetration' does not mean that you are safe from pregnancy.
Pregnancy can occur even when a partner ejaculates or pre-ejaculates near or on your vulva. Irrespective of the fact that you engage in vaginal sex or not, naked body contact around this region could lead to pregnancy.
2) You can still get pregnant if you have sex during your menstrual cycle.
If you have vaginal sex during your periods, you can get pregnant. Sperms have a life ranging from one day to one week, thus meaning that a sperm could fertilise an egg when you ovulate. Even when you are menstruating when you decide to have sex, it is a must to use a condom, as it is the proven way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
3) Regular periods
Apparently sex can improve your menstrual cycle. Sex regulates hormones, which in turn regulate the menstrual cycle. Sex reduces stress, which is one of the reasons women miss their periods. Sex seems like a better option than pills. 4) Builds your immunity
Trying to fight the sniffles? Sex is the answer to fight cold and other health problems; sex can boost your immunity.
Immunoglobulin A, an antigen that fights the flu increases when the frequency of sex increases.
5) Sex while menstruating, is not harmful.
Making love during one's menstrual cycle is in no way a harmful experience. In fact, many studies have proved the opposite - stating that love making is much more satisfying and pleasurable.
6) Washing the vagina after intercourse does not prevent pregnancy.
Even if you wash your vagina with hot water, cold water, soap solution or shampoo solution, sperms are really fast swimmers and can get to their set destination even before you blink your eye. Scientifically speaking, washing your vaginal area after sex won't prevent pregnancy. Use safe birth control methods instead.
7) Makes you look younger Making love three times a week can make you look 10 years younger, claims a Scottish researcher. "It's good for you to have good sex," says David Weeks, a clinical neuropsychologist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, whose study on the effects of sex on aging appears in his book, Secrets of the Superyoung.
8) Both genders enjoy sex There is no scientific evidence supporting the general myth that men enjoy sex more than women. Perhaps societal norms and mindsets prevent women from expressing their emotions with respect to sex and pleasure; but, to think that women aren't designed to enjoy sex as much as men, is incorrect and false.
9) Masturbation does not cause impotence Don't laugh over it, if you know the real thing, but this (sadly) is among the top rated sex myths among teenagers. Please understand that impotence is not linked to masturbation. Masturbation is a healthy process and has no side effects, least of all impotence.
10) Menopause may make sex uncomfortable Soon after women hit the menopause stage, they tend to have low levels of estrogen and progesterone - the prime sex hormones. Furthermore, this can make sexual activity uncomfortable by leading to tiny tears in the vaginal walls. You can work your way around lowered hormonal balance by using lubricants, indulging in lengthier foreplay, and even some estrogen cream.
11) Sex therapy and counseling is helpful If everything else fails, and you continue experiencing a lack of sexual desire, you can always go for sex therapy or counseling. Therapists will help you in sorting your feelings out in detail. A counselor or therapist will help you deal with any lack of communication, insecurities and other psychosexual issues that might be hampering your sex life. They may also suggest additional strategies for dealing with sex problems.
12) A healthy lifestyle is a must It is never too late to work those lethargic muscles out and feel young all over again. And, if it adds an edge to your sexual life, they why not! Strengthen your vaginal walls and pelvic floor muscles through Kegel exercises as it will help you in achieving better orgasm. Please note you should not perform Kegel exercises with a full bladder or while urinating. If done so, it can actually weaken the muscles as well as lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder, which increases the risk of urinary tract infection.
13) Erectile dysfunction is treatable This is the biggest myth of all. ED is indeed treatable. In fact, here are a few lifestyle tips you should keep in mind: Check your alcohol intake, stop smoking, follow a healthy exercise and dietary regimen and keep your diabetes under watch. There are also many natural remedies which are very effective such as horny goat weed, ginseng, fo-ti, orchid palm grass, glossy privet and many others. Speak with a Naturopathic Doctor for other alternatives.
14) It is possible for a woman to get pregnant, even if the man pulls out The rhythm method, also known as the pull out method is the worst case scenario for birth control. Men are not always aware of when exactly the fluid is about to seep out. It is said that one in every 5 couples, who follow this method as the only form of birth control, gets pregnant. That's 20%...are you ready to take that chance?
