Can you have an orgasm during birth?
Ah, the things you find yourself typing into that search bar—pregnancy is wild.
Well, in this particular instance, you may just find the answer you didn’t think you were looking for: orgasmic birth is indeed possible.
Now, why didn’t they teach us that in biology class?
Just when you thought you may never experience the height of pleasure while delivering a baby, turns out that having an orgasm during labor may not be such a far-fetched idea.
So, what is an orgasmic birth exactly?
We thought you’d never ask (and we’d never research!).
Let’s get into it.
In this article: 📝
- Is a birthgasm a real thing?
- What is an orgasmic birth?
- What causes an orgasm during birth?
- What are the benefits of an orgasmic birth?
- How to have an orgasm during birth
- Orgasmic birth stories
Is a birthgasm a real thing?
Birthgasm, orgasmic birth, ecstatic birthing—call it what you will, it is most definitely a real thing.
It’s also a clear indication that when it comes to conversations about childbirth, what the experience actually feels like is too often left in the shadows.
Or, you know, that it varies from person to person.
How many movie scenes have we seen of women reaching a climax of pain as labor pushes them to a profanity-spewing breaking point?
Now, how many of us have been exposed to the idea of finding pleasure in delivery?
If the female orgasm tells us anything, it’s that Intensity doesn’t always mean bad…
So does childbirth feel good? Or, at the very least, can it?
The answer is yes.
Turns out, labor doesn’t have to be only torturous.
A 2013 study found that out of 206,000 assisted or monitored births, obstetrical orgasm (the medical term for birthgasm) was reported by 0.3% of women.
And sure, that percentage seems small until you consider it means 668 moms experienced physical pleasure during the birth of their baby.
That’s 668 more than you thought possible at the start of this article.
And these are only the women who confided to their midwife.
After all, the last thing most would expect to feel is a euphoric rush of intense pleasure when a great deal of their pregnancy was getting prepared for the pain of childbirth.
Add to this how often female pleasure is scandalized or shamed, and you could understand why orgasmic birth is not welcomed as the earth-quaking revelation it should be.
Imagine the conversations we’d be having around birth plans, then!
Perhaps if we simply see orgasmic birth as an intensely loving, empowering experience, we might just gain more accurate statistics.
Who knows, this could alleviate much of the anxiety of pregnancy fears.
What is an orgasmic birth?
Coined by the world-renowned doula Debra Pascali-Bonaro in her 2008 book Orgasmic Birth: The Best Kept-Secret, an orgasmic birth is the idea that labor holds multiple levels of pleasurable physical sensation.
It can happen at any stage of labor but is often experienced closer to delivery.
As for how an orgasmic birth feels, one Peanut mom describes it as the most blissful experience she’s ever had (damn).
Some women describe it as an intense wave of non-sexual pleasure followed by a moment of release.
Others liken orgasmic birth to a jolt of pleasure that feels almost euphoric.
No different from pregnancy and childbirth, how a birthgasm feels varies from person to person.
But one thing is for sure, it’s an unforgettable experience.
What causes an orgasm during birth?
To answer that question, we’ve got to take a moment to appreciate just how amazingly awesome and caring our bodies are—especially during pregnancy and labor.
In the face of certain sensory stimulation, we produce a magical little hormone called oxytocin—the “love hormone.”
This shining star arrives on the scene in full force during childbirth, stimulating contractions and lipids that help out with vital processes like blood flow.
Interestingly enough, some sexperts, like Kate Dimpfl, suggest that the word oxytocin comes from the Ancient Greek for “swift birth”, so there’s an argument to say that an orgasmic birth could also mean a faster one.
When it comes to orgasmic birth, oxytocin (backed by a mix of other hormones, including endorphins and adrenaline) goes all out and gives you quite the season finale to your pregnancy show—using pleasure to manage pain.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Oxytocin is also responsible for kickstarting the bond between mother and infant, helping breastmilk flow more easily for your baby, and even reducing stress levels—allowing contentment to wash over you after delivery.
As for what causes an orgasmic birth specifically?
One dominant theory is that baby is putting pressure on the right spots in mom’s vaginal canal, inducing an orgasm, but this theory is mainly anecdotal.
