Humans are commonly described as sexual beings and sex is regarded as one of the basic instincts of survival. People generally have sex for pleasure, stress relief, exercise, sexual curiosity, or attraction to a person and to make a baby, among other reasons.
Experts say sex is an important part of life and overall wellbeing with psychological and emotional benefits such as reduced risk of heart disease, stress, anxiety and improved self-esteem.
Although sex isn’t the only indicator of health or happiness, the benefits of sex come from the same feeling of pleasure that can also come from listening to music, interacting with pets, and having strong religious faith.
But at some point people have got fed up with their sex lives, to the extent of going for long periods with having sex or abstaining completely. Does this have any positive or negative effect on their health?The late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was widely believed to have kept a celibate life in his last four decades of life purely for spiritual reasons according to reports.
When American singer Lady Gaga who is known for her sexually-charged performances, announced over a decade ago that she was choosing to become celibate, there was widespread surprise. Gaga said she was giving up sex to protect her creativity. Famous scientist Nikola Tesla whose pioneering work in electricity generation laid the foundation of the cutting-edge Elon Musk’s battery-powered Tesla cars, allegedly died a virgin because he did not have the “time” for sex.
Millions of people have abandoned the pleasures of sex for one reason or another, but the question remains what happens to the body when you abstain from sex for a long time or you permanently stop having sex?
There are several things that may get you off sex, so what happens when you don’t have sex for a long time? Regular sex improves the immune system so does this mean that having sex less often might result in more frequent illnesses? There may be some truth there, but no one knows for certain.
Having sex after a long break can be uncomfortable. It takes longer for the female body to become aroused and produce enough lubrication to make sex easy and comfortable. Regular sex helps keep tissues in the sex organs healthy by improving blood flow.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 cramps.
If you do not have sex on a regular basis, you might be at a higher risk of developing 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.
Some people may feel more anxious and depressed if they go a long period of time without having sex. Having sex releases endorphins and oxytocin into the body which manage the effects of anxiety or stress. If you do not have sex regularly, your body may release these hormones less often, which might make it more difficult to cope with stress.
Going a long time without having sex can make you lose interest in sex altogether. Regular sex boosts libido and helps to maintain bonding and also often leads to better communication.
Many people choose to not have sex for a variety of reasons. Some people don’t enjoy it or aren’t interested. Others find it to be a distraction from the things they really care about. Although having sex can have positive effects on your health, not having sex has benefits too.
There are positive side effects of not having sex for a long time. For one, there is zero fear of pregnancy: Abstinence is the only 100 per cent absolute, most certain way to not get pregnant.
Not having sex is going to drastically reduce your chances of getting a sexually transmitted infection or a urinary tract infection.
Abstaining from sex can give you time to focus on any big emotional issues you may be dealing with. Sometimes abstaining it is necessary after an illness or medical procedure and doing so can even help to 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.
Sexual activity has the potential to improve or maintain health on different levels but this does not mean that you have to have sex to be healthy or stay healthy. Each person has different desires and needs when it comes to sex. If you find yourself in a dry spell, take the time to get to know your own personal desires.
Five unusual skin benefits of the pawpaw fruit
The pawpaw is one of the most popular fruits in the modern world. Native to central America and southern Mexico, pawpaws are consumed in its dried, ripe and unripe forms.
While the ‘fruit of angels’ dubbed fruit rich in dietary fibre is great for health, pawpaw is also an excellent agent for skin health. Its abundant content of vitamin C make the pawpaw fruit a great source of healing wounds while protecting cells from cancer.
If you struggle with dry skin, then pawpaw is the remedy that could help out. Papaya contains enzymes which aid in dry, flaky skin by hydrating it.
By incorporating a papaya-honey face mask regularly, you can achieve a better moisturized skin in as short as a month.
You can make this papaya face mask by mixing some squashed papaya and honey, applying the paste on your face leaving out the eye area and leaving it on between half an hour or an hour before rinsing the paste off with warm water.
Acts as anti-ageing agent
Pawpaw peel has been proven to reduce wrinkles on the human skin. Thanks to its skin repairing, exfoliating and hydrating properties, pawpaw peel reverses the activities of ageing properties in the skin.
The peels of pawpaw helps erase dead skin cells from the skin’s surface.
To achieve this, get fresh pawpaw peel and rub them all over your face and neck. Allow the juice sit on your face for about twenty to thirty minutes then rinse off with cold water.
Whitens the skin
Notice how pawpaw makes up an active ingredient in popular skin-whitening products? Pawpaw owes its whitening effects to an active Papain enzyme active in the pawpaw fruit.
Great exfoliating agent
To exfoliate means to shed from the surface of something. In skin care, exfoliation simply put, means the removal of dead skin cells to reveal a newer skin.
Again, the Papain enzyme plays an active role in restoring the even tone of the skin.
Helps in acne treatment
Acne can be as annoying as they are embarrassing. With the ever active Papain, pawpaw serves as a good agent for treating acne and at the same time, preventing future breakouts.
Pawpaw leaves, seeds, and skin, also contain anti-acne properties and abilities.
Apply pulped pawpaw on the affected area and leave on for twenty minutes. Regular application of this paste will present visible results in no time.
Why women should not wear underwear for more than 24 hours — Expert
A Medical Laboratory Scientist, Obinna Chukwudi, has cautioned women against wearing underwear for more than 24 hours.
