Female Anatomy Lesson - Better Blood Flow = Healthier Pelvic Floor

Sep 05, 2022

For this blog, I wanted to talk about a somewhat uncomfortable subject for some people, and I'm just going to say it: we're going to talk about orgasms and how they play a role in affecting your pelvic floor health.


How Orgasms Keep Your Pelvic Floor Healthy

Now, what on earth does that have to do with keeping your pelvic floor healthy? So, with orgasms, you have an increase in blood flow to your pelvic floor, your pelvic organs, your vaginal canal, all of those things, and it is super important in keeping the muscles nice and strong by providing those nutrients to the area, and it's the way for hormones to get to an area.

So when we have a big decrease in blood flow to an area and we're starving it of its nutrients, it's oxygen, hormones, everything like that, we can have the muscular tone of it decline, and that is not something that we want.

Another aspect of it is that it's going to affect the stagnation of lymph flow in that area because the pelvic floor is just like any other muscle in the body. That's how fluid dynamics work. If you think about your calf, when you're walking, that full contraction of the calf, full relaxation, helps to move the lymph fluid and blood out of the way, and then on the relaxation part, new fluid can come in and that provides a nice movement throughout the body. So, think of it as a pool filter. It keeps everything moving, keeps the lymph system moving, and keeps it from stagnating, and we know that that leads to inflammation. And then we know that blood flow is imperative to keeping the muscle healthy, getting nutrients there, getting hormones there.

Now, a lot of times, when we carry stress, we tend to shorten our pelvic floor, hold it tight, clench it. I've mentioned in other blogs that a lot of times your pelvic floor is too tight and shortened, so you are essentially starving it of its lifeblood, literally. I would hazard to guess that that is also playing a role in your pelvic organ function. Like when we talked with the acupuncturist we interviewed and the inventor of the Mercier technique, they really double down on the importance of good blood flow to the abdominal organs for fertility, PCOS, endometriosis, it's just very vital to keep things moving along healthily, and orgasms aid that process.

So, when you have an orgasm, you have better blood flow to not just the pelvic floor, but the vaginal canal and the organs around it. So it’s super important.


Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Issues And Pain With Penetration – What These Have Nothing To Do With Orgasm

Now, if someone is having a pelvic floor dysfunctional issue, they might have extraordinary pain with any type of penetration, whether it be something as small as a tampon or during penetrative sex. This is like the snowball effect – we're having pain, we don't want any barrier coming into that area, and we're supposed to increase blood flow to the area. It seems like an insurmountable task and I've had patients who have come in and they have a lot of pain and pelvic floor issues with penetration, and because of that, because of the pain response that it causes, they'll then not be able to orgasm and they happen to be on their fertility journey.

I think something that says a lot about how little we are educated in our own anatomy and sexual organs and functions is that people don't know that the vaginal canal has very few nerve endings and it's not our sex organ. So you do not need penetration for an orgasm to create that great blood flow and contraction of the pelvic floor.

The vaginal canal is the out hole for our babies, it is the in hole to create babies, it's the out hole for your monthly menstruation, but it is not your sex organ, and you do not need penetration to create this great influx of blood flow. And that is very important to understand that you don't have to create that pain response to be able to also get great blood flow and movement of the fluid balance that's happening.


Importance Of Orgasm For Peri-Menopausal Women

That increase of blood flow, again, is what brings in nutrients, gets hormones to the area. So this is important not only for my patients who are on their fertility journey, but it's also important for my peri-menopause patients.

This is because as you come into the menopausal time of your life, your hormones are decreasing, so you want to get all of the hormones that you can that are still in your system to that area to help with the health of your vaginal canal. Because even though that's not your sex organ, it needs to have a good, healthy tone to it because it's the connection between the uterus and the outside.

So a lot of times when women have increase in incontinence, in urinary leakage, and prolapse, once they hit menopause, is because of the decrease of those hormones. So we want to be able to drive those hormones to that area, drive blood flow to that area, to reduce dryness, to reduce prolapse, to reduce incontinence issues. So we want to keep as much blood flow going to that area in that peri-menopause and menopause time to decrease the side effects of menopause, because that is a great way to do it. The decrease in estrogen causing less blood flow to your vagina makes your vaginal canal lose its outer layer and become dry and less elastic. And you want to mitigate those things that are coming around.

