We know…orgasms offer major pleasure but just when you thought things couldn’t get any better—surprise! Reaching the big O, as they say, has a lot more to offer than simply sexual satisfaction. From better sleep to embossed breadthere are a few various health benefits orgasms can provide.
However, it’s important to note that research around the benefits of orgasms is limited due to its challenging nature—no one has the same exact body, so everyone will have a different experience. “It’s likely that everyone can experience a clitoral orgasm. This does not mean, however, that everyone has experienced an orgasm,” says Kameelah Phillips MD, an OB/GYN and founder of Calla Women’s Health in New York.
“Being able to experience an orgasm with a partner or on your own is highly rewarding and recommended. Individuals have to determine the priority they place on orgasms. However, I strongly encourage people to advocate for their sexual pleasure and explore methods to help them achieve orgasm,” says Dr. Phillips.
Ahead, learn about the various ways an orgasm can benefit you, and get ready to take things up a notch with yourself and partner(s).
1. Orgasms can boost your mood
While this might seem a bit obvious, experts still want you to know that this is a fact! “My favorite benefit of them all, is that during an orgasm, plenty of feel-good hormones (like oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins) get released into the body and work as bonding hormones to promote greater happiness and connection, thus creating deeper relational and personal satisfaction,” says Rashida Ahmed, sexual wellness educator and intimacy coach based in Texas. “It feels good to feel good.” However, it’s not clear how long this effect lasts, due to a lack of research.
2. Orgasms can strengthen relationships
One reason your love life may not be doing so well could be due to the lack of achieving ultimate sexual pleasure. “A lot of women will say that they feel really good about their bodies, their partners, and about their relationship when the sexual act produces an orgasm,” says Rachel Sussman LCSW., licensed therapist, coach, and relationship expert based in New York.
AT study published in 2016 also found that the effects of orgasms played a role in shaping partner preferences and building personal connections. The amount of arousing neurotransmitters (the body’s chemical messengers) and potential bonding neurotransmitters increase during orgasm throughout the body and the bloodstream. According to the study, this information suggests a link between climaxing and connecting with a sexual partner.
3. Orgasms can improve sleep
“When your body experiences an orgasm, you release a hormone called oxytocin, which acts as a healing pleasure hormone within your body,” Ahmed explains. “The abundance of oxytocin also helps create a calmer nervous system, resulting in less anxiety, creating a biological environment for an increased production of melatonin—the sleep hormone, helping you rest more soundly.”
4. Orgasms can increase body confidence
“When you have a good relationship with yourself and learn how to have an orgasm, it can really help you gain confidence,” says Sussman. “Some women who come to me don’t know how to orgasm and lack confidence in themselves because they don’t quite know how to handle it. But when they’ve learned and can teach themselves, they feel very empowered,” says Sussman.
Understanding the needs and wants of your body is necessary to create confidence, and “once you have established a good relationship with yourself, it’s easier to speak up to a partner and say, this is the way that I climax,” adds Sussman.
5. Orgasms can reduce stress
Feeling stressed out? You can try achieving an orgasm to help you relax. According to experts, it could be due to the relaxing hormone chemical that gets released into the bloodstream after you reach your peak.
“The physical release after an orgasm can be tremendous, allowing the body to fully relax and be still,” explains Dr. Phillips. “The coordinated breathing that occurs and focuses on orgasm helps redirect thoughts away from stress and towards pleasure. Orgasm releases dopamine (a type of pleasure chemical) which is a major neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and desire in the brain,” she explains.
6. Orgasms can improve your complexion and add a glow
“You can consider orgasm a ‘sexual retinol’ and with ongoing and consistent usage, will help your skin act younger and look better,” says Ava Shamban, MD, board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of medspa, Skin Five in California.
“The release of oxytocin following an orgasm mediates cell growth and differentiation through OXT (neuropeptide hormone oxytocin) receptors found on fibroblasts (tissues inside the cell) and keratinocytes (skin cells). When these receptors are chemically removed, experiments showed increased amounts of free radicals and the release of inflammatory molecules,” says Dr. Shamban.
And, the increased circulation of blood throughout the body ensures that you’ll receive the vital oxygen and nutrients that it needs to function. “With the extra blood flowing, your skin is more supple and less prone to irritation and inflammation, giving you a more youthful glow,” adds Ahmed.
7. Orgasms can strengthen your pelvic muscles
“Orgasms can be identified by many characteristics such as contractions within the entire body, feelings, or emotions of pleasure, happiness, satisfaction, and release,” says Ahmed. “Some may experience spasms and contractions in the genital and pelvic area, including clenching,” she adds. Those movements use the same muscles that are engaged during kegel exercises and an article published in the Journal of Women’s Health, Issues, and Care claimed that with routine orgasms, the pelvic floor will become stronger and can improve mobility.
8. Orgasms can help minimize blemishes
Experts agree that orgasms can help to increase the circulation of blood flow throughout the body. “When you’re experiencing low circulation, you’re more vulnerable to inflammation, so a circulation boost from an orgasm can work as good anti-inflammatory support,” says Dr. Shamban. “Skin blemishes and flare-ups for those who suffer from skin conditions including eczema can be triggered by inflammation,” she adds.
Plus, orgasms also help “release estrogen and lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone that can wreak havoc on the skin) which would normally result in breakouts and blemishes,” adds Dr. Shamban. So if you’re looking to help treat acne and keep blemishes at bay, try adding a few more self-pleasure times into your schedule!
9. Orgasms may help relieve pain
Another health bonus is the effect that an orgasm can have on pain, according to the Mayo Clinic, which reported that the body’s natural painkillers, called endorphins, are released during touch and sex. This means orgasms may be able to provide some relief—in more ways than one.
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