13 Ways Your Body Goes Haywire When You Stop Having Sex

You don’t need great sex to have a wonderful time with someone, but sometimes it’s a bonus. Sex can make you feel like a million bucks, but have you ever wondered what happens to your body when you stop having it? Here are 13 interesting facts to know.

  1. You might stop wanting sexIt actually gets easier to not have sex. That’s because, after a while, you stop wanting it, which is great because it prevents unhealthy hookups. But this isn’t a standard response for all people experiencing a dry spell. Some people feel that they want sex more, as a lack of it stokes the fires of desire. Huh.
  2. Your vaginal walls get weaker. During a long dry spell, your vaginal walls get thinner and can lead to more painful sex when you get back on the horse. This is because you’re not working out the muscles that contract when you climax. But don’t worry—you can keep your vagina muscles strong by doing your Kegel exercises daily. The amazing news is that having solo pleasure regularly is just as good as sex with a partner to keep your vaginal walls healthy and strong. Winning!
  3. Your period gets worse. Your menstrual cramps can actually get worse when you don’t have regular sex. Ugh! That’s because the uterus is a muscle. When you orgasm during sex, your uterus will experience a contraction, which makes blood leave the uterus more quickly during your period, relieving your period cramps.
  4. You get fewer UTIs. Here’s a huge bonus of not having sex: you dramatically decrease your risk of getting urinary tract infections (UTIs). Yay! That’s because almost 80% of UTIs occur within 24 hours of having sex, according to a study that was published in the American Family Physician Journal. No sex, no horrible burning and pain when you urinate.
  5. Your immune system takes a backseat. Having sex can boost your immune system. Ugh, who knew? From a biological perspective, it’s probably down to how a healthy immune system makes it more likely for women to get pregnant. Without regular sex, you risk getting illnesses, colds, and flu. The good news is that you can keep your immune system strong in other ways, such as by following a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
  6. You’re stressed AF. There’s a connection between having regular sex and lowering your stress levels. Various studies have found that people who haven’t had sex for a while have higher spikes in their blood pressure than people who have recently had sex. That explains how chilled AF you feel after a session between the sheets.
  7. You might feel depressed. Having sex with someone you love boosts endorphins that improve your mood, while semen has anti-depressant qualities. WTF? Semen contains much more than just sperm. It’s filled with mood-boosting compounds such as prolactin, oxytocin, and serotonin.
  8. You might feel dryer. After a long period without sex, you might find that your self-lubrication stops working as well as it used to. This is basically because when you’re not getting aroused, you’re not getting wet down there. But just ’cause you’re not having sex, it doesn’t mean you’re not getting aroused or self-pleasuring yourself, right? In any case, lube always helps when you have sex again, so it’s no biggie if you are dryer than usual.
  9. You reduce your risk of STDs. This is another big bonus of not getting action with someone – if you’re not engaging in sex, you’re reducing your risk of getting STIs. Of course, bear in mind that other sexual acts can still put you at risk!
  10. You feel wired. Sex doesn’t just decrease your feelings of depression, but it also has a positive effect on anxiety. A Scottish study found that people who were going through abstinence dealt with stressful situations worse than people who had sex at least once every two weeks. Why? Your brain releases oxytocin and endorphins during sex that make you feel at ease for longer periods of time.
  11. You battle to sleep. Not having sex might cause you to have more insomnia. Ugh. Again, it’s because of those damn endorphins, but also because sex boosts your estrogen hormone levels. Estrogen strengthens your REM sleep cycles, resulting in deeper sleep.
  12. It impacts your heart health. Having regular sex is good for your heart. But that’s because it’s often like a workout at the gym. Luckily, your heart doesn’t have to suffer if you’re not having sex for a while—you can get off the sofa and go do some exercise in the garden to keep your ticker happy just as well (although it might not be as fun).
  13. You feel tighter – but you don’t get tighter. It’s a total myth that your vagina becomes tighter after a period of abstinence. However, it might feel that it’s tighter. That’s totally down to your own stress and anxiety over not having had sex for so long. You might worry that you’ve totally forgotten how to do it, but it’s just like riding a bike, so don’t stress yourself out.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.