You don’t need us to tell you that orgasms feel good, but did you know there are also health benefits of orgasms? Yes, science has shown that orgasms are good for you! How? There are multiple ways orgasms can be good for physical and mental health. Keep reading and we’ll tell you all about how it works.
In addition to the obvious pleasure they bring, there are many benefits of orgasms, some specific by gender, and some that offer a boost to everyone. These are benefits that you may experience regardless of whether you’re having an orgasm by yourself or with a partner.
Benefits of Female Orgasms
Menstrual Pain Relief
If you’re tired of dealing with menstrual cramps, you might want to go for that big O. Orgasms increase blood flow to your private parts which can reduce the pain of cramps. Plus, there are powerful neurotransmitters at work during the process. Dr. Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN, told Healthline, “Masturbating can help relieve anything from cramps and back pain to headaches and joint aches” due to the release of dopamine and serotonin, which act as natural painkillers. That sounds like the perfect reason to break out your vibrator!
Improved Brain Function
If you’ve got orgasms on the brain, you’re not alone. A 2017 study found that women’s orgasms can increase brain function. The study found that various regions of the brain were activated during the orgasm process, and documented that “the highest level of brain activity was observed during orgasm compared with that during early stimulation and early recovery.” Does that mean having an orgasm can make you smarter? Not necessarily, but it’s still good news.
Strengthen Pelvic Floor
Pelvic floor muscles are located inside the vagina and help control continence. According to a 2016 study in the Journal of Women’s Health, Issues and Care, orgasms can play a major role in “maintaining muscle tone and the many positive outcomes that result in contributing toward a woman’s lifelong well-being.” While you can also strengthen these muscles by doing Kegel exercises, isn’t orgasm more fun?
Benefits of Male Orgasms
Increase Your Sexual Stamina
Guys, in terms of solo orgasms, don’t hold off! According to clinical sexologist Gloria Brame, PhD, as quoted in Men’s Health, “[Masturbating] an hour before a date will give you more control,” and may help you stay harder for a longer period of time. Talk about a win/win!
May Prevent Prostate Cancer
A 2016 study in European Urology found that men who had a higher frequency of ejaculation were less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. While the science isn’t totally conclusive, that’s still another reason to up your O factor.
More Health Benefits of Orgasms for All Sexes
For all sexes, orgasm can release the hormone oxytocin, which has many powerful functions. Often called the “love hormone” due to its effect on bonding, oxytocin is both a hormone and neurotransmitter, according to WebMD, which can lower stress and help us build a connection to our partner.
Boost Immune System
There’s some scientific evidence that it’s possible orgasms can boost your immune system. A small 2004 study with 11 people in the journal Neuroimmunomodulation wrote that their findings “demonstrate that components of the innate immune system are activated by sexual arousal and orgasm.” Britney Blair, PsyD, told Insider, referring to partnered and solo sex, “Sex can be like exercise, which is great for your heart, your lungs, and your immune system.” While it’s not a foolproof equation that having more orgasms mean you won’t catch a cold, some of the other positives of orgasm like better sleep (see below) may improve your health overall.
Better Heart Health
If you’re orgasming from sex, you’re likely getting some cardiovascular action which is good for your heart. As WebMD reports, The American Journal of Cardiology found that men who had sex twice a week or more, vs. those who had sex only once a month, had lower rates of cardiovascular disease. According to the University of California San Francisco Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, “Regular sexual activity supports cardiovascular health.” That being said, if you’re returning to sexual activity after a heart attack, they advise taking it easy and doing so in a relaxed setting that’s not too hot or too cold.
Having an orgasm can help you get your zzzzzs. Thanks to the post-orgasmic release of the trusty hormone oxytocin, as well as hormones prolactin and cortisol, you might find it even easier to get your shuteye. According to the Sleep Foundation, “Studies indicate that these hormonal changes can cause drowsiness and make it easier to fall asleep. This effect can occur with masturbation as well as sex. Around 50% of both men and women say that an orgasm from masturbation helps them fall asleep and improves their sleep quality.”
Yes, it’s true: your skin might look even better after you climax. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marie Hayag at Coveteur, “When you have an orgasm, there is an increase in your breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure that all contribute to increased delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Afterward, your complexion may look both flushed and brighter. For most people, this extra glow lasts up to two hours.”
According to Julia R. Heiman, PhD, ABPP Director, Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction Indiana University, as quoted by the CDC, orgasm and sexual frequency are part of pleasure and can be related to health benefits “such as lower blood pressure, better mental health, and lower incidences of cancer. These observations could suggest cost impact on other health conditions, as sexual health has many health-related benefits.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that every person will experience these benefits, but that these positives have been observed widely enough to be notable across a wide swathe of the population.
Orgasms & Mental Health Benefits
Orgasm can have a positive impact when it comes to your mental health. The connection between orgasms and mental health happens for several reasons. For one, as we stated above, due to the release of cortisol, having an orgasm can be a way to relieve stress, which can make a huge difference in your mental health.
Thanks to our friends oxytocin and dopamine, orgasms can “boost your satisfaction, and activate the reward circuits in your brain. This, in turn, helps reduce stress and induce euphoria which is a great antidote for depression,” according to Well San Francisco. While mental health is far more complex than that, this is one way that orgasms can give you a mental boost.
Orgasms can make you happy—not that you needed us to tell you that! After all, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, all released during orgasm, are called “feel-good hormones” because of “the happy and, sometimes, euphoric feelings they produce,” according to Harvard Health Publishing. Who doesn’t want to feel good?
Not only can orgasms do all that, but they can also help you know what turns you on and help you identify which parts of your body are most sensitive, which may sound obvious, but often gets ignored. Taking some time, whether solo or with a partner, to truly savor the whole orgasmic process can yield powerful rewards. As certified sexuality educator Logan Levkoff, PhD, told Health, “It is really helpful to know what your body feels like, looks like, and even smells like, because if you don’t know what the norm is for your body, it’s really difficult to identify when something is off.”
There you go—everything you need to know about the health benefits of orgasm! Whether you’re coming alone or with a partner or partners, know that you’re treating your body right whenever you reach your peak.