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What Is Female Ejaculation; How Does It Come, and What Are the Health Benefits?
Female ejaculation is when a female’s urethra expels fluid during sex. It can happen when a female becomes sexually aroused, but this is not necessarily associated with having an orgasm.
It is characterized as an expulsion of fluid from the Skene’s gland at the lower end of the urethra during or before an orgasm. It is also known colloquially as squirting (or gushing), although research indicates that female ejaculation and squirting are different phenomena, with squirting being attributed to a sudden expulsion of liquid that partly comes from the bladder and contains urine.
Female ejaculation is physiologically distinct from coital incontinence, with which it is sometimes confused. Scientists do not fully understand female ejaculation, and there is limited research on how it works and its purpose. Female ejaculation is perfectly normal, although researchers remain divided on how many people experience it.
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Female ejaculation has something of a mythical reputation when it comes to sexual health topics. Everyone has questions: Can a vagina actually ejaculate like a penis? If it can, is that even normal? And what comes out, anyway? To get answers, we reached out to sex experts, who separated the myths from the facts.
So while one person might experience more of a forceful stream of liquid, another might feel a gushing sensation. “The fluid amount tends to range between 30 and 150 milliliters,” says New York-based sex educator, Corinne Kai, which can be just a drop of liquid or so much that you soak your bedsheets. “Sometimes people don’t even realize they ejaculated until they move and see a wet spot, while others can feel when it’s happening,” she adds. “It depends on your body.”
Is female ejaculation actually urine?
The first major study that looked into squirting back in 2014 determined the liquid was actually pee. Yep, “the fluid comes from the bladder,” says Nicole Prause, PhD, a sex researcher at UCLA.
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Researchers found urea, creatinine, and uric acid concentrations—all major components of urine—in the excretions of all seven study participants. (Keep in mind that’s a tiny sample size, and it’s hardly considered representative of half the world’s population).
But the ejaculate is also not pee. “Many have argued that squirting isn’t real and that people who experience this just need to go to the bathroom before sex,” says Kai while speaking with Health.
“It is released through your urethra, but it’s been found to resemble enzymes found in male prostate fluid.” The male prostate gland sits between the bladder and penis and secretes fluid to help nourish sperm.
Where does the ejaculation fluid come from?
While the liquid may contain small amounts of urine, additional research suggests that the milky white fluid comes from the Skene’s glands, which are “tucked inside the wall of your vagina near the urethra sponge, right at the G-spot,” says Kai. “The location explains why sensations along this erogenous zone have been associated with vaginal ejaculation.”
Male ejaculate delivers sperm to the female reproductive system, and procreation depends on it. But scientists aren’t quite sure of the purpose of the Skene’s glands, which are also known as the female prostate. Nor do they understand the reason women ejaculate.
“There have been many studies done about whether or not vaginal ejaculation is related to the menstrual cycle or pregnancy, but none have been proven,” says Kai. “However, some researchers have found that vaginal ejaculation could provide a secretion that could protect against UTIs or even contain antimicrobial components like zinc.”
Can all women ejaculate?
If you believe the multitude of squirting videos that exist on porn websites, it certainly seems so. “I suspect that ‘female ejaculation’ is portrayed as a way to suggest that the female performers are actually turned on,” says Prause. Thanks to their availability on porn sites, female ejaculation has become somewhat of a novelty—and also something many women think they should be able to do.
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Yet only 10 to 50 percent of women experience “involuntary ejaculation,” according to the International Society for Sexual Medicine. Because “we don’t know how this expulsion is triggered, it’s impossible to know at this time whether some women may be more or less prone to experience it,” says Prause.
So despite what porn would have you believe, not every person with a vagina can or will experience ejaculation.
“Sex researchers [believe] that G-spot stimulation increases the probability of being able to experience ejaculation, and sex coaches have said that it can be learned,” says Kai. “It’s likely that the sensation before vaginal ejaculation holds people back from releasing their muscles and allowing it to happen. It can feel like you have to pee right before vaginal ejaculation, which is linked to a lot of shame or embarrassment in people not wanting to pee on their partners.”
If you have never ejaculated but want to give it a try, it certainly can’t hurt. At the very least, you’ll get a lot of pleasure out all the G-spot stimulation, and if you are able to ejaculate, it might be a turn-on for you (or your partner). But as novel as the idea of squirting may seem, remember this: No research has linked female ejaculation to better sex. Your pleasure in bed definitely doesn’t depend on your ability to ejaculate or not.
Why some women experience these different types of ejaculation and others don’t is not yet clear, says Salama, but he believes every woman is capable of squirting “if their partner knows what they are doing”.
Climax in the lab
To investigate the nature and origins of the fluid, Samuel Salama, a gynaecologist at the Parly II private hospital in Le Chesnay, France, and his colleagues recruited seven women who report producing large amounts of liquid – comparable to a glass of water – at orgasm.
