How Sex Affects the Brain?

how sex affects the brain

According to sexologists, sexual intercourse has a direct impact on physical health, with numerous proven health benefits, including good cardiac health, reduced risk of hypertension, and a better metabolism, among others.

However, regular sexual intercourse has a much greater impact on various brain functions, and hormones as a result. Here we take a closer look at how sex affects the brain:

1-The Drug Effect:

Sex and cocaine have one thing in common: dopamine. During sexual intercourse, this ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter is triggered in increased amounts, which activates the brain’s reward center; same as when you inhale a recreational drug like cocaine. This hormone is the major reason why most people feel giddy and ‘high’ during and after sex.

2-An Antidepressant:

According to a 2002 study from the University of Albany, women who used condoms during sex displayed more depressive symptoms than those who had unprotected sex. This might be due to the estrogen and prostaglandin in semen, whose antidepressant properties are reduced when their entry is blocked by a condom.

However, unless you’re in a committed, long-term relationship, partaking in unprotected sex will only increase your chances of contracting an STI. Instead, try alternative therapies or consult with a mental health specialist to alleviate your depression.

3-Post-Sex Blues:

Not all women experience lingering elation and satisfaction following sexual intercourse. Medically termed as postcoital dysphoria, it is defined as unexplainable feelings of sadness or agitation after sex, despite it being previously enjoyable, loving, or satisfying.

While the exact cause is unknown, women with PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder) are more likely to experience this phenomenon, although this may not always be the case.

4-Headache Relief:

Oxytocin, or the ‘bonding’ hormone, is released in abundance during sex, and according to a 2013 German study, provides partial or complete migraine and cluster-headache. Another 2013 study cited ‘feel good’ endorphins, which are also released during sex, as another potential headache reliever.

Moreover, stimulating a certain area of the G spot in women suffering migraine greatly elevates their pain threshold (the extent to which one can bear pain), resulting in migraine episode reduction.

5-Memory Boost:

Although yet to be confirmed in humans, a 2010 Princeton University study utilized rats to study the effect of sex on memory. The rats who had sex daily for 14 days displayed increased neuron growth in the hippocampus (the brain’s memory and learning center), as compared to the rats allowed to have sex only once in 14 days.

However, sexually active older men do display better cognitive function, while women who frequently engage in sex retain their ability to recall past memories into old age. These improvements are largely due to higher testosterone and oxytocin levels during intercourse.

6-Calm and Serenity:

Along with providing a cognitive boost, the reduced blood pressure as a result of frequent sex also reduces stress levels and increases confidence. This is because sexual intercourse stimulates the hypothalamus, which is responsible for controlling the release of oxytocin and countering the effects of stress-inducing cortisol hormone.

7-Instant Sleep:

Your tendency to instantly fall asleep right after sex has a medical explanation. Following ejaculation, the body releases higher levels of prolactin hormone, and the prefrontal cortex (the brain area responsible for planning) slows down.

Both of these factors combine to induce drowsiness, which is why many people report a deep, good night’s sleep following sexual intercourse.

Regular sexual intercourse is highly beneficial both physically and mentally, as well as for optimum relationship-building. That being said, consider a specialist consultation if you experience a persistently low libido, or are unable to perform properly.

You can also book an appointment with a top Sexologist in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad through, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your sexual concerns.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Dr. Arooba

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *