Using orgasms and sexual pleasure to relieve your menstrual pain - the idea behind ‘menstrubation’.
Whether you’re ovulating, cramping or simply pms-ing, a little quality DIY-time might just be the answer. Orgasms undoubtedly feel great, whether they’re a result of partnered sex or masturbation, but can they really help relieve period pain?
As you know, last year we teamed up with the rock star peeps from Womanizer to launch a first-of-its-kind 3-month study on masturbation and its effect on period pain. We wanted to not only help fight taboos surrounding these two topics, but also to look at whether orgasms and using a menstrual cup can help ease period symptoms, and if so, to what extent. During the three-month period, 486 participants were asked to refrain from taking pain medications for their menstrual symptoms and to masturbate instead. Each participant was kitted out with their own Cherry Red Womanizer Starlet and Lunette Menstrual Cup to conduct the study.
We’re O-so excited to say that the results are finally in – and they’ve been validated by Dr. Jones, clinical psychologist, sex therapist and head researcher of the study. Keep on reading to see our favourite stats, download the full report and to find out why we recommend taking some solo time during your time of the month, with minimal mess and max enjoyment.
What causes painful periods?
Pain and discomfort during your period can manifest in different ways, but the most common form of period pain is menstrual cramps. Nearly all menstruators suffer from premenstrual symptoms at some point in their life and up to 15% suffer from extreme period pain, called dysmenorrhea. As the uterus contracts throughout the menstrual cycle, it can cause cramping and pain in the abdomen and lower back. This type of muscular pain is a result of the uterine muscles pushing against surrounding blood vessels and temporarily cutting off oxygen to the muscles. Headaches are another period pain that often happen due to fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone. Though modern medicine suggests the use of painkillers and heat therapy to treat menstrual aches, there’s another, more holistic approach.
Solo period sex is where it’s at. Need proof? Keep reading.
The link between orgasms and pain relief hasn’t so far been fully understood, but the main theory is that the endorphins released when you orgasm may help relieve menstrual pain. Our bodies release endorphins in response to things like pain and stress, as well as more rewarding activities like eating, exercise or sexual pleasure.
Endorphins are produced by your central nervous system and the pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland in your brain that produces hormones and controls metabolism, growth, reproduction, and blood pressure, among many other vital processes. Sexual activity stimulates the pituitary gland, triggering the release of “feel-good hormones” like endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and acetylcholine.
Endorphins help with pain management because they interact with the opiate receptors in our brain to reduce our perception of pain, increasing our pain threshold. They act similarly to drugs like morphine and codeine, so they’re basically your body’s natural pain relief.
Spill the beans about flicking the bean!
Amazingly, the Mensturbation Study showed that 90% of the participants would recommend masturbation to combat period pains to a friend, with a whopping 85% planning to uphold their masturbation routine to combat period pains. So, whatever you do, don't rule it out, and don't you dare let yourself feel ashamed of it!
Menstruation pain is real and as you know - not created equal. We all have one friend who hardly notices when Aunt Flo's in town, and another one who has to take sick leave from work because of bad cramps. 37% of our study participants reported that they always have cramps on the first day of their period, but after 3 months of menstrubation magic, it was down to a quarter! (25%) As mentioned earlier, during an orgasm, the body releases a rush of dopamine and serotonin, acting as natural pain relievers momentarily.
And let’s face it: Who isn’t a nicer/better/happier person after a solo session? Well, there’s a chemical reason for it. The aforementioned endorphins that get released during orgasm have all been linked to improved mood. At the beginning, 27% of our study participants reported that they always felt irritable, easily agitated and impatient before their period, but after the 3-month study period, only 14% reported this. Ready to hop off that emotional rollercoaster? Or at least, hop on a smoother ride.
If you're anything like us, you tend to put something warm on your lower abdomen, like a heating pad or warm washcloth to ease your cramps, right? It can help relax your uterine muscle tissue by reducing the tightening of blood vessels and improving the blood flow to the uterus. But could an orgasm put a temporary kibosh on cramps instead? At the beginning, 4 out of 10 (40%) participants reported that they always feel like curling up in bed, using a hot water bottle or taking a hot bath on their first day. After 3 months, only a quarter (27%) said so. Interesting!
And when we thought the data couldn’t get any juicier, here comes this: 70% reported that regular masturbation reduced the intensity of period pains. Masturbation seems to have a longer-lasting impact on the intensity of period pains, even if it is not done consciously to combat period pains.
In conclusion, the benefits of menstrubation can’t be O-verstated, and since masturbating on your period doesn’t have to be messy or ick, (you know how life-saving using a Lunette Menstrual Cup can be, providing a totally mess-free experience.) we highly recommend giving it a go.
Read the full study report and find out what the rest of the stats revealed about the power of menstrubation! You don’t wanna miss this.