This Is How Often You Should Have Sex To Live A Longer Life

Regular sex has been known to increase levels of relationship satisfaction and even boost your confidence. There is also some data that links sex with longevity of life and it's not hard to see why. From whether or not you get a cold and regulating your stress levels to reducing the risk of heart disease and prostate cancer, sex does a lot for your health, via Healthline

But just how often should you be getting intimate with your significant other if you want to live a long life? Once a week seems to be the answer, per a 2017 study done on sexual activity frequency and telomere length in women. "Some quick background: Telomeres are nucleoprotein caps that protect the chromosome from fraying and maintain the integrity of DNA," lead researcher from the University of California, San Francisco, Tomás Cabeza de Baca explained to PsyPost. In other words, shortening telomeres go hand-in-hand with aging and diseases like cancer. The research, which was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, and looked at 129 women in committed relationships, found that the "women who reported being sexually active during the week had significantly longer telomere length across whole blood and PBMC (Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell) than women who were not sexually active," Baca noted.

If you're thinking, 'What about the men?' you may want to look at a different study done on male participants, that found a positive relationship between the number of orgasms per week and mortality rate.  

There could be a connection between the stress-reducing nature of sex and longer life

We all know that sex can be a great form of stress relief. It's one of the surprising ways your sex life can impact your health

Psychosexual and relationship therapist Kate Moyle told Hypebae that intimacy in the form of sex or any sexual activity can release the love hormone oxytocin and other endorphins that promote relaxation. Ultimately, this "can reduce cortisol levels, which is our major stress hormone. It's not just your erogenous zones that crave sex to relieve stress — it's your brain too," added the relationship therapist. 

The 2017 study's authors arrived at a similar hypothesis based on their research on telomere length and sexual activity. Baca told PsyPost that the results of the study opened up new areas of questioning as to how exactly sex could contribute toward the length of telomeres. "For instance, we proposed that sexual intimacy may dampen the effects of stress by down-regulating stress response systems and up-regulating immune response. Over time, these patterns of stress function should result in longer telomere length," shared the researcher. 

Having sex once a week has other benefits too

If wanting to live longer isn't enough of a motivating factor, having sex once a week can boost your levels of happiness, according to some data. "Our findings were consistent for men and women, younger and older people, and couples who had been married for a few years or decades," lead researcher of the study, Amy Muise told EurekAlert. Once or twice a week seemed to be the magic number when it came to a different study that looked at the sexual habits of 26,000 people from the years 1989 to 2014. 

Does this mean that everyone should be aiming to get intimate with their significant other at least once during the week? Not necessarily, say relationship experts. "I've worked with couples who would argue that once a week is too much, and others who would say it's not nearly enough," explained licensed master social worker and sex therapist, Stefani Goerlich to Insider.

How often couples should have sex would depend on them and their need for sexual intimacy. What matters, per the experts, is that there's intimacy and connectedness, whatever that might look like for each partnership. "What's actually more important than for couples to get caught up in some statistical norm to match themselves to that is to look at this from a perspective of sexual satisfaction," clinical psychologist and sex therapist Dr. Peter Kanaris told USA Today