While going through a dry spell won't have lasting effects on your overall health, here are five ways not having sex affects your health:
1. Your libido may change
How not having sex affects your body can vary based on your health, age, and what kind of sex you were having. During a dry spell, you might experience either a loss of sex drive or an increase in libido. Because sex isn't on your radar, you may tune out sexual desires.
2. You may feel more depressed
Sex releases feel-good hormones, such as oxytocin and endorphins, that help to regulate mood. Without experiencing these natural pick-me-up hormones consistently, you may notice you're more depressed than usual. In the meantime, you can help your body release endorphins on its own through masturbation and high-intensity cardio exercise.
3. Your risk for UTIs is lowered
The risk of sexually transmitted infections go down when you're not having sex, but the rates of urinary tract infections decrease as well. This is because sexual intercourse is responsible for increasing the risk of recurrent bladder infections. If you're celibate, you avoid this risk.
4. Your menstrual cramps may worsen
Regular sex may help alleviate cramps during your period -- orgasms cause a uterine contraction that can help the uterus expel more blood faster, causing a decrease in menstrual cramps. But, you can easily masturbate to ease menstrual cramps.
5. Your stress may be more or less
Less stressed people tend to have more sex, but it's an association and not a cause-and-effect. If sex is a stress reliever for you, not having it could cause an increase in your stress level. But, if sex causes you to feel stressed out, then you'll probably notice a reduction in your stress levels when you stop having sex.
Can't live with it, can't live without it
If you're experiencing a temporary dry spell, don't worry. Your body will naturally remember how to have sex when you're ready again. And in the meantime, take advantage of masturbating regularly to release feel-good hormones to boost your mood.
1. "9 Things That Happen to Your Body if You Stop Having Sex," Reader's Digest, n.d.
2. "What Happens if You Stop Having Sex?," WebMD, n.d.