Pascali-Bonaro would suggest that orgasmic birth requires a supportive birthing environment where birth hormones are allowed and encouraged to reach their peak levels.
Think of it as setting the mood.
And she’s not alone in this approach to childbirth.
Another 2015 study by Dr. Sarah Buckley addresses the possibility that modern maternity care interventions actually disrupt hormonal processes and reduce their benefits.
Speaking of perks.
What are the benefits of an orgasmic birth?
Outside of alleviating pain, what are the perks of an orgasm during labor and birth?
Well, one fascinating study shows that without natural oxytocin, women are at a higher risk of bleeding after birth while the need to protect their baby is all but shut down.
Another study also indicates that prolactin levels actually increase to greater levels post-orgasm, promoting instinctive mothering behavior.
And finally, the supportive environment needed to elicit an orgasmic birth—and its empowering sensations—could promote more positive recollections of the birthing experience.
How to have an orgasm during birth
So, what can you do to encourage your own ecstatic birth and reap the rewards?
Well, while there are theories out there that serve to help you along with your orgasmic birth, they may be a little tricky to achieve in practice.
Some mamas consider masturbating to get there, others get their partners involved.
Now, as enticing as this may seem, the practicality for many may make these methods of achieving orgasmic birth more than a little challenging.
Picture the scenes at the hospital (where about 98.4% of women in the United States give birth).
We’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
But, at Peanut, we don’t shy away from the conversion, so let’s explore the different ways you can have an orgasmic childbirth:
1. Masturbation during labor
Wait, can masturbation induce labor?
Labor orgasms can also make the pain of labor that little bit more bearable.
Even a nipple orgasm can help boost oxytocin levels.
Plus, if your body is primed for pleasure, that can increase your chances of an orgasmic birth.
2. Masturbating during childbirth
How about masturbating during birth?
Well, it’s a bit harder to actually do, with the mechanics of everything going on—especially if you’re opting for a hospital setting.
But it stands to reason that masturbating while giving birth—as in while baby’s crowning—could increase your chances of an orgasmic birth.
3. Orgasmic water birth
If you choose to have a water birth, that could mean that you might find it easier to achieve an orgasmic birth.
Using a birthing pool can literally help take the weight off, easing pain, and shortening your labor.
So, combining a water birth with masturbating during labor could put you in good stead for an orgasmic water birth.
However, water births are not without their own unique (albeit rare) risks.
The chances of infection for you or your baby are increased, and it can affect yours and baby’s body temperature.
If you’re keen to try a water birth plan, speak with your doctor.
4. Sex during labor
Another way to induce labor at home (according to our mamas on Peanut).
Having sex during labor can boost your chances of a birthgasm.
But a quick word of warning: having penetrative sex during labor after your waters have broken can increase the risk of infection to your baby.
Really, for obvious reasons, it’s best to avoid inserting anything into your vagina once your waters have broken.
5. A calm birth environment
One thing you may want to consider (whether you want to have an orgasm during childbirth or not) is making your birth environment as chilled as possible.
Think of the things that calm your senses and encourage you to release control, like music or scents.
And why not try massage?
Touch is another great way to manage pain via a soothing, pleasurable sensation.
Above all, feeling like you’re in an environment where you are protected by loved ones can go a very long way to wrap you in all the good feelings.
The very existence of the orgasm during birth seems to throw into question the whole idea of orgasmic pleasure itself.
Perhaps it’s not simply about sexual pleasure in the sense we’ve come to understand it, but feeling overwhelmingly inhibited, connected, and blissful.
Now that you know that orgasmic childbirth exists, it’s hard not to wonder if there’s anything you can do to engineer it.
The reality is, by the nature of hospital environments, the chances of having a birthgasm are relatively small, which is why even its greatest supporters advise keeping it off your birth plan.
Still, there’s no harm in keeping open-minded.
After all, the birthing experience is deeply personal and highly intimate—you’ve the right to advocate for what you believe is best.
Orgasmic birth stories
Some of our mamas on Peanut have stories to share about their erotic birthing experiences.
From orgasmic birth stories of success and sensual birth advocates to accidental birthgasms and tell-all accounts.
We’d love to share them here, but they’re not our stories to tell—if you want to hear the truth about what it’s like having an orgasmic birth from real mamas, join us on Peanut.