The exact number of times you should be having sex each week to keep you healthy 0 37

ANYONE looking to improve their health could do a lot worse than getting frisky under the sheets as sex has lots of benefits, experts have claimed.

The good news is that getting down to it once or twice a week can help in the battle against infections and can also help fight other conditions.

GettyRegularly having sex each week has a number of health benefits[/caption]

Kaye Wellings, a professor of sexual and reproductive health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said it’s normal for your health not to be at the top of the list when it comes to sex.

“But immunity, cardiovascular health and depression are just some of the areas where studies suggest that sexual activity might have a benefit”, she told the Daily Mail.

Here we take a look at the different ways sex can improve your health – from pushing back the menopause to helping fight infections.

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HELPS FIGHT INFECTIONS

A 2004 study published in the journal Psychological Reports, revealed that having intercourse once or twice a week increased levels of immunoglobulin A.

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This is part of the antibody response of the immune system that defends against infection.

Alongside this, the journal Fertility and Sterility also revealed that sexual activity at least three times a month was linked to milder Covid-19 infection.

Experts believe it primes the body to handle pathogens more effectively.

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Medics writing in the Journal Ear, Nose & Throat last year found that having an orgasm was as effective as a nasal spray.

It all depends on how active you are when it comes to getting beneath the sheets.

Those who are a little more vigorous may class sex as exercise.

And being active has been shown to be a decongestant – as the rise in body temperature loosens mucus while the increase in circulation encourages the flow of nasal discharge.

FIGHTS THE ONSET OF THE MENOPAUSE

Research from University College London found that middle-aged women who romp weekly are 28 per cent less likely to experience the change over the next decade.

And those who still have sex at least once a month have a 19 per cent reduced risk.

Megan Arnot, from University College London, said: “The findings suggest that if a woman is not having sex, and there is no chance of pregnancy, then the body ‘chooses’ not to invest in ovulation as it would be pointless.

“There may be a biological trade-off between investing energy into ovulation and elsewhere, such as keeping active by looking after grandchildren.”

The findings suggest that if sexual activity is not detected, the body deprioritises ovulation, triggering the menopause.

HEART HEALTH

The heart is the most important organ in the body and it’s key to keeping it healthy.

The good news is that regular romps can help prevent heart disease – the bad news is that it only works for men.

Regular trysts reduce levels of homocysteine, a harmful chemical in the blood that can trigger heart problems.

It’s thought men who have more sex also have better circulation and healthier blood vessels.

This is crucial for preventing a build-up of homocysteine.

But scientists say women benefit much less because sexual arousal is less dependent on having a healthy blood flow, which is a key factor in keeping homocysteine under control.

Researchers from the National Defence Medical Centre in Taiwan tracked more than 2,000 men and women, aged from 20 to 59.

They analysed blood samples to measure levels of homocysteine and matched the results up with volunteers’ sexual activity.

The results showed the lowest traces of the chemical were found in men claiming to have sex at least twice a week, while the highest readings were found in those restricted to less than once a month.

But in women, there was no significant variation.

MENTAL HEALTH

A study published in January this year in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that people who kept up a sexual relationship during the lockdown, either if they were living with their partner or not, were 34 per cent less likely to experience depression than those who didn’t.

Some experts believe that sex is a key barometer of general health and should be widely discussed by doctors with their patients, yet this rarely happens.

Geoffrey Hackett, a urologist and professor of men’s health at Aston University said: “As a doctor, you’re happy to ask women about their menstrual cycle, yet sexual activity is something we rarely discuss.

“And the issue is even worse with men, yet knowing if a man has regular erections tells me an awful lot about his health.”

An inability to get an erection can have many causes but could be a result of blocked arteries supplying the penis, which in turn could be a sign of furred arteries elsewhere in the body.

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As well, physically being able to have sex is also an indication of a certain level of fitness.

“We estimate that 20 minutes of sexual activity in a man is the equivalent of walking a mile, and that’s a reasonable amount of physical effort if you do it often enough,” said Professor Hackett.

