Have you ever turned to Google to ask questions about sex and sexual health? We asked experts to answer some frequently asked questions on Google about sex. “Sexual health is an important part of health,” Dr. Jewel Blade to USA TODAY.

Sex: Ever Googled?

From searches for the potential health benefits of sexual activity to why you or a partner may feel pain during or after sex, you’ve probably googled something about sex. But did you get the answers you needed? USA TODAY asked experts to answer six frequently asked questions on Google about sex.

Some answers differ depending on a person’s gender, age, sexual orientation, and other factors. Solutions can also change based on the type of sexual activity people engage in with a partner.

Here’s what you need to know.

How much sex should couples have per week? Here’s what experts say:


Dr. Jewel Kling, chair of the division of internal medicine for women’s health at Mayo Clinic Arizona, told USA TODAY that “sexual health is an important part of health.”

Research has shown that sex can stimulate chemicals in your brain that promote happiness and reduce feelings of pain and stress, among other health benefits, according to multiple reports.

A study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that sex may be associated with reducing the risk of heart disease. The British Journal of Cancer research found that it may reduce cancer risk.

Dr. Jewel Kling, chair of the division of internal medicine for women’s health at Mayo Clinic ArizonaRegular exercise is very important for good health. For people who are sexually active regularly, this likely contributes to their physical activity.

Kling also noted that “regular exercise is very important for good health. For people who are sexually active regularly, it probably contributes to their physical activity.”

And sexual activity can release endorphins to support a sense of intimacy and closeness between partners.

Self-enjoyment also has health benefits, including relieving stress, increasing self-esteem, and reducing the risk of prostate cancer.

Justin Garcia, executive director of the Kinsey Institute, told USA TODAY that sexual activity could be “for the most part, but not always” healthy.

“If sex takes place under duress or without consent, it can be quite unhealthy psychologically,” he said. “Forcing sex can be unhealthy, both psychologically and physically.”

If you are a survivor of assault, RAINN offers support through the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE and online.rainn.org).

The amount you and a partner have sex is “basically just a matter of — are you and your partner happy?” explained Garcia.

But he said some research has shown that “there’s kind of a tipping point, and once you have sex about twice a week, you get kind of a net benefit out of it for relationships.”

“So, is regular sex healthy? Yes. Is it good for your health? Yes. But there’s kind of a ceiling effect that you get,” Garcia said. “Once you go from two days to every day, it isn’t that big of a difference in a lot of the data.”

Kling noted, “There is no guideline or recommendation that recommends anyone have sex daily.”

“It’s just an individualized, kind of personal choice, which makes sense for every human being,” she said. “And if they’re happy with how much or how little sex they’re having, that’s great.”

Kling explained that for those having penetrative intercourse who are “at risk of urinary tract infections after intercourse or after intercourse, it is recommended to use the toilet.”

“But beyond that, there’s nothing specific,” she said.

Urinating after sex may help “reduce the risk of bacteria building up,” Garcia told USA TODAY.

All people may want to urinate after sexual activity to help avoid the risk of a urinary tract infection. However, people with penises don’t typically get “post-sex UTIs,” according to the Cleveland Clinic. However, they can contact UTIs while experiencing an enlarged prostate or kidney stones.

You shouldn’t feel pain during sex, Kling said.

“That’s abnormal. So if anyone experiences pain during intercourse or sex, it is advisable to have that assessed, usually by their doctor or advanced practitioner,” she said.

“Often a specific cause can be identified, and then there are many different types of treatments, sometimes with drugs, sometimes with pelvic floor physical therapists and other options to help the pain,” Kling added, noting that people going through menopause can also feel pain during sexual activity for various reasons.

Different people have different causes for pain during sex, from medical conditions to how you engage in sexual activity.

“There are many different causes,” Garcia said. “Some of them are pathological or anatomical problems. Some are medical conditions that can be treated. Others are very difficult to figure out.”

Pain can also be linked to “your state of arousal, what kind of condoms or lubricants you use, anatomical fit. There are all kinds of factors,” Garcia said.

“If you’re experiencing sexual pain, one thing to think about is, OK, are you doing foreplay? Are you aroused enough? Are you lubricated?” he said.

In some cases, a person can damage penile tissue or the vaginal wall, he added.

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It could be. Sex during pregnancy also depends on a pregnant woman’s health problems or other health factors.

“Can they have sex during pregnancies?” said Kling. “The answer is yes. If that’s something, they want to do.”

Garcia noted that “part of me wants to say yes, sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe,” but he added that people with high-risk pregnancies might want to talk to their doctors about possible precautions.

Sexual activity won’t affect a baby “as long as you don’t have complications like preterm birth or placental problems,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Having sex during pregnancy will not “cause miscarriage.”

Using condoms or other measures to prevent sexually transmitted diseases during pregnancy is also important for pregnant woman’s and their baby’s health.

“most of the evidence suggests it’s medically safe to have sex while women are on their periods,” Garcia said.

“But there’s kind of, the psychological aspects of, do you mind if there’s blood in the sheets?” he explained.

Garcia said that menstruating people need to know how they feel about a partner.

“Is it OK to do? If you like the sexual activity,” he said. “If you’re uncomfortable with it, you probably shouldn’t. And people should feel empowered to tell their partners that.”

Kling emphasized that a person can still get pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted disease during menstruation, so using protection such as condoms and other contraceptives may also be important.

Contributors: Jenna Ryu, Alia E. Dastagir

Published 10:32 a.m. UTC May. 15, 2022 Updated 10:32 UTC May. 15, 2022


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