What are the health benefits of sex? A doctor explains.
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How Much Sex Should You Have for Optimal Health?

How much sex you have (or don’t) is totally up to you, but if you’re curious about some of the health benefits of having sex, you’re not alone. There’s actually interesting research about what sexual activity can do for mental and physical health. Here’s what science says.

Health benefits of sex

Research has also linked increased sex frequency to a slimmer waistline, better heart health, improved mental health, and less risk for prostate and breast cancers. Those who had sex more often also have lower levels of homocysteine, a metabolite that can be harmful to the heart at high levels, shows the American Journal of Cardiology.

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How often should you have sex?

There isn’t an exact science to sex frequency for optimal health, but there is some research that gives an indication of the amount needed to reap the health benefits of sex. Men who had sex once a month or less had nearly a 50 percent increased risk of heart disease compared with the group that had sex two or more times a week, found research.

Meanwhile, for a boost in mental health and happiness, one time per week is the sweet spot. And more doesn’t necessarily mean better—sex more than once a week didn’t further improve happiness. The latest research shows the average American has sex once a week.

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