- Many health claims about the benefits of orgasms for women — like an increase in fertility or more regular menstrual cycles — are unproven by science.
- However, orgasming does strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and increase blood flow to the vagina, which can counteract dryness experienced during menopause.
- This article was medically reviewed by Olivia P. Myrick, MD, who is a clinical assistant professor with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
There’s no denying that an orgasm has its benefits. During a vaginal orgasm, genital muscles contract as the area, and much of the body, fills with a strong, pleasurable sensation. Besides just feeling good, female orgasms can also have health benefits.
While not all health claims about the female orgasm are true, here are the ones with scientific evidence:
The benefits of orgasms for women
Besides providing an overall pleasant feeling, orgasms have some additional health benefits for women.
1. Strengthens your pelvic floor
Pelvic floor muscles are those around your uterus and bladder that allow you to hold in urine.
“A stronger pelvic floor muscle helps with stress incontinence, can help increase vaginal sensation, and intensify orgasms,” says Neely Elisha, MD, an OB/GYN at Inspira Health in Vineland, New Jersey.
While kegel exercises are the most effective way to strengthen your pelvic floor, orgasming can help, too. “The pelvic floor contracts and relaxes during orgasm, therefore, an orgasm can be similar to a mini kegel session,” says Christene Lozano, a licensed marriage, family, and sex addiction therapist.
Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles might also increase how many orgasms you experience. A 2008 study of women found that weaker pelvic floor muscles were associated with infrequent orgasms and decreased arousal.
2. Counteracts post-menopausal side effects
When a person goes through menopause, the decrease in estrogen causes less blood to flow to the vagina. As a result, the vaginal canal may lose its outer layer and become drier and less elastic.
“Having regular orgasms can help in increasing blood flow to the area and help with increasing lubrication to the vagina,” says Elisha. “Both of which can, theoretically, help relieve the soreness and discomfort of penetrative sex that can be associated with menopause.”
To fully enjoy your sexual experiences and orgasm post-menopause, be prepared with lube. “Orgasms don’t improve the amount of lubrication made or how quickly it is produced,” says Molly Papp, LMFT, sexologist, a certified sex addiction therapist, and owner of Bella Vida Therapy, a counseling practice.
Unproven claims about orgasms for women
However, there are many health claims about female orgasms that are unsubstantiated.
“There is no published scientific evidence linking orgasm to fertility, decreased menstrual cramps, or menstrual cycle regulation,” says Peace Nwegbo-Banks, MD, an OBGYN at Serenity Women’s Health & Med Spa in Pearland, Texas. “There are a ton of opinions and speculations on those subject matter, but nothing that has been scientifically proven.”
Here are the claims you may have heard about female orgasms and why they need more evidence.
1. Boosts your fertility
There is little evidence that orgasms can boost your fertility. However, some small research has been able to link sex with an increase in fertility-aiding substances in the body.
In a small 2015 study, researchers observed sexually active women and abstinent women to compare how sex impacted the immune system and fertility. Sexually active women had higher levels of type 2 helper T cells, which help the body accept the presence of sperm or a growing embryo. The same group had an increase in immunoglobulin G antibodies, which can fight diseases without bothering the uterus or fertilization.
However, researchers did not take a record of whether the women orgasmed during sex. As a result, we can not be sure if orgasms themselves actually influence fertility, and even these chemical findings do not always correlate with easy conception and pregnancy.
2. Regulates your menstrual cycle
Some people believe that orgasms can help regulate a person’s menstrual cycle. This is due to the idea that menstrual cycles and ovaries are linked to circadian rhythm, a 24-hour internal clock tied to our daily wake and sleep.
However, scientific evidence has not yet proven this idea. Until it does, the prevailing scientific understanding is that “orgasms cannot help regulate your menstrual cycle,” says Lozano.
3. Relieves menstrual cramps
While some claim orgasms help relieve menstrual cramping, there are also those who say it can exacerbate pain.
“Orgasms may or may not relieve menstrual cramps. Many women find that the endorphins and increased blood flow that result from arousal and orgasm can help relieve cramps, while others find that they make them worse,” says Lozano. “In addition, orgasms may relieve someone’s pain during one menstrual cycle but not the next.”
Therefore, orgasms’ ability to relieve cramps depends on the person and even then can occur infrequently.
Vaginal orgasms have a variety of benefits specifically for women, such as strengthening the pelvic floor and counteracting post-menopausal side effects. However, there are many unsubstantiated claims about female orgasms, and science has not found evidence of orgasms’ ability to boost fertility, ease menstrual cramps, or regulate your menstrual cycle.
Related articles from Health Reference:
- Does masturbation help your immune system? An orgasm may have benefits
- Sex burns about 3 to 4 calories per minute — here’s how to burn a little more
- 5 major health benefits of sex
- How to last longer during sex
- The truth about period syncing and the real reason you may be experiencing it