Meredith Singer | HealthGreatness
Orgasms are well known for how good they make us feel. But did you know that they are also good for your health? From the known benefits of hormonal release to the inexplicable beauty benefits, there are numerous reasons why women everywhere should be having more orgasms.
Orgasm as a Stage of Sexual Response
According to the renowned researchers Masters and Johnson, orgasms are just one part of the 4 stage sexual response cycle. Although people progress through the cycle in their own personal way, the stages occur in the same order if an orgasm is achieved.
- Stage 1: Arousal and excitement. Blood flow increases to the vagina and natural lubrication increases. The vaginal area (including the clitoris, and labia) become engorged, or swollen. This stage can last from seconds to hours.
- Stage 2: Plateau. The blood flow reaches its limit and sexual tension continues to grow. Heart rate and breathing rate also often increase.
- Stage 3: Orgasm. The intense pleasurable sensation of releasing sexual tension. Contractions occur in the vagina, uterus and other muscles throughout the body.
- Stage 4: Resolution. The body returns to its normal state. Some women are able to quickly move through this state with continued stimulation to experience another orgasm but, unfortunately, most are not able to.
The sexual response stages occur with any kind of sexual stimulation. Women can experience it during intercourse, masturbation, oral sex, fantasy, and other partner stimulation.
What else happens during a female orgasm?
When a woman experiences an orgasm a hormone called oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is an important hormone for a number of physiological reasons, most notably surrounding childbirth, but it also makes us feel good and has even been called the “love hormone.” Endorphins are also released with orgasms, which are a “feel-good” neurotransmitter and can produce feelings of euphoria and pleasure. Oxytocin and endorphins work independently and together to benefit us during and after an orgasm.
- Oxytocin relieves stress by stimulating feelings of warmth and relaxation.
- Oxytocin facilitates bonding and trust.
- It is theorized that endorphins can have a sedative effect and therefor help with insomnia.
- Oxytocin and endorphins both help with pain relief and may reduce rates of depression and anxiety.
And More Health Benefits!
- According to a Wilkes University study, orgasms boost immunoglobulin A, a component of the immune system that helps ward off viruses like the common cold.
- A University of Munster study showed that orgasms reduce migraine pain.
- And yet another study showed that a woman who has orgasms 4 times per week appears 10 years younger! Looking younger does wonders for our confidence and mental health as we age.
There is more good news for the years ahead: orgasms have been shown to improve in both quality and frequency as we age. Though there is no consensus as to why, it may be because as women become more experienced, they also become more confident and have an easier time reaching orgasm. Practice, practice, practice!