Does Sex Help With Sickness?

Affectionate young couple wearing bathrobes hugging on comfortable bed in modern apartment while resting together

Sex is an intimate activity that can involve kissing, cuddling, stroking, foreplay and penetration. It’s important for both people to provide consent throughout the experience.

Some people believe that having sex can help them sweat out their fever, but this isn’t true. In fact, sweating during a fever can actually make you feel worse.

1. It’s good for your immune system

When you’re sick, your body releases oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin—chemicals that boost your immune system and make you feel better. It’s also been suggested that sex may help prevent colds and flu because it increases the amount of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in your blood, which is an antibody that helps fight infections.

But it’s important to note that sex is not a cure-all. Whether you’re feeling sick or not, practicing good hygiene, getting vaccinated, and resting are still the best ways to stay healthy.

In addition to boosting your immune system, sexual activity can also relieve pain. The release of endorphins during sex is a natural painkiller that can help with headaches, menstrual cramps, and other aches and pains.

Sexual arousal has also been found to temporarily relieve a stuffy nose. This is because the heightened levels of adrenaline cause blood vessels to constrict, which can help you breathe easier.

Of course, if you’re pregnant, sex isn’t recommended unless your doctor says it’s safe. According to one theory, morning sickness is caused by a woman’s body rejecting the semen from her partner as foreign material, similar to how it rejects fetuses. But the oxytocin produced during sex could be helpful in reducing symptoms of morning sickness, such as nausea and vomiting.

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2. It relieves pain

When a person has pain, the body releases hormones that relieve it. Sexual activity boosts the release of these pain-relieving hormones and can reduce back and neck pain, menstrual cramps, arthritis, even migraines. Research suggests that sex may help with other painful conditions such as endometriosis, fibroid tumors and hemorrhoids.

It is possible to have sex while sick, but it’s not necessarily recommended. A person with a fever is likely to spread germs to their partner, as the coughing and sneezing that accompany illness sends droplets into the air that can pick up bacteria or viruses.

Taking simple precautions can help. A couple can use barrier methods, like condoms or dental dams, to prevent transmission. They should also minimize contact and wash their hands frequently. It’s a good idea to wait until all symptoms have cleared up, and the fever has stopped before engaging in sex.

Sexual activities can be a great way to reconnect with your partner and stay intimate, even when you’re dealing with pain. It’s important to be honest with your partner about the pain you experience during sex. The more open and transparent you are, the easier it is for your partner to know how to respond to the pain and discomfort. They can then take steps to help you cope with the pain so that it doesn’t interfere with your relationship or cause a flare-up of your chronic pain.

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3. It’s good for your relationship

Having sex strengthens your bond with your partner. This emotional intimacy is a powerful stress reliever and helps alleviate negative emotions, such as anger or fear. It also stimulates the release of the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin, which boosts feelings of affection and trust and combats cortisol, our primary stress hormone.

It can also help you sleep better. Orgasms and sexual satisfaction trigger the production of prolactin, a hormone that promotes relaxation and sleepiness. This, in turn, can help reduce symptoms like coughing and sneezing.

However, it’s important to consider your partner’s libido and interest level. If they aren’t as interested in sex when you’re sick, it may be best to skip it altogether. If you do choose to have sex, it’s best to wait until your symptoms have completely cleared up or are improving. You’ll also want to take precautions, such as wearing a mask if you’re coughing or washing your hands frequently.

If you’re feeling low in the love department, try revising some of your sexual rituals to spark passion again. For example, try switching up your sexual positions, using arousal games or toys, or going back to the things that excited you in the past. Then, be sure to communicate openly with your partner about your feelings. This will create a healthy, respectful communication environment for both of you and will allow you to discuss any problems in your relationship that may be contributing to your lack of interest in sex.

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4. It’s fun

As the weather turns cooler and the leaves start to fall, the spooky season of flu, cold and stomach bugs is riding in on a pumpkin-spiced wave. And while many of us may not associate the two, sex and the sniffles are actually quite well-suited to each other.

Studies have found that having sex when you’re sick boosts the production of antibodies and enhances your immune system, which can help fight off the viruses that cause infection. It also releases “feel good hormones,” which can numb the pain of symptoms like headaches and body aches. And the pleasures of orgasm—released by oxytocin and endorphins—can even help clear congestion because they dilate blood vessels.

While it’s important to remember that sex isn’t a cure for illness, and that having sex or masturbating when you’re sick can make you feel worse in the long run, it’s also true that sex can be a lot of fun. And in the case of falling in love, sex can boost your mood even more.

So next time you’re feeling under the weather, take a risk and hit the bedroom for some hanky panky. Just be sure to take all the proper precautions (wearing a face mask, not kissing your partner if they’re sick, washing your hands frequently, etc.) so you don’t pass along any germs that could keep you from getting better.

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