According to the microbiologist, wearing underwear for more than 24 hours is not good for feminine hygiene.
The microbiologist who works at the Department of Microbiology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, said the discharge and moisture buildup from the underwear provides a breeding ground for bacteria, and yeast infections contaminated with faecal and urine matter.
Speaking in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, Chukwudi said the accumulated discharge and moisture can lead to a lingering foul odour and a change in vagina pH level.
According to him, “underwear should not be worn for more than 24 hours. If a woman wears a pant for more than 24 hours, what happens is that the bacteria must have accumulated over time because of the sweat and other secretions coming out, which you don’t usually see, and that is why over time you begin to see underwear changing colour – sometimes white and sometimes grey.
“The secretions stay there over time and if you do not wash it off after the 24 hours, the woman could develop infections. Again, there could be a change in vaginal pH, because of the secretions being produced which could lead to vaginosis.”
Experts say a normal vaginal pH level is between 3.8 and 4.5, which is moderately acidic.
According to them, an acidic vaginal environment creates a barrier that prevents unhealthy bacteria and yeast from multiplying and causing infection; but a high vaginal pH level — above 4.5 — provides an environment for unhealthy bacteria to grow.
Bacterial vaginosis is a type of vaginal inflammation caused by the overgrowth of bacteria naturally found in the vagina, which upsets the natural balance. Though many women with this condition have no signs and symptoms, experts say some signs and symptoms include thin, gray, white, or green vaginal discharge, foul-smelling ‘fishy’ vaginal odour, vaginal itching, and burning during urination. Many women with bacterial vaginosis, however, have no signs or symptoms.
According to an online health portal, Mayo Clinic – a medical center focused on integrated health care, education, and research – bacterial vaginosis results from an overgrowth of one of several bacteria naturally found in the vaginal.
“Usually, ‘good’ bacteria (lactobacilli) outnumber ‘bad’ bacteria (anaerobes). But, if there are too many anaerobic bacteria, they upset the natural balance of microorganisms in the vagina and cause bacterial vaginosis,” Mayo Clinic noted.
Continuing, Chukwudi said “vaginosis can cause discomfort and they can experience odour coming from the private part.
“For the men, you could pardon them because the penis is not in direct contact most of the time and the opening is not wide enough to have enough loads of bacteria. But ideally, underwear should not be worn for more than 24 hours.
“A man can wear boxers for at least two days but then for a clean person, underwear shouldn’t be worn more than 24 hours. But for the woman, it is dangerous for her.
“When you wear your panties, you are supposed to wash them and maintain cleanliness in the vagina environment, if not, the situation with vaginosis can arise.”
The laboratory scientist added that maintaining underwear hygiene is important to prevent any bacteria from accumulating and festering in and around the vagina.
“I feel bad for people who wear pants for more than a day. I feel it’s because of poverty, an individual should have at least 10 pants and cleanliness should be a habit.
“The reason we wear pants is to absorb the secretion coming from that place; wearing pants is good but the thing is that even if you wear pants, don’t wear what will be tight so that it can allow the skin to breathe.
“As much as you wear your pants, you must also take care of them. Wash your underwear, and hang them outside. Once the undies are dry, you also iron them, the ironing will kill the bacteria that the sun cannot kill,” he said.
Daily exercise among teens linked to longer and efficient sleep, study says
A new study, conducted at Penn State University, has found that increased daily physical activity among teenagers and adolescents is linked to longer and more efficient night sleep, a necessity for healthy cognition.
The study, which had set out to examine the relationship between physical activity and sleep health, found that teenagers and adolescents who get more physical activities than they usually did got to sleep earlier and slept longer and better that night.
For every extra hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, the teens were found to have fallen asleep 18 minutes earlier, slept 10 minutes longer and had about one percent greater sleep maintenance efficiency.
Previous research had shown more active people to have reported longer sleep and better sleep quality but without explaining whether daily changes in these physical activities and sedentary behavior affected sleep length and quality.
Using data from 417 participants in the ‘fragile families and ‘child wellbeing’ study, the researchers measured the participants’ sleep and physical activity for one week with the aid of waist and hip accelerometers and made interesting discoveries.
“Adolescence is a critical period to obtain adequate sleep, as sleep can affect cognitive and classroom performance, stress, and eating behaviors,” said Lindsay Master, data scientist at Penn State University.
Being sedentary more during the day, the researchers revealed, was associated with worsening sleep health, as more sedentary participants fell asleep and woke up later but slept for a shorter amount of time overall.
“Our research suggests that encouraging adolescents to spend more time exercising during the day may help their sleep health later that night. You can think of these relationships between physical activity and sleep almost like a teeter-totter,” Orfeu Buxton, bio-behavioral health professor, said.
“When you’re getting more steps, essentially, your sleep begins earlier, expands in duration, and is more efficient. Whereas if you’re spending more time sedentary, it’s like sitting on your sleep health: sleep length and quality goes down.”
Experts have severally suggested that adolescents need eight to ten hours of sleep a night but recent estimates say 73 percent of adolescents are getting less than eight.
Asides the obvious dangers associated with sleep deprivation, several studies have linked insufficient sleep to differing health hazards like heart diseases and brain disorders.
This study is published in the journal Scientific Reports.
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