15) Condoms have expiry dates. You cannot use one anytime, anywhere Condoms, like any other grocery product, come with an expiry date. You can use one for three to five years. Best is to check for its printed expiry date before use. Condoms become weak, inflexible and more prone to tears after the expiry dates.
16) Sex Education Tip 21: Latex condoms and STDs/Pregnancies Latex condoms are good for prevention of STDs and pregnancies. However, if one is allergic to latex condoms you should talk in detail with your doctor and ask him to recommend you polyurethane condoms instead.
17) Erectile dysfunction is linked to heart disease Yes, in some cases it has been linked to heart disease. In fact, erectile dysfunction can be linked to cardiovascular diseases in whole. Studies have time and again shown that all men who suffer from ED should get checked for heart diseases.
18) How pregnancy affects sex
Lovemaking during pregnancy is perfectly safe. A mother's stomach is safely covered by the amniotic sac which keeps the baby safe. However, indulging in rough lovemaking can affect the fetus.
19) Should one fear sex after suffering from a heart attack?
No, one should not fear having sex after a heart attack. After a heart attack, it takes about 3 to 4 weeks for the heart to heal after proper treatment. After that one can resume normal activities, including sex without fear.
20) Induces sleep and reduces stress Orgasm has a calming effect on people and also helps in better sleep. As intimate sex helps promote a supporting relationship, this might help improve health through stress reduction as well as social support.
Sex works the same way as exercise. The increased heart rate leads to increased post-coital relaxation. Sex could be the next thing for insomniacs! So what really happens:
- Sex can relax you, hence if you are already tired, the act of sex will induce sleep.
- When men ejaculate they become lethargic, this can make them sleepy.
21) Sex assists in relieving pain The body releases a bonding hormone called oxytocin, before and during orgasm. Regarded as natural opiates, these hormones reduce the perception of pain by increasing the pain tolerance threshold. A study by famed sexologist, Beverly Whipple states that "when a woman masturbates to orgasm, both the pain tolerance threshold and pain detection threshold increase "significantly by 74.6% and 106.7% respectively." Apart from this, another natural opiate-like hormone released during orgasm is endorphin. The prime effect of this hormone is that they create a positive perception of the environment besides decreasing pain.
22) Builds trust and intimacy
The act of sex spikes oxytocin; this hormone is responsible for your happiness and love. If your feel your relationship is falling out, there is trust or you're worried that your partner will stray away, then sex will dispel these doubts. The hormone oxytocin builds trust and brings couples closer, and cupid too.
23) Sex has positive psychological effects Engaging in physical intimacy with a loved one also promotes healing at psychological levels. The feeling of satisfaction associated with sex improves the mood and boosts self-esteem. Such a person is able to communicate with their partner in a more intimate and honest manner. Thus, any kind of emotional wounds may be healed and a sense of mental well-being achieved.
24) Sex reduces the risk of heart disease The American Journal of Cardiology reported that men who made love at least twice a week were much less likely to have heart disease than those who had sexual encounters only once a month or less. This study conducted in over 1,000 men shows that sex appears to have a positive effect on the male heart. However, there was not much scientific evidence to demonstrate the full benefit of frequent intercourse on women's heart.
25) Sex reduces the risk of prostate cancer Another vital medical research carried out to prove the beneficial effects of frequent sexual activity was in relation to prostate cancer. A study at the US National Cancer Institute showed how men who ejaculated through either sex or masturbation a minimum of five times a week were less likely to get prostate cancer. The researchers said that ejaculations help to release tension quieting the central nervous system activity that may lead to abnormal cell division and cancer growth in the prostate.
In an Australian study men who ejaculated 21 times a month were least likely to develop cancer. It is further supported by other researches that sexual intercourse reduces the risk of prostrate cancer.
If you're trying to conceive, you increase the volume of semen if you have sex regularly. Regular sex replaces old sperms from the testicles. If there is a natural build of sperms it can lead to DNA damage. It's one of the reasons vasectomies can lead to cancer.
April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.