Studies have shown that extensive number of physiological and psychological health factors profit from an intercourse ending in an orgasm. However, there’s extensive research to show that other sexual activities (such as masturbation or anal) not only do not help, but can be harmful (read more).
Our analysis was corroborated by peer-reviewed scientific papers.
A female orgasm can be very enjoyable and happen during masturbation or sexual activity with one or more partners. In this article we have gathered verified and scientific information around female orgasm and we looked at why and how it occurs and what happens during an orgasm.
To comprehend female orgasm, a thorough understanding of all its components such as libido, arousal and sex is necessary.
The Role of Female Libido
Sigmund Freud is considered the creator of the term libido. He claimed the libido was a driving force for life, primarily focusing on pleasure and that the Id, (part of a person’s subconscious) is always seeking the most amount of pleasure possible, without the mind consciously knowing. In other words, libido can be defined as our sex drive, which describes how much we feel the urge to have sex; but also defines our desire for sexual intimacy.
The libido is influenced by two main factors: Physiological (testosterone and estrogen levels) and psychological (stress levels).
A study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy by Riley AJ – “Life-long absence of sexual drive in a woman associated with 5-dihydrotestosterone deficiency” investigated the influence of neurotransmitters and hormones on libido. The study showed that women deficient in dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a potent androgen derived from testosterone, suffered from lack of libido. The same study showed that level of estrogen does not similarly affect libido as this hormone regulates female sexual anatomy.
A study by Bekhbat M and Neigh GN – “Sex differences in the neuro-immune consequences of stress: Focus on depression and anxiety” showed that in addition to the physiological effects of stress, there is also a psychological aspect. It proved that stress can impact mood, leading to anxiety and depression, which can in turn diminish libido. Uncontrolled stress can lead to unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking, overeating and poor lifestyle choices like lack of self-care and exercise. These habits can influence how you feel about yourself and interfere with a healthy sex life.
The Role of Arousal
Arousal is accompanied by several body changes and it is affected by pheromones.
When looking at data on studies of arousal, we can conclude that this term is hard to define easily.
According to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine by Salonia A, et al under the title “Physiology of women’s sexual function: basic knowledge and new findings”, arousal can be assessed through changes in body heat, breathing rate and genital sensitivity.
Case studies have established that arousal appears to be influenced by the scent (pheromones) of the preferred gender – heterosexual females and homosexual males get stimulated when they smell androgens; whereas smelling estrogens arouses heterosexual males and homosexual females.
Pheromones, in particular androstadienone, play a valuable role in women’s mood, focus and sexual response, and perhaps also in partner selection.
The most common technique used in studies of arousal is showing pictures and videos of sexual acts to respondents.
It was noted that females respond better to erotic videos than to sexual documentaries.
How Healthy is Sex?
Benefits of sexual activity are physiological and psychological. Sexual dysfunction appears due to various issues and it can be resolved by applying the appropriate therapy.
Sex is enormously beneficial to our health. Penile-vaginal intercourse stimulates a variety of neurotransmitters that impact not only our brains but several other organs in our bodies. It is noted that masturbation and anal sex don’t seem to offer the same benefits and they can even cause injuries.
According to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine by Brody S. “The relative health benefits of different sexual activities” sex for women allows benefits on physiological, psychological and social level. Benefits include: lower blood pressure, better immune system and heart health, improved self-esteem, decreased depression and anxiety, increased libido and level of intimacy with a sexual partner and stress reduction (physiologically and emotional).
Sexual dysfunction is related to problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm or pain. This medical condition can be caused by physical or psychological issues. The most common problems related to sexual dysfunction in women include: inhibited sexual desire, inability to become aroused, inability to reach orgasm and painful intercourse. All of these difficulties can be treated successfully by diagnosing the roots of the problem and applying the right therapy.
Benefits of Female Orgasm
Orgasm is a peak of euphoria during sexual intercourse. Scientific discoveries in this field is still in development.
Female orgasm can be distinct as a peak of euphoria typically followed by a feeling of great satisfaction mostly affected by release of the neurotransmitter – serotonin – according to the study titled “Disorders of orgasm in women” by Meston CM, et al.
Researchers have suggested that sexual response follows exact stages: excitement (arousal builds), plateau (arousal increases and levels off), orgasm (intense feelings of pleasure) and resolution (arousal diminishes).
During arousal genitals become more sensitive. As arousal increases, a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate may also increase. As orgasm approaches, the muscles may twitch or spasm. Many women experience rhythmic muscle spasms in the vagina during an orgasm.
Current studies of female orgasm are mostly focused to prevent the decrease in libido caused by antidepressants. The results of such studies may not apply to healthy women; significant scientific change in this particular field is still in early development.
- Revised definitions of women's sexual dysfunction, J Sex Med. (2004)
- Life-long absence of sexual drive in a woman associated with 5-dihydrotestosterone deficiency. J Sex Marital Ther. (1999)
- Sex differences in the neuro-immune consequences of stress
- Physiology of women's sexual function: basic knowledge and new findings. J Sex Med. (2010)
- The relative health benefits of different sexual activities. J Sex Med. (2010)
- Simultaneous penile-vaginal intercourse orgasm is associated with satisfaction (sexual, life, partnership, and mental health). J Sex Med. (2011)
- Satisfaction (sexual, life, relationship, and mental health) is associated directly with penile-vaginal intercourse, but inversely with other sexual behavior frequencies. J Sex Med. (2009)
- Disorders of orgasm in women. J Sex Med. (2004)