There’s a new study that adds to a growing body of research on the importance of Sexual Activity in women, not exclusive to the aspect of relationships alone. The findings point to something deeper – in fact, at a cellular level, and besides contributing significantly to our emotional and mental health, sex, at least once per week, improves our Physical Health.

The study, published in the Psychoneuroendocrinology journal, claims increased sexual activity in women could help slowing down cellular aging, as it enhances the length of telomeres – the ‘cap’ at the end of DNA strands, by which longer lengths are associated with slower aging, longer lifespans, and improved overall health.

What telomeres do

Researchers in the study point out that telomeres are a reliable measure of health as it decreases in length as a woman ages. The shorter your telomeres, the risk of acquiring degenerative diseases becomes greater, according to Tomas Cabeza de Baca, lead researcher, in his talks with

The experiment, which was carried out at the University if California in San Francisco, involved over 100 mothers in long-term relationships. Each was assessed according to sexual activity, partner support or conflict, and overall relationship satisfaction.

The study was conducted in one week, where blood samples were taken from participants to determine the length of their telomeres.

What experts found out is that overall relationship satisfaction had nothing to do with telomere length, as long as a woman has had sex at least once a week. In conclusion, those who were more sexually active have been found to have longer telomeres.

What the study implicates

Our DNA doesn’t only determine how we look, but it’s also a major factor as to what controls other traits, including intelligence and how vulnerable we are to some illnesses.

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Telomeres are a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration or fusion with neighboring chromosomes.

We inherit telomeres from our parents, but no matter the length of our telomeres at birth, everyone gets shorter as they age. When telomeres get too short, our cells can no longer reproduce, which causes our tissues to degenerate and eventually die.

It’s worth noting that lack of sex isn’t the only reason why telomeres shorten. This can also be attributed to unhealthy practices and if a person has been through a traumatic experience, such as childhood abuse. Alternatively, the more exercise people get, the less their cells appear to age.

While there’s no guarantee that people with longer telomeres will live longer, healthier lives, the odds may be in their favor. The researchers also emphasized that their experiment is merely observational and that a caveat to their research is they only observed mothers in long-term relationships. Nonetheless, they aspire to develop the study further to fully determine how frequent sex is vital to living longer and healthier.