So back to the great way to get blood flow to the area is orgasm. You don't need, again, that penetration to have that happen.


Your Clitoris In Relation To Orgasm And Pelvic Floor Health

So the vaginal canal is not your sex organ. Your clitoris is your sex organ. And I think people might have a limited view on what that anatomy actually looks like. The clitoris is shaped and has the same amount of parts as the penis because they started as the same thing, which I think is shocking to some people.

But if you go back to that logical development, in an embryo, a penis and a clitoris are the same thing. Exactly. They start as the very same thing from conception until about six weeks of gestation. And then they keep the same parts, but the parts start to look different. So same parts, just structured differently. And men have some more on the outer parts, and women have some more on the inner parts. So the glands of the clitoris, that piece, is the same as the gland of the penis. They are the same. That's the same thing. Then you have the shaft of the penis. You also have a shaft of the clitoris. It's just coming into the woman's body.

Now, if the male was still uncircumcised, that hood that is still there in most cultures, except for here, is the same as the hood of the clitoris. So again, the same, the parallel, the glands, same in both shaft, same in both hood, same in both. And then you have the base of the penis. So that would be between the scrotum and the rectum, and that is the base of the clitoris, running down along the sides of the labia. And you have all of those similarities.

So when you're thinking of orgasm, they can be both become erect. That is because they're working the same way. It's just, we visualize it differently. And most people don't look down there to see exactly what's going on. But an interesting thing to keep in mind is that the vestibular bulb behind the labia in a woman, when she's aroused, is going to inflate by 50 to 300%. So when you're thinking of blood rushing to that area for a man, maybe it changes color, dark red or purple, the same thing is happening in a woman, in the labia, where the vestibular bulbs are  inflating with blood, increasing in size, changing color, the shaft of the clitoris is getting very hard, but you can't see it, and it's not as outwardly obvious as the male, but it is exact same physiologic experience. The temperature changes, rush of blood to the area, which is what we want, come along with some heat to the area. It's all very similar and bringing a lot of that great blood flow that we want to the area.

Now, if you're having trouble imagining where the shaft of the clitoris is, it's going from the glands of the clitoris, which you can see if you peel back the hood or the labia, and it's coming up to the pubic bone. So that is the parallel between the male sex organ, and they can be stimulated the same way. So through suction, or vibration, or stroking from base down the shaft to the glands, it's the same for the clitoris and that is how you create an orgasm and good blood flow without having to enter that very “painful for some people” area. That is going to also help them increase blood flow to the area, and then slowly work on the painful penetration part so that they can slowly heal that then to be able to have penetrative sex with their partner, if they want to.

When you're having penetrated sex, it can often be the pressure of around the labia and the pubic bone that creates pressure on the sex organ, which is the clitoris and all the different parts, because it's much bigger than I think, we think. I think in our head, we think just the glands is the clitoris and it's this tiny little thing. It is a big structure, there's a lot to it.

And another thing to keep in mind that we talked about how it is the same exact organ up until six weeks of gestation, both of them are innervated by the same nerve. So both of them are inervated by the pudendal nerve. And this is important for me when I'm working on pelvic floor issues because I've worked on pudendal nerve entrapment in both men and women, and it refers pain into your sex organ that's very, very, very painful.

So I work on pudendal nerve release for women who are having pain into what they think is their, like they describe it, crotch or their vagina or in that area. And then for men, it can look like pain within their scrotum. It also can affect them from an erectile dysfunction standpoint. So pelvic floor issues in men can also give that erectile dysfunction symptom and it is something that can be worked on through pelvic floor work as well. And it's definitely something that should be addressed because medication would not be the best solution for that because if it's a pudendal nerve entrapment, it needs addressed in a totally different way than with medication for other erectile dysfunction disorders.



So that is the uncomfortable blog I wanted to share, but it's so very important to have good blood flow to your pelvic organs, whether it be postpartum or after a trauma to that area, whether it be through birth or through assault or any of those things or rehabbing that area slowly, mindfully, and then realizing what actually constitutes an orgasm and how it happens and knowing our own anatomy gives us so much more of a taking charge of our health and taking charge of our route that we take to give ourselves pleasure and fix an issue that possibly was really affecting our physical and mental health.

If you have any questions, you can drop it in the comment section or you can send me a message through Facebook or Instagram. I’d be happy to do another blog about your questions. Also, if you want me to talk about something specific, let me know!

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