What You Didn’t Know About Sex And What You Should Know — Part Ii

Sex has some pretty important and unique benefits for your brain, body and emotions as well as the best and worst sex you’ll ever have.

This week we’re talking with Dr. Heather Newberger about the amazing effect sex can have on the mind, body and emotions of both partners. What sex really is, how it changes during pregnancy, the health advantages (and downsides) of sex, and what you should know about that sexy part of the brain that you’re not using as much as you should.

If you want to hear more about how to have a good body and a healthy mind, 

listen to one of the top 100 Doctors on the Planet, Dr. Michael Greger of “The Dr. Michael Greger Health Channel!” He’ll give you the top 5 nutrition secrets of the week for weight loss, and his 10 nutrition takeaways for men and women . Dr. Michael also offers unique insights on lifestyle for health and overall well-being, and can teach you how to build and maintain a meaningful relationships.

Sex and love are complicated. They can take a long time to work their magic, and they only work after a lot of work, love, communication, communication, and more love. 

But for most of us, the rewards are really hard to overstate. When you get down to it, sex is the best reward of life, and sex is the most powerful form of intimacy we know of.

Now, you might be thinking, “I’m busy and in a long-term relationship; why do I need to learn about sex so I can have a good one?”

And you might be right! 

But sometimes you do need to learn. If you’re not sure if sex is right for you, you’ll be surprised to hear there’s a high incidence of STI transmission in people in long-term relationships. Sex can also increase your susceptibility to health conditions like anxiety, diabetes, depression and a host of other diseases, including blood clots.

As a health educator, I think people often overestimate their ability to make good decisions about their health. When it comes to sex and dating, there is really no better time to learn than before you get to the “I did it and it broke my heart” stage.

It’s not going to be easy, especially if you’re not quite ready to stop looking. But the payoff can be big!

Sex and Love – How the Brain Changes

It’s really fascinating how the brain and its reward system change in the presence of sex and love. For years Dr. Newberger and her colleagues at the University of Cincinnati have studied human sexual behavior to determine if the brain’s pleasure circuits change during various stages of sexual arousal.

At various times they’ve found:

Sex boosts dopamine levels in some regions of the brain, but increases in the frontal network can lead to difficulty with impulse control;

When people are most excited, the amygdala, a brain region that can be aroused for a variety of reasons, is the most active; And

When people are most aroused, they engage more in complex behaviors such as “replaying” the emotions they felt during arousal. This is called “social engagement” and increases “social cognition.”

In a way, your brain is “wiring” itself to make it the best it can be during sex–by becoming “sexually activated” and “engaging in social behaviors.”

And then there are the “rewards” that sex provides:

Sex can increase serotonin levels in the brain and in other areas, which can give you less anxiety and depression.