This blog was updated on 08/30/2023
When most women think about the orgasm, the main thing that comes to mind is pleasure. From the slow, gradual buildup to the eventual explosion of pure ecstasy, the orgasm is one of nature’s purest indulgences.
But what if we told you that the big O comes with some additional perks? From improving your sleep quality to boosting your brain power, every orgasm can positively impact both your physical and mental wellbeing. Intrigued? Then read on, as we explore 10 of the most surprising health benefits of orgasming.
Orgasms help you sleep
As anybody who has ever been rendered mute or comatose by sex can attest, orgasms have some seriously sedating powers. That’s because climaxing triggers surges of oxytocin and prolactin — powerful relaxant hormones that, when combined with the endorphins released during sex, can leave you feeling primed to drift into a blissful state of rest.
Orgasms also help to reduce your levels of cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone. So, getting involved in a little bump and grind before hitting the hay (whether you’re alone or with your partner) could just be just the thing you need to get a good night’s sleep. Who needs chamomile tea, anyway?
Orgasms regulate your cycle
Every female orgasm triggers a rush of blood and nutrients to the vagina, which helps keep things down there in tip-top shape. Studies have shown that women who orgasm once a week are more likely to have regular menstrual cycles every 26-33 days than those who have less or more irregular sex. All the more reason to make sure you’re sticking to your pleasure schedule, then!
What’s more, if you often find that your orgasms are less “that’s it!” and more “is that it?”, you may find that sex is more pleasurable around the time of ovulation — it’s Mother Nature’s way of making conception more likely. In fact, orgasms and ovulation may share an even greater link than previously thought: a recent study suggests that the female orgasm might have evolved from a reflex that prompts some female mammals to release eggs during intercourse.
Orgasms are good for your heart
Exercising more, eating healthy foods, and experiencing mind-blowing orgasms — three simple ways to keep your heart happy! Believe it or not, one of the most important orgasm benefits is that they can decrease your risk of heart disease by lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Of course, this isn’t even mentioning the aerobic benefits of sex. According to a Global Sex Survey by Durex, the average sex session (foreplay and intercourse combined) lasts around 33 minutes in total, meaning you could be burning off between 50-100 calories while pursuing your next orgasm. Can you think of a more pleasurable way to get fit?
Orgasms increase intimacy
The post-sex cuddle — it’s one of the most intimate bonding experiences we humans can share with one another, but why does it feel so cozy, warm, and safe to snuggle up together post-orgasm? It’s all down to oxytocin.
Oxytocin is actually responsible for a whole host of functions — from initiating the letdown reflex to inducing labor. However, there’s a reason it’s known as the ‘love hormone’; when you reach your climax, this remarkable hormone floods into your bloodstream, triggering the desire to snuggle close, and deepening the bond with your partner.
Orgasms keep you looking fresh-faced
During sex, and especially at the point of orgasm, the body experiences a massive surge of hormones. This hormonal cascade can stimulate the release of the human growth hormone (HGH), which is known to have multiple benefits, from increasing your bone mass to decreasing body fat.
HGH also stimulates collagen production and could even make your skin appear more supple and youthful by boosting its elasticity. Combine this with the sleep-improving effects of the orgasm and you could make the argument that reaching climax is just another part of your beauty regime!
Orgasms improve your pelvic floor health
When you have an orgasm, the muscles in your pelvic region contract and release like it’s going out of style, toning the pelvic floor in the process. But what’s the point of exercising hidden muscles? Well, if these muscles become weak, this can lead to urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and even sexual dysfunction — not fun.
The more orgasms you have, the more your pelvic floor muscles get a workout. And the stronger these muscles become, the more intense your orgasms can feel. This said, there are only so many orgasms you can have in one day. Thankfully, It’s also possible to perform pelvic floor contractions without having an orgasm — in fact, you can perform these exercises just about anywhere. To find out more, visit our guide to kegel exercises.
Orgasms boost your gray matter
Orgasms increase blood flow to all parts of the brain, whereas most activities only increase blood flow to isolated areas of the brain. Researchers discovered this by having women masturbate in MRI machines, which we’re sure wasn’t awkward at all. Scientists have also found that frequent sexual activity can increase verbal fluency, boost spatial awareness, and improve visual perception.
Sex has also been shown to have other brain-boosting benefits. One study discovered that rats involved in regular sexual activity grew more neurons in the hippocampus — the part of the brain that plays a crucial role in memory and learning. These findings were later replicated in a later study involving mice. There’s no word yet on whether sex similarly affects humans, but if you’re looking for an excuse to get an early night we think this is a good one.
Orgasms can relieve pain
Out of Tylenol? Break out your trusty Doc Johnson. Orgasms are scientifically proven to relieve pain, and it’s all down to the flood of feel-good hormones such as oxytocin released at that blissful point of no return (research suggests that oxytocin neurons initially evolved to protect us against pain and injury).
Endorphins work by binding to the same receptors in the brain as opioid painkillers, such as morphine and codeine, and some research has found that even thinking about sex can relieve pain. Certainly worth a try…
Orgasms make you feel happier
The oxytocin that’s released when you hit that high point is linked to increased feelings of emotional bliss and contentment. In fact, this “happy hormone” can have multiple psychological benefits, from improving your overall mood to helping you make more meaningful social connections — and even making you more trusting of others.
Studies also link oxytocin to lower levels of stress and anxiety, meaning an orgasm can be a bliss-filled blessing when it comes to safeguarding our mental health.
Orgasms feel amazing
Okay, you probably knew that, but it just seemed wrong not to mention it. The whole propagation of the species depends on orgasms feeling incredible — and they definitely deliver.
What makes an orgasm feel so mind-blowing? It's no secret that endorphins and oxytocin play a major role. There’s also the rhythmic release of tension that ripples through your muscles, causing pleasurable contractions, and the satisfaction of finally letting go of all that pent-up sexual energy.
It’s a sensation that’s as pleasurable as it is difficult to put into words. We don't often get to experience something that feels this amazing without any drawbacks, so maybe it’s best we don’t question it at all!