Health & Education

The Impact of not having Sex on the Human Body

Generation Z is reportedly having less sex than previous generations, leading to potential physical and psychological consequences. Experts warn that prolonged sexual inactivity can cause issues such as genital shrinkage, increased stress, anxiety, depression, and even medical problems like penile and vaginal atrophy.

In recent years, a surprising trend has emerged among Generation Z: despite being of legal age, they are reportedly engaging in less sexual activity than any previous generation. This shift in sexual behavior has caught the attention of experts, who warn that abstaining from sex for extended periods can have significant physical and psychological consequences.

Physical Consequences of Sexual Inactivity

Dr. Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, a renowned sex and relationship expert, has highlighted several physical issues that can arise from sexual inactivity. One of the more alarming conditions is penile atrophy, a rare occurrence where the penile tissue loses its elasticity, potentially causing the penis to shrink by one to two centimeters. While this condition is rare, it underscores the importance of regular sexual activity for maintaining genital health.

For women, the absence of regular sexual activity can lead to vaginal atrophy. This condition involves the thinning and drying of vaginal tissues, which can shorten the vaginal canal and make penetration painful. Regular sexual activity is essential for promoting blood flow, lubrication, and the elasticity of vaginal tissues, thereby preventing atrophy and maintaining vaginal health.

Psychological Consequences of Sexual Inactivity

The psychological impact of sexual inactivity can be just as profound as the physical consequences. A 2021 study from California University found that 38% of young people aged 18 to 30 reported no sexual partners in the previous year. This lack of sexual activity can lead to increased stress levels due to sexual frustration, anxiety, depression, and anger.

Sexual activity is known to release hormones such as oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, which play a crucial role in regulating emotions and enhancing mood. Without sufficient levels of these hormones, individuals may experience heightened stress, anxiety, depression, and even insecurities about their self-worth. A study conducted in 2021 suggested that unmet sexual needs could lead to frustration, which in turn might increase aggressive behavior.

Dr. Suwinyattichaiporn explains that the timeline for developing extreme symptoms of sexual inactivity can vary widely, ranging from six months to five years, depending on an individual’s mental health and overall well-being.

Impact on Relationships and Medical Risks

Sex therapist Sari Cooper has also weighed in on the issue, noting that dry periods in relationships are normal. However, prolonged abstinence can cause significant problems within a relationship. Couples experiencing a sex drought may struggle with communication and conflict resolution, often resorting to criticism or guilt to meet their needs. In some cases, one partner may seek to open the relationship ethically, while others might turn to infidelity.

For men, prolonged sexual inactivity can increase the risk of medical issues such as penile atrophy and prostate cancer. Researchers believe that carcinogens can build up in the prostate over time, increasing cancer risk. Regular ejaculation may help by flushing out harmful chemicals. A 2016 study found that men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month had a lower risk of prostate cancer compared to those who ejaculated only four to seven times a month.

Seeking Professional Help

For couples in sexless relationships where communication seems futile, Cooper advises seeking help from a certified sex therapist. Professional guidance can help address barriers to intimacy and promote a healthier sexual relationship.

In conclusion, while Generation Z’s trend of reduced sexual activity might seem like a minor cultural shift, it has profound implications for physical and mental health. Understanding and addressing these consequences is crucial for promoting overall well-being.

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