The coronavirus means fewer opportunities to connect with people for sex and companionship. Bars are closed and hookup apps like Grindr are dangerous. Unless you have a steady partner, this could inevitably lead to a sexual dry spell.
Here are 8 good reasons that you should find a way to stay sexually active during the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.
Use It or Lose It
Since regular erections and normal testosterone levels help your penis stay healthy, abstaining for too long could hurt your libido and might even make it harder to perform.
You need to have erections regularly to keep your penis in shape. “It has to be essentially exercised,” says Tobias Kohler, MD, assistant professor of urology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
If you don’t have a partner, masturbation can also help prevent or mediate these potential problems.
According to Juha Kkoskimaki, MD, PhD, a urologist at Tampere University Hospital in Tampere, Finland, “Masturbation, like sex, seems to protect nerve fibers and blood vessels in the penis from damages that are responsible for ED, and they seem to prevent scarring of the chambers inside the penis that fill with blood for an erection.
It Could Get Smaller
To remain elastic, the spongy tissue in your penis must regularly receive exercise. According to Tobias Kohler, MD, assistant professor of urology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. That way, it can keep its shape and tone, since it will be enriched with oxygen as blood flows to the penis and makes it erect. It’s similar to how exercising keeps our muscles toned.
“If they don’t do anything to maintain normal erections, they will get shortening of the penis,” Kohler says. Without regular erections, penile tissue can become less elastic and shrink, making the penis 1-2 centimeters shorter.
How A Vacuum Pump Can Help
If you have health conditions that make it difficult to have an erection, a vacuum erectile device therapy may help. The very effective at-home process involves lubricating your penis and inserting it into a plastic cylinder attached to a pump; air from the pump will then increase the blood flow to your penis, resulting in an erection. Regular erections could help your penis maintain its size.
You May Lose Your Desire To Have Sex
Testosterone levels tend to decline naturally as you age, so it’s normal to notice changes in your desire to have sex as you grow older. However, the longer you go without sex, the lower your levels may dip. Experts say that hormonal changes, especially decreased testosterone levels in men 60 and over, can reduce your libido as well as your ability to hold an erection.
According to a Finnish study from The American Journal of Medicine, erectile dysfunction, a condition that makes it difficult to have an erection, may be less common in men ages 55 to 75 who have sex more than once a week. Researchers concluded that regular intercourse is related to preserving erectile function, but the reason is not totally understood.
While there are other erectile dysfunction risk factors like age, depression, diabetes, heart disease and smoking, older men may be able to reduce their chances by having more sex.
If you are in a healthy relationship, set aside one or two nights a week for sex with your partner. The more you connect intimately with your partner, the better the sex will be.
If you’re single and can’t get out to connect with someone, try a male masturbator or a vacuum pump.
Anxiety and Stress
Experiencing frustration and irritability is normal and the tension some people experience when they are not sexually active is usually related to feeling like they ‘should’ be. The tension is less about the absence of sex and more about the internal disappointment they feel with not having it, for whatever reason. This stress can look like frustration, irritability, disappointment, and even a sense of loss.
Sex, or climaxing, also makes your body release hormones, like oxytocin and endorphins, that can help you manage the effects of stress. Oxytocin has the added benefit of helping you sleep.
Regular sex helps you feel emotionally close to your partner, which opens the door to better communication. Couples who have sex more often tend to say they’re happier than those who get less of it.
But it doesn’t have to happen every day — once a week seems to be enough. This seems to be true no matter your age or gender, or how long you’ve been in the relationship.
Sex Strengthens Your Immune System
Regular sex can help your body fight off illness, so having it less often might lead to more colds and the like. In one study, college students who had sex one to two times per week were shown to have higher levels of a certain antibody (called immunoglobulin A) that plays an important role in your immune system.
A study published in 2014 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology found that men who have sex with more than 20 women, rather than just one partner, are linked with a 28 percent drop in their chances of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
This isn’t to say that the 2014 study suggests that men should go gallivanting to have sex with more than 20 women. According to Dr. David Samadi, urologist and oncologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of urologic diseases and prostate cancer, the study actually reinforces studies done in the ’90s and early 2000s that suggest that frequent ejaculation can protect against prostate cancer. It doesn’t matter if the man has many or one sexual partner.
He explains that studies have found that men who don’t ejaculate often have inflammatory cells gather in the seminal vesicles adjacent to the prostate gland. This can lead to cancer over time. (The seminal vesicles secrete a significant amount of fluid that composes the semen.)
The coronavirus has had a huge impact on our lives. Let’s try to stay sexually active during these difficult times to manage stress, stay connected with each other and avoid any long term penile issue.
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