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My bitter ex told lies to my friends about my ‘small manhood’ after I dumped her 0 41

DEAR DEIDRE: MY ex is so bitter about being dumped that she is spreading nasty rumours around our friendship group – saying I’m rubbish in bed and have a small todger.

She never complained when we were together, but last week she told the girls in our group that being with me was “like kissing a soggy lettuce leaf” and that she “literally didn’t feel a thing when we were having sex” because I’m so small.

My ex is so bitter about being dumped that she is spreading nasty rumours around our friendship group – saying I’m rubbish in bed and have a small todger

I’m 25 and she’s 24. I think part of it is jealousy.

She knows a couple of the other girls fancy me and I think she’s trying to sabotage any chance I have with them.

Not that I’m even planning anything.

She’s so insecure and has a vicious tongue on her.

I’m tempted to let each of her so-called friends know what she really says about them in private.

Even her best friend gets a nasty critique every time she posts anything on Instagram.

Get in touch with Deidre

Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

Send an email to deardeidre@the-sun.co.uk

You can also send a private message on the DearDeidreOfficial Facebook page.

Her top is either too short, or her hair looks like wire, or her laugh is fake . . . it goes on and on.

I don’t regret splitting up with her but this last trick has really infuriated me.

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DEIDRE SAYS: Don’t let yourself stoop to her level.

You can make it clear she is lying without playing her game, which would only escalate tensions and reflect badly on you.

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You could maybe reply with: “Let’s just say she never complained when we were together and nor have any of my other exes.”

Your friends will soon see her behaviour for what it is – jealous insecurity.

My partner said he was on a work trip – but he was actually getting married and on his honeymoon 0 28

DEAR DEIDRE: MY partner said he was on a work trip two months ago, but he had actually got married and been on honeymoon.

Our relationship had become a bit predictable, but we still had regular sex and nice days out with our two young sons.

My partner lied about his work trip – he was really on his HONEYMOON

I’m 32 and he’s 37. Our sons are four and two.

When he returned from his “work trip” he blamed me for his cheating, saying I had let myself go and didn’t pay him enough attention.

He then told me he’d “traded up” for a better model. It didn’t stop there.

He said that his wife, who is 27, is absolutely stunning and makes him feel special.

Apparently this woman was a barmaid he’d met on a golf trip and they had been seeing each other for six months.

He told me all this, then marched upstairs and packed his games console and his clothes and drove off out of my life.

The thing is, we always talked about getting married but when we had kids there always seemed something better to spend our money on.

Mutual friends have told me he has moved into a new-build home on the other side of our small town and his wife has plenty of family money.

My sons are really missing him and I don’t even know how I feel.

Sometimes when he comes to visit the boys I beg him to come home.

But other times I’m so angry with him, I refuse to let him in.

Now he is accusing me of stopping him from seeing his children.

Get in touch with Deidre

Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

Send an email to deardeidre@the-sun.co.uk

You can also send a private message on the DearDeidreOfficial Facebook page.

Surely he can’t just show up when he likes?

I’m a mess and need to start getting a grip for the kids’ sake.

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I caught my husband snogging my sister – how am I meant to trust him again?

DEIDRE SAYS: I’m so sorry your partner ended your relationship in such a cruel way.

This man sounds selfish and immature, and quite frankly the way he has treated you is emotionally abusive.

It won’t feel like it now, but you really are better off without him.

He is behaving like he still lives in your home, by just turning up unannounced.

Tell him firmly that you would encourage a good relationship between him and your sons but he can only collect them with prior arrangement.

Start to put down your boundaries.

I’m sending you my support pack When Parents Fall Out, which you could pass to him to help explain why you need to co-operate for the future wellbeing of your children.

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Give yourself time and be kind to yourself. He put you down constantly, now you can start to build up your confidence.

I’d recommend seeing a counsellor to help you with this betrayal and am sending you my Counselling support pack.

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