Can Sex Boost your Immune System?

Illustration of an invasive virus being fought off by the body's immune system

To be honest immunity isn’t a topic I thought I would be writing about on a sex blog but it’s definitely one of the buzz words of 2020. I kept reading headlines which told me sex could boost my immunity. And having a strong immune system is what you want when you find yourself in the middle of a global pandemic, am I right? So, can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?

Your immune system is your body’s defence mechanism against infections. It consists of a complex network of cells, tissues, proteins and organs that work in unison to help you fight off viruses or bacteria attacking your body. White blood cells are a critical part of our immune response as some types can literally chew up invading organisms whilst others can remember them. 

So, were the headlines right? Can masturbation or sex boost your immune system?

On ResearchGate we were able to find 3 separate studies which concluded that participants who had sex at least 2-3 times a week showed significantly higher levels of immunoglobulin A in their saliva. Immunoglobulin A are the molecules which are produced by the white blood cells as the first line of defence in the resistance against infection. So the obvious conclusion is that sexual arousal or orgasm might help fight infection. But in a contrasting view some believed this could have resulted from the extra physical sexual activity as low or moderately intense exercise such as sex has been shown to improve immune defences. And word of warning, those participants who had sex more frequently had lower levels!

A small German study also found that sexual arousal and orgasm through masturbation increased the overall number of leukocytes (a type of white blood cell) in the male participants. But with only 11 participants it sounds more like a Jerk Off Club than a scientific study and most researchers say more study is required. Do we have any volunteers?

Sex itself has a lot of health benefits which may assist to strengthen our immune system:

  • It releases all of those feel good endorphins (dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) which in turn can lower our levels of cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone which is usually present in high volumes during anxiety, like say, a pandemic or where job security is at risk. Stress places strain on our immune system by raising our blood pressure.
  • It can help you relax and achieve a more restful sleep which is critical to maintaining a well functioning immune system.
  • And according to a new study published in Science Daily keeping up regular, daily exercise at a time when much of the world has gone into lockdown plays an important role in helping to maintain a healthy immune system.

So having sex is healthier than not having sex - it gets your heart rate up, those endorphins pumping, reduces stress and anxiety and you’ll have a better night’s sleep. If you don’t have a lockdown sex partner, then masturbating is healthier than not masturbating.

If you want to maintain a strong immune system follow the proven scientific and medical advice by eating well including gut healthy fermented foods as well as fruits, veggies and whole grains, lowering your stress, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and washing your hands. 

I guess shagging a couple of times a week could be just what the doctor ordered. Even if it doesn’t conclusively boost your immune system there are health benefits and it’s fun, so do it for those reasons not because you’re worried about fighting off a virus.

3 comments

  • amfora69

    amfora69

    More than a month ago

    Yes, a little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing.

    Reply
  • Ifuwannadome

    Ifuwannadome

    More than a month ago

    nothing like a good workout anytime

    • Lozza10001

      Lozza10001

      More than a month ago

      Agree with that line of thinking. A shag a day keeps the doctor away

      Laurie

    Reply
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