Women's orgasm

Cindy Meston, Roy J. Levin, Marca L. Sipski, Elaine M. Hull, Julia R. Heiman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

118 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An orgasm in the human female is a variable, transient peak sensation of intense pleasure, creating an altered state of consciousness, usually with an initiation accompanied by involuntary, rhythmic contractions of the pelvic striated circumvaginal musculature, often with concomitant uterine and anal contractions, and myotonia that resolves the sexually induced vasocongestion and myotonia, generally with an induction of well-being and contentment. Women's orgasms can be induced by erotic stimulation of a variety of genital and nongenital sites. As of yet, no definitive explanations for what triggers orgasm have emerged. Studies of brain imaging indicate increased activation at orgasm, compared to pre-orgasm, in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, periaqueductal gray of the midbrain, hippocampus, and the cerebellum. Psychosocial factors commonly discussed in relation to female orgasmic ability include age, education, social class, religion, personality, and relationship issues. Findings from surveys and clinical reports suggest that orgasm problems are the second most frequently reported sexual problems in women. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anorgasmia focuses on promoting changes in attitudes and sexually relevant thoughts, decreasing anxiety, and increasing orgasmic ability and satisfaction. To date there are no pharmacological agents proven to be beneficial beyond placebo in enhancing orgasmic function in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-257
Number of pages85
JournalAnnual review of sex research
Volume15
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

Fingerprint

Orgasm
Myotonia
state of consciousness
Aptitude
psychosocial factors
ability
induction
social class
activation
brain
personality
well-being
Religion
anxiety
Uterine Contraction
Periaqueductal Gray
Pleasure
Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus
Cognitive Therapy
Mesencephalon

Keywords

  • Physiology of orgasm
  • Treatment of anorgasmia
  • Women's orgasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Meston, C., Levin, R. J., Sipski, M. L., Hull, E. M., & Heiman, J. R. (2004). Women's orgasm. Annual review of sex research, 15, 173-257.

Women's orgasm. / Meston, Cindy; Levin, Roy J.; Sipski, Marca L.; Hull, Elaine M.; Heiman, Julia R.

In: Annual review of sex research, Vol. 15, 01.12.2004, p. 173-257.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Meston, C, Levin, RJ, Sipski, ML, Hull, EM & Heiman, JR 2004, 'Women's orgasm', Annual review of sex research, vol. 15, pp. 173-257.
Meston C, Levin RJ, Sipski ML, Hull EM, Heiman JR. Women's orgasm. Annual review of sex research. 2004 Dec 1;15:173-257.
Meston, Cindy ; Levin, Roy J. ; Sipski, Marca L. ; Hull, Elaine M. ; Heiman, Julia R. / Women's orgasm. In: Annual review of sex research. 2004 ; Vol. 15. pp. 173-257.
@article{857ec5bf971d491d997950079e4479a9,
title = "Women's orgasm",
abstract = "An orgasm in the human female is a variable, transient peak sensation of intense pleasure, creating an altered state of consciousness, usually with an initiation accompanied by involuntary, rhythmic contractions of the pelvic striated circumvaginal musculature, often with concomitant uterine and anal contractions, and myotonia that resolves the sexually induced vasocongestion and myotonia, generally with an induction of well-being and contentment. Women's orgasms can be induced by erotic stimulation of a variety of genital and nongenital sites. As of yet, no definitive explanations for what triggers orgasm have emerged. Studies of brain imaging indicate increased activation at orgasm, compared to pre-orgasm, in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, periaqueductal gray of the midbrain, hippocampus, and the cerebellum. Psychosocial factors commonly discussed in relation to female orgasmic ability include age, education, social class, religion, personality, and relationship issues. Findings from surveys and clinical reports suggest that orgasm problems are the second most frequently reported sexual problems in women. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anorgasmia focuses on promoting changes in attitudes and sexually relevant thoughts, decreasing anxiety, and increasing orgasmic ability and satisfaction. To date there are no pharmacological agents proven to be beneficial beyond placebo in enhancing orgasmic function in women.",
keywords = "Physiology of orgasm, Treatment of anorgasmia, Women's orgasm",
author = "Cindy Meston and Levin, {Roy J.} and Sipski, {Marca L.} and Hull, {Elaine M.} and Heiman, {Julia R.}",
year = "2004",
month = "12",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "15",
pages = "173--257",
journal = "Annual Review of Sex Research",
issn = "1053-2528",
publisher = "Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Women's orgasm

AU - Meston, Cindy

AU - Levin, Roy J.

AU - Sipski, Marca L.

AU - Hull, Elaine M.

AU - Heiman, Julia R.

PY - 2004/12/1

Y1 - 2004/12/1

N2 - An orgasm in the human female is a variable, transient peak sensation of intense pleasure, creating an altered state of consciousness, usually with an initiation accompanied by involuntary, rhythmic contractions of the pelvic striated circumvaginal musculature, often with concomitant uterine and anal contractions, and myotonia that resolves the sexually induced vasocongestion and myotonia, generally with an induction of well-being and contentment. Women's orgasms can be induced by erotic stimulation of a variety of genital and nongenital sites. As of yet, no definitive explanations for what triggers orgasm have emerged. Studies of brain imaging indicate increased activation at orgasm, compared to pre-orgasm, in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, periaqueductal gray of the midbrain, hippocampus, and the cerebellum. Psychosocial factors commonly discussed in relation to female orgasmic ability include age, education, social class, religion, personality, and relationship issues. Findings from surveys and clinical reports suggest that orgasm problems are the second most frequently reported sexual problems in women. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anorgasmia focuses on promoting changes in attitudes and sexually relevant thoughts, decreasing anxiety, and increasing orgasmic ability and satisfaction. To date there are no pharmacological agents proven to be beneficial beyond placebo in enhancing orgasmic function in women.

AB - An orgasm in the human female is a variable, transient peak sensation of intense pleasure, creating an altered state of consciousness, usually with an initiation accompanied by involuntary, rhythmic contractions of the pelvic striated circumvaginal musculature, often with concomitant uterine and anal contractions, and myotonia that resolves the sexually induced vasocongestion and myotonia, generally with an induction of well-being and contentment. Women's orgasms can be induced by erotic stimulation of a variety of genital and nongenital sites. As of yet, no definitive explanations for what triggers orgasm have emerged. Studies of brain imaging indicate increased activation at orgasm, compared to pre-orgasm, in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, periaqueductal gray of the midbrain, hippocampus, and the cerebellum. Psychosocial factors commonly discussed in relation to female orgasmic ability include age, education, social class, religion, personality, and relationship issues. Findings from surveys and clinical reports suggest that orgasm problems are the second most frequently reported sexual problems in women. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anorgasmia focuses on promoting changes in attitudes and sexually relevant thoughts, decreasing anxiety, and increasing orgasmic ability and satisfaction. To date there are no pharmacological agents proven to be beneficial beyond placebo in enhancing orgasmic function in women.

KW - Physiology of orgasm

KW - Treatment of anorgasmia

KW - Women's orgasm

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=26444446960&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=26444446960&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Review article

C2 - 16913280

AN - SCOPUS:26444446960

VL - 15

SP - 173

EP - 257

JO - Annual Review of Sex Research

JF - Annual Review of Sex Research

SN - 1053-2528

ER -