Birthgasm: Orgasm During Birth Is Possible For Some Women
Every woman experiences labour differently, and there’s some evidence that some women do orgasm while giving birth.
Practitioners who work with these women say that the intensity of the feeling is about love related to feelings of relief as well as euphoria at welcoming a baby at long last.
Here’s what you need to know about orgasm during childbirth — or “birthgasm,” as it’s called by some.
Is an orgasmic birth really possible?
There is good reason to believe that a few women — though no one is sure how many — experience orgasm during labor or delivery. The most recent count (and it’s a rough one, at best) comes from a 2013 study in the journal Sexologies. The researchers surveyed a group of over 100 French midwives who’d assisted in the births of 206,000 babies. They concluded that “obstetrical orgasm,” as it’s termed medically, was observed in 0.3 percent of births.
That’s not many, for sure. And there’s evidence that this number misses a lot of women who experience sexual pleasure and even orgasm during labour.
More than 85 percent of the midwives in the French study said they believed a sexually pleasurable birth was possible, and more than two thirds — 69 percent — said they had witnessed at least one instance.
The last thing women might expect is to feel something good while in the midst of labor; in turn, those who do may feel embarrassed and even ashamed and might decide not to share her experience with anyone. Those are all understandable feelings that also make it much harder to get an accurate idea of how often orgasm during childbirth actually does occur.
Why does orgasm sometimes happen during labour?
You probably already know that pregnancy is all about hormones — in particular, estrogen, progesterone and hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). Hormones are also essential to childbirth and to sexuality. Understanding the hormonal interplay that’s happening all along the way, from conception to pregnancy to delivery and beyond, makes it easier to see how natural it can be for a woman to feel sexual exactly when she probably least expects it.
Most important, oxytocin (the so-called “love hormone”), plays a starring role in childbirth. During labour, oxytocin is released in large quantities — in fact, it’s even used to induce labor or spur it on. The hormone stimulates contractions of the uterine muscles and increases production of prostaglandins, which also encourage contractions, and it’s responsible for kick-starting those maternal feelings.
Oxytocin is also released when a woman’s nipples are stimulated, whether that’s during s€x, as a natural way to help jumpstart labor or during breastfeeding. The hormone helps move milk into the n¥pple for nursing, and it plays a big role in s€xual arousal and orgasm, too. Some research — in this case, oxytocin delivered intra-nasally in a small German study of 29 couples — links the hormone to stronger orgasms and more contentment after s€x.
How does ‘birthgasm’ work?
Though a birthgasm can happen at any time in labour, it may be likelier to occur closer to delivery, as the baby arrives in the birth canal. As baby’s head applies extra pressure to the v@gina, feelings of pleasure may start or intensify for a laboring woman.
While the image might not be one you want stuck in your head — at least not in the middle of mind-numbing contractions — an infant’s head may even hit the G-spot, triggering an orgasm.
What does an orgasm during labor feel like?
When a woman feels the contractions of an orgasm and/or extreme moments of pleasure right at the moment of delivering her baby, this may be called an “orgasmic birth.”
You may feel tremendous pressure and sensation in the vagina as your baby’s birth approaches, then a powerful, pleasurable release that’s both physical and emotional. But remember that every woman — and every labor — is different.
Is the baby affected in any way by an orgasm during labour?
If you have an orgasm during labour or while delivering your baby, she won’t be harmed in any way. There’s little reason to think your baby would even feel contractions of the pelvic floor muscles (as can happen during orgasm), especially with powerful uterine contractions happening pretty much simultaneously.