With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, we thought we would look at the interplay between our relationships – both emotional and sexual - and our overall health. While the path of true love (or whatever you called the pursuits of youth…wild oats and all that…) was rarely smooth, it is fair to say that aside from the odd awkward encounter in the early days, sex and romance was something we enjoyed, sought out and certainly couldn’t imagine losing interest in.
So just how well do our relationships and sexual activities serve our longevity and wellbeing as we move through the decades, and does advancing age impinge upon one of our most basic human instincts?
A 2007 study titled Negative Aspects of Close Relationships and Heart Disease, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that marriages and close friendships that were plagued by negative episodes such as conflict and adverse exchanges increased the incidence of heart disease developing within 12 years by 34%. This dropped to 25% when other contributing factors such as depression were taken into consideration.
None the less, the quality of our intimate personal interactions clearly has profound effects on our long-term health; and regardless of how we appear to cope mentally and practically (putting on a brave face), inside our heart may literally be breaking.
The following study specifically links happiness to our sexual habits. Conducted by Dr Adrienne Jackson, the study took the survey responses from 238 individuals during 2004 – 2008 and found that regular sexual activity was a major predictor of participants overall happiness – both with life in general, and with their relationships.
Clearly there is a significant link between good health, happiness and our intimate relationships. So, by being happy we improve our health; and a regular, satisfying sex life is one of the things that can bring us happiness.
But what about the matter of diminished sexual functioning and desire that seems to increasingly affect us as we age?
In a study of sexuality and health among older adults published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007, researchers found that sexual activity did indeed decline with age (largely due to the hormonal changes that take place as we age), and that about half the men and women studied reported at least one bothersome sexual problem. Despite this, only 38% of men and 22% of women said they had discussed these problems with their health professional.
Interestingly, the people who described their health as poor were less likely to be sexually active, and while women tended to present with complaints about the subjective quality of their sexual experiences, such as lack of desire, men more frequently were concerned about a specific response – such as erectile dysfunction (ED).
ED is the inability to maintain an erection in order for satisfying sexual intercourse to take place. For women, the most prevalent sexual problems were lack of desire, difficulty with vaginal lubrication, and the inability to climax.
The good news is that there is now a natural way to support our emotional and sexual health. Herbal Ignite offers a range of natural supplements for both men and women that helps support the underlying causes of ED, low testosterone levels and libido.
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