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We’re going to let you in on a little secret that we’ve known for years here at Jo Divine: having an orgasm is really good for you and here’s why!
Busy day at work or just feeling stressed? One way to reduce stress is to enjoy an orgasm.
Oxytocin has been found to reduce cortisol, a stress hormone released in response to a fight/flight situation but not beneficial to have high levels all the time. Studies have found that oxytocin levels increase after female sexual stimulation and are attributed to nipple/areola stimulation (similar to that when a baby is being breast fed) and genital stimulation. When sexually aroused, oxytocin levels increase significantly, a main factor in achieving an orgasm, which in turn, causes the release of more oxytocin.
Stress can cause a dip in testosterone levels which affects your sex drive. This may sound mad if your libido has dropped but one way to alleviate stress is to masturbate or have sex. Masturbation allows you to focus on one thing; therefore, if you feel stressed, take time out for a little “me” time.
You don’t have to go solo, mutual masturbation with your partner is fun too!
When we think of sex, our brain releases dopamine – a chemical which gives us a feeling of pleasure. Enjoying an orgasm creates an intense feeling of sexual pleasure, along with contractions of the genital muscles, heavy breathing and an increased heart rate. Often referred to as climaxing, an orgasm is not simply a physical experience.
Oxytocin also creates a feeling of well being and happiness too.
Masturbating is probably the last thing on your mind when you have your period but having an orgasm can relieve cramps. The hormones released during sexual excitement can help ease menstrual cramps and the strength and intensity of the orgasm can affect the level of pain relief. Masturbating encourages blood flow to the pelvic area, and can alleviate backaches as well as stomach cramps.
Masturbation may intensify the cramping feeling for some women, so you need to experiment to discover what works for you. When you suffer with painful periods, anything is worth trying to alleviate the pain.
Having a headache is frquently used as an excuse for not having sex yet a study reported in the journal Cephalalgia (2013) found that enjoying an orgasm can relieve migraine pain or cluster headaches. The way in which you achieve an orgasm is of no significance so with a partner, solo masturbation or using a sex toy, whatever wortks for you.
Often a common complaint from women that their male partner always falls asleep after sex, orgasms do help you enjoy a better night’s sleep!
“Masturbation is a good sleeping pill,” according to Judith Golden, a registered sex therapist in Canada. Many people fall into a deep sleep after sexual intercourse following the release of endorphins which lower blood pressure, inducing a state of relaxation and the same can be said following masturbation. Many people rely upon masturbation to get a good night’s sleep and it’s more fun than a glass of milk!
Women who struggle to sleep during the menopause may find having an orgasm helps and vice versa.
When you have an orgasm, the skin becomes bathed in anti-inflammatory molecules such as oxytocin and beta endorphins which help to repair cells. They also boost the immune system and increases the circulation which triggers the sexual flush or post orgasm glow.
As mentioned above orgasms can help you get a good night sleep, beneficial to helping skin repair as this occurs whilst we sleep. Often people who are stressed and expereicne sleep deprivation tend to be prone to more spot outbreaks and skin inflammation.
Our facial expressions are more relaxed during orgasms and this post sex glow can help ward off wrinkles in addition to making us smile. Smiling uses more facial muscles (12) than frowning (11). As we tend to smile more, the muscles used when smiling are in better shape therefore improving general muscle tone and reducing sagging around the face, making us look younger. Smiling also takes less effort because the smile muscles are used more frequently and require less energy than the frown muscles which are used less often.
We all know that having a strong pelvic floor will improve our orgasms but having an orgasm exercises the pelvic floor muscles too. It can produce rapid muscle contractions of primarily the superficial pelvic floor muscles for both men and women.
The initial stage of orgasm is excitement caused by erotic stimulation, and can be either physical or visual. In women, the uterus elevates, and the labia lubricates and swells. The vagina also becomes lubricated, expanding to prepare for penetration.
Improving vaginal lubrication leads to better sexual pleasure. The saying “Use it or lose it!” literally means that. Enjoying regular sex and frequent orgasms can keep your vagina in shape but for some women this isn’t possible if their partner has died, their relationship has broken down or they aren’t in a relationship. Many healthcare professionals recommend having regular sex or using a sex toy to stay healthy.
Frequent ejaculations, especially in 20-something men, may lower the risk of getting prostate cancer later in life, some research shows. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2004), a study found that men who had 21 or more ejaculations a month, were less likely to get prostate cancer than those who had four to seven ejaculations per month.
The premise behind this is that regular ejaculation helps to flush out toxins and old cells in the prostate, which can be a precursor to cancer. It can also prevent enlargement of the prostate which occurs as a result of stagnant prostate fluid which leads to inflammation.
Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections. Scientists at Wilkes University in the United States of America studied 112 university students who kept records of how often they had sex, and also provided saliva samples for the study. Those who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of IgA, an antibody that could help you avoid a cold or other infections, than other students.
Research published in the British Medical Journal (1997) found that men who reported more frequent orgasms (at least twice a week) had a 50 percent lower risk of death from coronary heart disease than their less-frequently orgasming (less than once a month) counterparts.
Research conducted as part of the Longevity Project in 2011 found that women who had a higher frequency of achieving orgasm during intercourse tended to live longer than their less fulfilled peers!
People who enjoy regular orgasms are often more in tune with their body and therefore their sexual health and pleasure. Studies conducted at Indiana University in USA in 2009 found that 53% of women and 45% of men aged between 18-65 years had used a vibrator and that vibrator use is associated with improved sexual function and being more proactive about sexual health. They attended cervical screening, prostate examinations and were generally more aware of their sexual health.
Professor Barry Komisaruk from Rutgers University in New Jersey (2013) found that regular orgasms give the brain a complete workout, potentially staving off dementia.
Another study published in the Journal of Brain Research (2004) observed women who orgasmed whislt in an MRI scanner and found that the orgasms increased blood flow to all areas of the brain, thereby providing inflows of vital nutrients and oxygen that fuel increased brain function and health.
Published in the Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological and Social Sciences a study at Coventry University (June 2017) has found having regular sex is linked to improved brain function in older adults. The research involved 73 people aged between 50 and 83. and found that people who engaged in more regular sexual activity scored higher on tests that measured their verbal fluency and their ability to visually perceive objects and the spaces between them.
Research from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Vetrans Affairs San Diego Healthcare system (2012) found that sexual satisfaction increases with age. 50% of the women over 80 years reported orgasmic sexual satisfaction levels similar to younger women in the study, who were women in their 60’s.
Sexual satisfaction for the over 80s did not necessarily include sexual intercourse but sexual activity such as touching, caressing, oral sex and mutual masturbation. Many people don’t give up on their sex lives and imtimacy as they get older, they choose to explore new ways to enjoy sex and orgasms, even if their sexual function declines.
So if you want to boost your health, mood, brain function, sleep better, improve your immunity and look younger, why not indulge in regular orgasms, they are really good for you!