Whatever the reason, female orgasm has traditionally been seen as somewhat of a taboo subject. Research into female orgasm has much to be desired (pun intended), particularly when compared to research into (and pop culture references about) male orgasm. In a 2014 study into the variation in orgasm occurrence, it was revealed that 63% of single women experienced an orgasm during sexual intercourse with their partner. This figure is in comparison to 85% of single men. Why is there such a difference?
It’s something that researchers are now beginning to study. One key factor could be that the male orgasm is typically linked with ejaculation and, therefore, potential reproduction. By contrast, it could be argued that the benefit of orgasm for women is of no obvious reproductive purpose and instead is just a source of pleasure.
However, research is beginning to reveal the health benefits of orgasm for women beyond the exhilarating pleasure of climaxing.
Increased Brain Activity
In 2017, neuroscientist and sex therapist Dr. Nan Wise conducted a study into the effects of the female orgasm on brain activity. The study showed that thanks to increased blood flow to the brain during the orgasm process, brain activity slowly built, peaking at the point of orgasm before decreasing after climax. These results show the benefits of orgasm as an effective workout for your brain.
There has also been an association found between sexual activity and cognitive function as a person ages. One study showed that maintaining a healthy sex life, including masturbation, can improve cognitive function and well-being.
In addition to increasing brain activity, research indicates that a further benefit of orgasm is that women’s pain tolerance threshold increases by almost 75% after a self-stimulated orgasm.
Prevent Aging Skin
In a 2009 study into the effect of sexual arousal on the hormones in premenopausal women, the research team found that having an orgasm raises estrogen levels in the body.
Much research has gone into the effects of estrogens and aging skin. Studies have concluded that the administration of estrogen can significantly delay skin aging. Increased levels of estrogen in the body help improve skin elasticity and can also help with helping your skin retain its moisture.
Increased Intimacy and Trust
Oxytocin is a hormone typically released during childbirth and breastfeeding. It plays a large role in the bonding relationship between a mother and their child. It is known to boost feelings of love, security, trust, and contentment toward your partner and the people you already care for. Research has discovered that the hormone is also released in high amounts during sexual stimulation and orgasm.
A further benefit to increased oxytocin during sexual interactions is the positive impact on reducing stress and anxiety levels. Research has shown that oxytocin can induce anti-stress-like effects such as lower blood pressure and cortisol levels.
Like oxytocin, endorphins, also released during orgasm, are associated with relaxation. One of the benefits of releasing these two hormones is getting better sleep, especially if you suffer from stress or anxiety-related insomnia. Prolactin, another hormone that can induce sleep, is typically released post-sex, which may be why many people fall asleep quickly after climaxing.
Increased Chances of Conceiving
There is a further benefit that is associated with oxytocin released during orgasm. Research has indicated that the oxytocin released by women who orgasm after their sexual partners may help to retain the sperm better than if they climax first.
Weight loss is not something you might automatically associate with orgasm. However, in a study published in the European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, regular sexual activity and vaginal orgasm led to a smaller waist circumference and a reduction in abdominal fat mass. The reduction in fat mass may also help you improve your cardiovascular health and prevent the development of conditions such as heart disease.
Even if its evolutionary necessity in terms of procreation is still being debated, it is clear that there are various health benefits beyond general sexual health to the female orgasm. So if you think that having regular orgasms is just about pleasure, you may be happy to know it is also helping you enjoy a better quality of life.
- Variation in Orgasm Occurrence by Sexual Orientation in a Sample of U.S. Singles
- The Evolutionary Origin of Female Orgasm
- Brain Activity Unique to Orgasm in Women: An fMRI Analysis
- Sex on the brain! Associations between sexual activity and cognitive function in older age
- Elevation of pain threshold by vaginal stimulation in women
- Associations among physiological and subjective sexual response, sexual desire, and salivary steroid hormones in healthy premenopausal women
- Effect of estrogens on skin aging and the potential role of SERMs
- The orgasmic history of oxytocin: Love, lust, and labor
- Oxytocin, ein Vermittler von Antistress, Wohlbefinden, sozialer Interaktion, Wachstum und Heilung/ Oxytocin, a mediator of anti-stress, well-being, social interaction, growth and healing
- Measuring sperm backflow following female orgasm: a new method
- Orgasm and women’s waist circumference