Diseases of the nuns: is sex important for health

Many (including gynecologists) tend to associate some diseases with a lack of sex life. Most often, uterine fibroids and mastopathy fall into the “monastic” list. Is regular sex really important for health?

What is nuns disease

The classic set of so-called nun diseases is myoma, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, various pathologies of the endometrium (polyps, endometrial hyperplasia), as well as mastopathy. All these diseases are multifactorial. That is, you can’t say that they will develop from a lack of sex and will not occur with regular sex life: too many circumstances must be considered.    

However, one cannot ignore the fact that all these ailments are hormone-dependent and develop against the background of changes in the hormonal background. Women of reproductive age have higher risks, because the very cyclical fluctuations in hormones that increase the likelihood of developing diseases are associated with the menstrual cycle. Accordingly, the fewer cycles, the better for health. 

Thus, the natural absence of ovulation and menstruation reduces the risks of fibroids, endometriosis, and hyperplasia. Before the invention of hormonal contraception, menstruation could be canceled only in one way – to get pregnant. What, as you know, is impossible without sex. That is why the above gynecological problems arose mostly in women who observe chastity. So the term “nuns disease” appeared. In the world, women became pregnant, gave birth, breast-fed, then became pregnant again … They had a sufficient number of natural pauses, for a long time there were no hormonal changes associated with ovulation, and there was no reason for the development of diseases. 

What sex affects

A significant nuance: we do not have statistics of at least the 19th-early 20th centuries, which would confirm that it was the nuns who were more often faced with the development of fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts and endometrial pathologies. Diagnostic capabilities were then far from modern. But if we proceed from today’s statistics, then we can say with confidence that, for example, a disease such as uterine fibroids has become significantly younger over the past half century. Sociologists and doctors attribute this to the fact that many women postpone the birth of their first child until after 30 years of age, but at the same time refuse to use hormonal contraceptives before their first pregnancy, having read about their harmful effects on the body … That is, they live an active sex life, but sex as such does not protect them from the “nuns’ disease.” It was also noted that women who often change partners, and therefore prefer barrier methods of contraception (they protect not only from pregnancy, but also from infections), get sick no less often than their peers who are not sexually active or who practice sex very irregularly. The winners are only those who lead a regular sex life with a permanent and only partner. Why? Because, probably, they prefer KOK to all contraceptives.   

How sex treats

There are several other factors that can also explain the higher risks of developing fibroids, mastopathy, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and endometrial pathologies with prolonged sexual abstinence.

Sexually active women carefully monitor their health. We all know about the need to visit a gynecologist once a year. However, in reality the majority neglects these simple rules. Among them, the percentage of those who do not have regular sex lives is high: they have secured themselves from sexually transmitted diseases, which means they don’t see the point of visiting a gynecologist … Women who regularly have sex are more sensitive to their intimate health. So, the probability of detecting a myoma or an ovarian cyst at an early stage in them increases. 

With prolonged stress (and who does not have it now?), The concentration of cortisol increases significantly, it begins to affect the hormonal balance in the body, in particular, it increases the synthesis of estrogen, which provokes the formation of myomas and the development of mastopathy. And during sex , oxytocin is released, which lowers cortisol and thus protects you from estrogen-dependent diseases. 

Sex improves blood circulation in the pelvic organs. And this in turn reduces the risks of inflammatory processes. It should be noted that only sex, which ends in orgasm , is beneficial to women’s health . What is the reason for this? During arousal, a large amount of estrogen is released into the bloodstream. After orgasm, their concentration decreases to normal for a maximum of 12 minutes, if there was no orgasm, after an hour. Stagnation of blood, saturated with estrogens in the pelvic organs and in the mammary glands, can provoke the development of mastopathy, the growth of the myometrium and the development of myomas. 

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