First, these women were asked to provide a urine sample. An ultrasound scan of their pelvis confirmed that their bladder was completely empty. The women then stimulated themselves through masturbation or with a partner until they were close to having an orgasm – which took between 25 and 60 minutes.
“Some women express liquid from their urethra when they climax”
A second pelvic ultrasound was then performed just before the woman climaxed. At the point of orgasm, the squirted fluid was collected in a bag and a final pelvic scan performed.
Even though the women had urinated just before stimulation began, the second scan – performed just before they climaxed – showed that their bladder had completely refilled. Each woman’s final scan showed an empty bladder, meaning the liquid squirted at orgasm almost certainly originated from the bladder.
A chemical analysis was performed on all of the fluid samples. Two women showed no difference between the chemicals present in their urine and the fluid squirted at orgasm.
The other five women had a small amount of prostatic-specific antigen (PSA) present in their squirted fluid – an enzyme not detected in their initial urine sample, but which is part of the “true” female ejaculate.
PSA, produced in men by the prostate gland, is more commonly associated with male ejaculate, where its presence helps sperm to swim. In females, says Salama, PSA is produced mainly by the Skene glands.
The Two kinds of Fluid
There are two different types of female ejaculate:
Squirting fluid: This fluid is usually colorless and odorless, and it occurs in large quantities and
Ejaculate fluid: This type more closely resembles male semen. It is typically thick and appears milky.
Analysis has shown that the fluid contains prostatic acid phosphatase (PSA). PSA is an enzyme present in male semen that helps sperm motility.
In addition, female ejaculate usually contains fructose, which is a form of sugar. Fructose is also generally present in male semen where it acts as an energy source for sperm.
Experts believe that the PSA and fructose present in the fluid come from the Skene’s glands. Other names for these glands include the paraurethral glands, Garter’s duct, and female prostate.
Skene’s glands sit on the front, inside wall of the vagina near the G-spot. Researchers believe that stimulation causes these glands to produce PSA and fructose, which then move into the urethra.
Also, Beverly Whipple, a neurophysiologist from Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, says that the term female ejaculation should only really refer to the production of the small amount of milky white liquid at orgasm and not just the “squirting”. “This study shows the other two kinds of fluids that can be expelled from the female urethra – urine alone, and urine diluted with substances from the female prostate,” she says.
“This study presents convincing evidence that squirting in women is chemically similar to urine, and also contains small amounts of PSA that is present in men’s and women’s true ejaculate,” says Barry Komisaruk.
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“This study helps to reconcile the controversy over the fluids that many women report being released at orgasm,” he adds. “There are evidently two different fluids, with two different sources. Whether either of these fluids plays a physiological role – that is, whether they serve any adaptive function, is not known.”
Florian Wimpissinger at Rudolfstiftung Hospital in Vienna, Austria, suggests that the presence of PSA in some women’s squirted fluid and not others might be because the emissions from the Skene glands could travel into the bladder at orgasm. It may also have something to do with the known variation in size and shape of the glands, or be that some women don’t produce PSA in the first place.
Finally, for many years, scientists thought that females who ejaculated during sex were experiencing continence problems. Research has since disproved this idea and confirmed the existence of female ejaculation.
Another study in 2014 found that the fluid accumulates in the bladder during arousal and leaves through the urethra during ejaculation. Seven women who reported experiencing female ejaculation during sex took part in the trial.
First, the researchers used ultrasound exams to confirm that the participants’ bladders were empty. The women then stimulated themselves until they ejaculated while the researchers continued to monitor them using ultrasounds.
The study found that all the women started with an empty bladder, which began to fill during arousal. The post-ejaculation scans revealed that the participants’ bladders were empty again.
Female ejaculation is perfectly normal, yet people do not discuss it very often.
According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, different estimates suggest that between 10 and 50 percent of women ejaculate during sex. Some experts believe that all women experience ejaculation, but that many do not notice. It is possible that they are not aware of it because the fluid can flow backward into the bladder rather than leaving the body.
Health Benefits of Female Ejaculation
There is no evidence that female ejaculation has any health benefits. However, research has found sex itself to offer several benefits.
During orgasm, the body releases pain-relieving hormones that can help with back and leg pain, headaches, and menstrual cramps.
Immediately after climaxing, the body releases hormones that promote restful sleep. These hormones include prolactin and oxytocin.
Other health benefits include:
- relieving stress
- boosting the immune system
- protecting against heart disease
- lowering blood pressure
To this end –
- female ejaculation is perfectly normal, and research suggests that it may be common despite people rarely discussing it.
- Scientists do not fully understand the biological purpose of female ejaculation or how it works.
- The experience of females who have ejaculated during sex varies considerably.
Sources: Medical News Today/ Wikipedia/Health/News Scientist
What Is Female Ejaculation; How Does It Come, and What Are the Health Benefits?
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