You’ve worked four shifts in a row, the last two short-staffed. Your patients oozed body fluids that no human should ever see. The traffic was horrendous getting home. You’ve fixed dinner and put the kids to bed, and now your husband thinks it’s couple time: He wants to have sex.
In a perfect world, you’d be thrilled to participate in a romantic and sexual evening with your partner—but in a perfect world, you wouldn’t be nursing desperately ill patients, you wouldn’t have had to work short-staffed and someone else would have made dinner for you while fixing up your house.
The reality is you likely don’t feel very sexy. You may respond to your husband’s advances, but your heart may not be in it. Could your stress from work, from life, be affecting your sex drive? Regardless of the reasons why sex may not be at the top of your to-do list if you’re stressed, anxious or in pain, sex can be—and often is—an excellent stress reliever and has great health benefits.
If you can get yourself in the mood and hand yourself over to the pleasures of sex, here are some of the possible health benefits that may result.
Better blood pressure control
You might not be recommending this to your patients, but a study published in the journal Biological Psychology in 2006 found that people who participated in sexual intercourse had blood pressures that had greater blood pressure reactivity than those who participated in other sexual acts. Another study, from the same journal, found that men and women who were subjected to stressful situations, such as public speaking, had better blood pressure levels if they had been having regular sex than those who had not.