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Some people take orgasms for granted, but researchers say experiencing the big O has more benefits than just enhancing your pleasure.
Women who experience daily orgasms know that the big O comes with health benefits such as sleep aid and pain relief.
"Some people orgasm multiple times, some once, and some none, and that's all totally normal," says Rosara Torrisi.
Torrisi, a certified sex therapist and founding director of the Long Island Institute of Sex Therapy, tells Health.com that orgasms, particularly masturbating, can reveal what's normal and abnormal about your sexual health.
"It's one of the few times people, especially people with vulvas, give themselves permission to touch their genitals," Torrisi says.
The following are seven health benefits of orgasms.
1. Mood enhancer
Orgasms release a flood of feel-good hormones that help you calm down and relieve stress, Kate White, MD, MPH, tells Health.
According to Dr. White, these hormones include:
- Oxytocin, aka the "love hormone," which also aids with baby bonding.
- Dopamine, released by the reward and pleasure centers of the brain.
- Endorphins, the "natural opiates" that induce a sense of euphoria and reduce stress.
- Serotonin, which helps regulate mood, appetite, and sleep.
- Prolactin, that initiates milk production after pregnancy and plays a role in bonding.
2. Orgasm helps you connect with your body
Touching yourself helps to reveal body changes that you may not know about, such as yeast infections or lesions on your genitals. "It is really helpful to know what your body feels like, looks like, and even smells like," Logan Levkoff, PhD, tells Health, "because if you don't know what the norm is for your body, it's really difficult to identify when something is off."
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3. Self love teaches you what feels good for you
Most women can reach intense orgasms by themselves -- without the help of a partner. Some women are okay with that because they know what feels good for them.
"A lot of people want to have orgasms consistently from penetration, and the truth is that some people can come consistently from that, but most people can't," Dr. White tells Health.com.
Dr. Levkoff says self-pleasuring without a partner can be empowering. "Know that you don't have to rely on someone else to make you a sexual being or to make you feel a certain way."
4. Orgasm strengthens relationships
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Beyond having a relationship with yourself, orgasms can bond you tighter with your mate - who you don't have to depend on for pleasure.
5. Orgasm improves sleep
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Everyone knows orgasms improves sleep. This is achieved through sex hormones that are released in abundance before, during, and after the big O.
In edition to hormones, the muscles relaxing after the big O is similar to muscle relaxation techniques.
"Some people also build a habit of orgasming before bed, so it's a part of their sleep routine," Torrisi explains.
6. Orgasm maintains pelvic floor muscles
Frequent orgasms can be as beneficial as cardio exercises. An orgasm is a series of muscle contractions, that maintain or strengthen your pelvic floor, says Levkoff.
7. Orgasm relieves pain
Orgasm-induced hormones like oxytocin and endorphins act as natural painkillers, says Dr. White.
"Those pleasurable feelings tend to dull feelings of pain," Levkoff says, noting this may be why some people find that orgasms relieve menstrual cramps.