Bipolar and Sex
Sex is a part of life. A healthy sexual relationship between two consenting adults can add to strong feelings of intimacy and increase the quality of the connection. Most long-term, successful relationships are marked by healthy sexual relationships.
People with a healthy sex life tend to be mentally and physically healthier than others. Sex is good for you. Here’s why:
- Sex improves your immune system. People that have sex at least once a week have higher levels of antibodies, which are useful in protecting your body against illnesses.
- Sex improves a woman’s bladder control. During sex, muscles are being used to in your pelvic floor. The stronger the muscles, the better your control.
- Sex improves pain. Studies have found that orgasms can reduce perception of pain through release of a hormone.
- Sex is exercise. Your heart beats faster and you need to breathe deeper to supply oxygen to the muscles doing work.
- Sex improves your cardiovascular health. People that have sex regularly are less likely to have heart attacks. This is probably due to the exercise component as well as being a great way to balance estrogen and testosterone.
- Sex improves sleep and limits stress. After sex, prolactin is released into your body. This hormone helps you feel relaxed, calm and comfortable.
When sex is good, it produces all of the above results and more. When sex is bad, it can be very problematic for you and those around you. Sex and bipolar disorder constantly work to coexist. Your sex life and sexual functioning is influenced more by bipolar than with other types of mental health issues.
Bipolar disorder is comprised of periods of depression, periods of mania or hypomania and periods of normal functioning. With the shifting of symptoms, your sexual health changes. This creates havoc for your health, your relationships and the others around you. By gaining information regarding the role of sex and bipolar disorder, you will be better able to identify your state and take action to lessen the negative impact.
Next page: sex during mania.