It is known that regular sex can improve memory in mammals. For example, past studies have shown that in male rats, the restoration of a regular sex regimen is associated with the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus and more effective memorization. At the same time, there is a large amount of research linking the frequency of sex with mental health. However, so far there have been no studies examining the correlation between the frequency of sex and memory.
To fill the gap, researchers at McGill University tested 78 healthy women between the ages of 18 and 29. At the first stage, volunteers filled out a questionnaire asking about the frequency of sex, orgasm, contraceptive use and menstrual cycle. Then the authors assessed the work of their memory: for this, women were shown two series of images with neutral faces and abstract words and asked to indicate which of them were repeated.
The results showed that the frequency of sex is positively correlated with the memory of words, but not faces. A similar trend was observed between memorization of words and frequency of orgasm, but only in women who were not taking oral contraceptives. The phase of the menstrual cycle was found to have nothing to do with memorization efficiency. Based on past animal experiments, scientists say, this points to a causal relationship between sex frequency and neurogenesis.
However, earlier another team of Canadian scientists found that the phase of the menstrual cycle is closely related to the memory strategy in women. So, in the ovulatory phase (peak estradiol production), women memorize words better, and in the middle and late luteal phase (progesterone growth) they are better oriented in space. The subjects experienced difficulties in solving the "spatial" problem in the ovulatory or follicular phase.