If you’re polygamous and need more than two hands to count the number of lovers you’re currently having, new research shows you might want to rethink your life choices.

Researchers report people who have had 10 or more sexual partners had higher chances of developing cancer than those who were less sexually active.

The study revealed that women with many sex partners have almost double the risk of developing cancer compared to women who remained virgins or only had one sexual partner.

Meanwhile, men’s odds of developing cancer were increased by nearly 70% compared to those with one or no sex partners. Its 57% for those who had two to four sex partners during their life.(webmd)

Lee Smith, study co-author, director of research at the Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University in England said “We expected there to be an association between number of sexual partners and cancer risk as previous research has shown that specific sexually transmitted diseases may lead to several cancers.

With this same logic, higher number of sexual partners equals greater potential exposure to STIs [sexually transmitted infections].

“It is interesting that the risk is higher in women when compared to men,” Smith continued. “This may be because the link between certain STIs and cancer is stronger in women, such as HPV and cervical cancer, compared to HPV and penile cancer.”

Smith and his colleagues drew on data gathered for the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, a tracking study of people 50 and older for this research.

During the 2012-2013 period of this continuous study, more than 5,700 participants were asked how many sexual partners they’d had during their lives.

Participants had an average age of 64, and about three out of four were married.

Around 28% of men and 41% of women claimed they were virgins or had only one sex partner in their lifetime, while 22% of men and about 8% of women reported 10 or more sex partners.

According to this research, human papillomavirus (HPV) has been linked to cervical, oral, anal and penile cancers, she noted, while hepatitis B and C are tied to liver cancer. It’s likely other viruses could be linked to other forms of cancer.

“People who had risky sexual encounters should contact their health care providers to get checked for potential sexually transmitted infectious and should discuss openly about how to minimize this risk,” Smith said. He finishes, saying “Using appropriate protection will reduce the risk of related cancers going forward.”

In short, if you’re polygamous and love several women/men, we don’t judge you. We just want you to be aware of the possible implications.

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