What happens to your body if you don’t have sex – from ‘touch starvation’ to vaginal pain

BRITS across the country have been separated from their loved ones and in some cases haven’t seen their partners for months.

The coronavirus lockdown has meant households have been separated since March, but many sex-starved Brits can now rejoice as restrictions continue to ease.

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Earlier this month Prime Minister Boris Johnson allowed singles to form “bubbles” with others.

A study also found earlier this month that just four out of 10 people have had sex since lockdown started in March.

But what will this lack of intimacy mean for our bodies?

Experts claims that a lack of sex can lead to all sorts of issues such as trouble sleeping and “touch starvation”.

'Nothing compares to physical touch'

The lockdown has meant many people have been isolated from their loved ones and some people haven't touched others in months.

Professor Kory Floyd says nothing compares to physical touch.

"When we have the ability to be in physical contact, to touch, hold hands, hug, kiss — that's another whole category of mental and physical health benefits such that everything else we do is an imperfect substitute."

Prof Floyd added that we never grow out of our need to be touched by others.

Tips to combat touch starvation

If you've not managed to see your loved ones yet and you're missing the sensation of physical touch then there are a few things you can do at home to help.

Hug a pillow: The pressure against your skin can mimic the touch of another person and can also trick your brain into thinking your are being embraced.

Self touch massage: Eric Kussin, founder of the #SameHere mental health movement said crossing your arms and rubbing your hands up and down your lower arms can be relaxing.

Pet dogs and cats: Experts say that petting animals can help lower blood pressure. As well as this animals can also find this comforting. Just make sure you wash your hands afterwards!

One expert said a lack of physical intimacy can lead to a weaker immune system.

Speaking to Insider, New York-based psychotherapist and sex therapist Dr Dulcinea Pitagora said: "When those who would like to be having sex and are used to having it regularly experience a lack of sexual intimacy, the opposite can occur in the form of detrimental effects.

"Mental, emotional, and physical health resulting in a variety of symptoms; and feelings of isolation, insecurity, and lowered self-esteem.”

This is while one expert said a lack of sex can also have an impact of the quality of sleep you get.

Reaching an orgasm with your sexual partner can have a number of benefits.

Not only does it make you feel great but it can also reduce feelings of anxiety.

If you are less anxious then you’re more likely to be able to drift off into a peaceful night's sleep.

Dr Rachel Needle, psychologist and co-director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes said having sex can do wonders for your sleep pattern.

“Orgasm releases endorphins which can help decrease stress, at least temporarily, and lead to positive feelings making us happier.”

She added that if you aren’t having partnered sex then you need to find ways to have orgasms solo.

This might be easier for others as Dr Pitagora added that many people have been able to explore their sexual wants and needs during lockdown.

But with many people still working from home and uncertainty looming about the jobs market, sex might not be a priority for some people.

Sex can also have an impact on your over all mood and relationship expert Kate Moyle from sexual wellness brand LELO said fun between the sheets could serve as a welcome distraction.

“Sex offers a great distraction from what else you have going on, and so instead of focusing on the discomfort you take your attention to experiencing pleasure.”

Some women may also experience vaginal pain if they haven't had sex in a while as your vagina can tighten and the tissue can become thinner.

This could lead to bleeding during sex.

Flo Health states:  "It takes longer for the female body to become aroused and produce enough lubrication to make sex easy and comfortable.

"Regular sex or masturbation can keep the tissues in your vagina healthy by improving blood flow."

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