Having a better knowledge on how sex affects your brain can improve your roll in the hay and it can also reveal some information on some other parts of your body. Below are some of the things that are known so far about the brain on sex:
- Sex can act as an antidepressant
The 2002 study done at the University of Albany looked at 300 women and it was revealed that those who had sex without a condom had less depressive symptoms compared to women who used a condom. The researchers have assumed that the various compounds contained in the sperm, including estrogen and prostaglandin, have antidepressant properties that are then absorbed into the body after sexual intercourse. (They have corrected other factors that can affect both mood and the use of condoms, such as being in a serious relationship or the use of oral contraceptives). This serves as a good news for anyone involved in a committed relationship, but if you continue to play the field, you should not give up the condom. There are other ways to boost mood, but there is really no other way of preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
Sex can (sometimes) be a downer
These chemicals that feel good can explode during the act but after that? According to researchers, there are post-sexual blues (technical term: post-coital dysphoria). About a third of women that take part in a study show having experienced some sadness after having sex at some point in time. Although it is possible that regret or a feeling of constraint may be the reason, researchers cannot explain the connection at this stage with certainty.
Sex can boost your memory
Or at least that could be the case if you are a rodent. A study in 2010 showed that compared with rats that were permitted only one-night stand, rodents who participated in “chronic” sex (once a day for 14 consecutive days) developed several neurons in the hippocampus, a region of the brain connected with memory. The results were confirmed by another study, also in the mouse. It remains to be seen if normal sexual intercourse has such an effect in humans (but you can always say to yourself it does).
Sex calms you down
The same study that linked frequent sex with brain stimulation in rats also showed that the rats were less stressed. It works for people too. One study found that people who had sex recently responded to stressful situations like talking to the public than those who are not, or who are dealing with other types of sexual activity. Sex alleviates stress by lowering blood pressure.
Sex makes you sleep better
In men, sex makes them sleep than women, and scientists are of the opinion that they know the reason: there is a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex which winds down after ejaculation. This, in combination with the release of oxytocin and serotonin, can explain the “rolling over and falling asleep” syndrome.