Don't be shy…orgasms are as much a part of women's health as dental floss—but a lot more fun. "There is some evidence that orgasms can relieve all kinds of pain—including pain from arthritis, pain after surgery and even pain during childbirth," notes Lisa Stern, RN, MSN, a nurse practitioner who works with Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles and blogs at For all the things you've been dying to find out as well as things you've never even thought of, expand your knowledge about the "big O" with this list of enlightening facts. "The mechanism is largely due to the body's release of a chemical called oxytocin during orgasm," she says."As long as your vagina is pain-free and you don't have any abnormal discharge, sores or other medical problems, you can consider yourself healthy and normal." Increase your orgasm potential by increasing your confidence, she says."It's important to treat yourself the way you would want others to treat you—send yourself healthy, positive messages about yourself and your body." Another trick: Pull out a hand mirror and take a look!The increased blood flow and the general relaxation of a massage can lead to orgasm sometimes, too."Many women take longer to climax than their male partners, and that's perfectly normal, says Stern.In fact, according to statistics, most women require at least 20 minutes of sexual activity to climax.Instead, a significant percentage of women report not having had an orgasm the last time they had sex, even when their male partner thought they had. We've all heard about women who can orgasm while sitting on a train or while getting a massage, but it's no urban legend. "I had a friend who had an orgasm every time she used the treadmill," says Stern.
"In fact, condoms may help a couple spend more time having sex, as a man doesn't have to 'pull out' quickly if he's worried about ejaculating too soon," she says.
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While it's true that a small number of men have trouble with orgasm, sex experts report that it's rare. "While 85 percent of men thought their partner had an orgasm during their most recent episode of sex, only 64 percent of women reported having an orgasm." The cure? Herbenick, but women who are comfortable with and understand their body's pleasure points can often learn to orgasm regularly.