By Carrie Silver
Like many people, I struggle with PMS. Whenever that “time of month” rolls around, I feel at war with my body. I suffer with anxiety, menstrual cramps and heavy bloating. Sometimes, I'm so bloated that I can’t even fit into my regular jeans! Alongside this, my periods are infrequent and I can go several months without one.
During my last cycle, I decided it was enough with this. To think that the rest of my years until menopause, I would be in this much discomfort for one-fourth of the month? No thanks.
So instead I looked for answers; I knew there had to be a solution.
In my research, I stumbled across a website, Floving. This company offers natural remedies for women struggling with hormonal imbalances. This looked perfect to me. I always believed that the body knew how to heal itself; we just had to give it the right tools and support to do so.
Alissa Vitti, founder, writes about tips and suggestions to heal your period pain, many of which I heard before: sync your diet and exercise routine to your cycle, take supplements, spend time meditating...etc. These were all great suggestions, but I found one even more intriguing: regular orgasms.
I was quite intrigued by this, so I decided to do some research on it. I found there are enormous benefits to orgasms for people’s health and well being. Here are just a couple:
Orgasms can relieve stress and improve relaxation
Orgasms are great for relaxation and reducing your stress levels. During an orgasm, the body releases a chemical called oxytocin into the bloodstream. Oxytocin can help flush cortisol from your body, and reduce your blood pressure — easing your stress.
Orgasms can improve your mood
Orgasms, whether with or without a partner, can help boost your happiness levels.
During an orgasm, the body releases another natural chemical called endorphins. If you are a fan of Legally Blonde (I know I am), then you know about endorphins. They are the chemicals which make you happy.
Once you go for a big O, your body is literally flooded with these happy chemicals. This is what gives you that natural ‘happy high.’
Behavioral economists found that this to be true as well. They found that quadrupling sexual frequency from once a month to once a week actually boosted happiness levels, just as much as that person receiving an extra $50,000 in the bank!
Orgasms can promote good sleeping habits
Orgasms can also serve as a natural sleep aid. 32 percent of women who masturbated, found that orgasms helped them fall asleep. I’ve always felt sleepy too after an orgasm, but never knew why.
The chemicals the body releases during an orgasm, like oxytocin, have a naturally calming effect. It keeps your mind off the to-do list and more relaxed so you can drift off to sleep more easily.
Orgasms can increase circulation in your body
Another perk to more frequent orgasms: it increases circulation in the body.
You know the feeling right before an orgasm, when your heart starts to beat quickly, your breath becomes deeper, and you feel your toes start to curl up into your sheets? Well, I found that this can actually be very good for the body.
This kind of build-up before an O — the climax before you climax — increases blood flow to your organs. This provides your organs with nutrient rich blood. This helps to remove stagnant blood and waste materials that are not so good for the body.
That’s why many of us feel flushed after sex. The increased blood flow causes our blood vessels to dilate, which leads to all that flushing.
Orgasms help can regulate your flow
Another benefit of regular orgasms is that it can help promote a healthy menstrual cycle.
Studies found that woman who have intercourse 1x or more times a week, have more an average of 29 days menstrual cycles than those that are celibate or have infrequent sex.
Orgasms can reduce pain
Dr Beverly Whipple, a pioneering sexologist, ran tests to find out how orgasms affected people’s pain thresholds. She found that vaginal self-stimulation more than doubled the participants’ pain thresholds. This could be especially helpful for those of us who struggle with painful periods.
Orgasms can boost your immune system
Lastly, orgasms can boost your immune booster — just as effective as your green juice. This is because orgasms helps produce immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody made by the immune system to combat sickness. According to a study of 112 students done by Wilkes University, they found that having sex once or twice a week led to 30 percent higher levels of IgA.
So, next time you’re not feeling so great, or you’re looking for a health boost, think about grabbing your favorite lube, some erotica, and treating yourself. ;)
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Carrie Silver is a contributor to the Public Goods Blog, a publication about health, sustainability and people making an impact. Check it out for a wide range of topics: everything from the fluoride controversy and palm oil to the ugly produce trend and sustainable lingerie.