Although we think and talk about it all the time, it's surprising just how uninformed we are about sex! Our own Dr. Melissa Lem is here to set the record staight.
Sex is a good remedy for a headache
True! Although in rare cases sex can cause headaches, for most people an orgasm releases a surge of hormones like oxytocin and endorphins — also known as your body's natural morphine — which can stop a migraine in its tracks. Even better, an orgasm achieved with a partner releases 400 percent more feel-good chemicals than one without. So "Not tonight dear, I have a headache" is a bad excuse!
Erectile dysfunction is embarrassing but not dangerous
False! Erectile dysfunction is a common problem that affects 40 percent of men over 40. That said, men with severe ED are up to eight times more likely to be hospitalized for heart disease and have double the chance of dying over three years. Just like in our hearts, diseases such as hypertension and diabetes clog the vessels leading to our reproductive organs, reducing blood flow. If you're having consistent trouble in the bedroom, run — don't walk — to your doctor and get your cardiovascular health checked out.
Women with higher estrogen levels are more likely to cheat
True! A 2009 study from Texas took saliva samples from women just before ovulation when their estrogen levels were highest, and later in their cycles. The higher their levels, the higher they rated their own attractiveness and the urge to cheat on their boyfriends. Not only that, but men are also more attracted to women when they're ovulating, giving them more opportunities for a fling — so it's basically a double whammy!
Having regular sex is a great way to lose weight
False! Forget the urban legend that says you burn 100 to 300 calories per session. A review in the New England Journal of Medicine figured that because the average romp only lasts six minutes, a man in his 30s burns 21 calories each time. That's just 14 calories more than sitting on the couch and watching TV! Still, sex has tons of other benefits like boosting your immune system and improving your sleep--so get it on to get healthier!
Having sex every two to three days will help you conceive
False! Doctors typically recommend that couples have sex every two to three days before ovulation to optimize sperm counts. However, new evidence suggests that sperm quality is best when you get busy every day. The longer a sperm cell sits in its home, called the epididymis, the more its DNA gets damaged by chemicals called free radicals. Daily nookie clears away the old, tired swimmers and makes way for new, frisky ones. The moral of the story is quality over quantity!