What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Having Sex
Here's what you need to know about long-term abstinence and how it affects your mind and body.
Most people will at some point in their lives enter a dry spell, where they go quite some time without having sex. If you find yourself in a period of abstinence, you might be wondering how it can affect your health. What are the effects of abstinence on females? Let's consider the effects of abstinence as it affects the different areas of our lives.
The effects of abstinence on females: the physical implications
People go through dry spells for lots of reasons. Sometimes people who aren’t in a relationship have a hard time finding a person they’d like to have sex with. As a couple, your attraction for each other can diminish. Other times you just don’t want to have sex. So, what happens when you don’t have sex for a long time?
Your immune system
Regular sex improves your immunity and prepares your body to fight off illness by releasing endorphins. This means that having sex less often might result in more frequent illnesses, like a cold or the flu. A study reported that saliva samples of college students who had regular sex were had a higher concentration of certain antibodies called immunoglobulin A, which fights the common cold.
Your vaginal health
Having sex after a long break most times is uncomfortable. It will take longer for the female body to become aroused and produce enough lubrication to make sex easy and comfortable. Regular sex or masturbation can keep the tissues in your vagina healthy by improving blood flow.
Your period pains
Some people find sex to be an excellent remedy for menstrual cramps. The increase in endorphins caused by sex as well as the uterine contractions that occur with orgasm can both help alleviate your cramps. You don’t have to have sex to reap these benefits — masturbation can have the same effect.
Your cardiovascular health
If you do not have sex on a regular basis, you are at a higher risk to develop cardiovascular disease. In addition to being a source of exercise, sexual intercourse helps keep your estrogen and progesterone levels in balance, which can lower your risk of heart disease.
The effects of abstinence on females: the mental implications
Some people equate having a sex life with having self-worth. Although this is not the case, you may feel more anxious and depressed if you go a long period of time without having sex. It’s important to remember that your value does not come from having sex with other people.
Aside from that, the effects on your mental health caused by abstaining from sex can include:
Your stress and anxiety levels
Having sex releases the hormone oxytocin and endorphins into your body. These neurochemicals can help manage the effects of anxiety or stress. Oxytocin has the additional benefit of helping you sleep. If you do not have sex regularly, your body may release these hormones less often, which might make it more difficult for you to cope with stress.
Surprisingly, going a long time without having sex can make you lose interest in sex altogether. The more you have sex, the more you want to have sex. Regular sex reduces stress and boosts your libido.
Your relationship health
For many couples, regular sexual intercourse is an important way to maintain their bond. Regular sex also often opens the door for better communication. Generally, couples who have sex more often feel emotionally attached and connected in comparison to those who do it less often.
What happens when you don’t have sex for a long time? In some cases, your relationship with your partner becomes stressful and you stop feeling connected. Other couples aren’t interested in sex or it’s not an important method of connection for them, preferring conversation or shared activities instead.
The effects of abstinence on females: the benefits
Although having sex can have positive effects on your health, not having sex has benefits too. Some of the positive side effects of not having sex for a long time include:
You don’t have to worry about getting pregnant: Although there are many very highly effective methods of birth control available today, the only 100% absolute, most certain way to not get pregnant is to not have sex.
You’re less likely to get a urinary tract infection: Naturally, not having sex is going to drastically reduce your chances of getting a sexually transmitted infection, but abstaining from sex also makes it less likely that you’ll get a urinary tract infection.
You can have some much-needed space: Abstaining from sex can give you time to focus on any big emotional issues you may be dealing with, such as a breakup or the death of a loved one. Sometimes abstaining from sex is necessary after an illness or medical procedure and doing so can speed up the healing process.
Going without sex for a long time can be a frustrating experience if you would rather be sexually active. However, a period of abstinence can be an opportunity for personal growth and self-love. While you may temporarily miss out on the health benefits of sex, they will be waiting for you if or when you become sexually active again. If you find that a lack of sex is affecting your relationship with your partner, an earnest discussion may help you both better understand what you need in a relationship to feel satisfied.