Orgasm Contractions are experienced by some but not all women at climax.
Introduction: Pelvic floor muscles are not only responsible for providing support to the abdominal viscera and ensuring continence in the anal and urethral areas but also play a vital role in maintaining good vaginal tone.
In this article, we delve into the relevance of these muscles in the function and health of the vagina, exploring their anatomy and shedding light on their newfound importance.
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Anatomy of the Pelvic Floor
Comprising both superficial and deep muscle layers, the pelvic floor is a complex network of muscles that contribute to its overall strength and functionality. In the context of vaginal health, the focus lies on the superficial muscle layer, which includes the external anal sphincter, perineal body, and possibly the puboperineal muscles. Supporting these muscles is the deep layer, consisting of the pubococcygeus, ileococcygeus, coccygeus, and crucially, the puborectalis muscles.
Orgasm Contractions and Your Anatomy
Understanding Vaginal Tone:
Vaginal tone refers to the elasticity, tightness, and overall health of the vaginal walls. Optimal vaginal tone contributes to sexual satisfaction, urinary control, and overall well-being. The puborectalis muscle, located within the pelvic floor’s middle muscle layer, is of particular significance in maintaining good vaginal tone. It acts as a sling, supporting the vaginal and urethral areas, and plays a crucial role in preventing pelvic organ prolapse.
The Role of Pelvic Floor Muscles:
The puborectalis muscle, along with the other pelvic floor muscles, helps in maintaining proper alignment and positioning of the pelvic organs, including the uterus, bladder, and rectum. By providing support to the vaginal walls, these muscles contribute to the overall strength and tightness of the vagina. Strong pelvic floor muscles are essential during sexual activity, ensuring pleasurable sensations and optimal muscle control.
Impact on Vaginal Health:
As women age or undergo childbirth, the pelvic floor muscles can weaken, leading to decreased vaginal tone and potential complications such as urinary incontinence, vaginal laxity, and decreased sexual satisfaction. However, regular exercise and targeted training of the pelvic floor muscles, known as Kegel exercises, can significantly improve vaginal tone and restore strength and elasticity to the vaginal walls.
The Power of Kegel Exercises:
Kegel exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to improve their strength and tone. These exercises specifically target the puborectalis muscle and other relevant pelvic floor muscles, promoting circulation, muscle elasticity, and overall vaginal health. Regular practice of Kegel exercises can help prevent and alleviate issues like urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapses, and decreased sexual sensation.
One of the limitations of kegel exercises is that they tend to strengthen only some of the pelvic floor muscles. When we go to the gym to work out our arms, we do many different exercises to help the tone of many different muscles.
Kegel exercises are great, but they are limited in their variety and ability to impact other muscles.
Jade Egg practices do not have the research data to support them like Kegels do, however, from a muscular theory standpoint,
Jade egg exercises are likely superior to Kegels.
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In fact the puborectalis muscle which is an important muscle for improving vaginal tone does not get worked as much as other pelvic floor muscles with basic kegel exercise.
Studies have shown that stronger pelvic floor muscles are linked to better sexual function, including increased orgasmic and arousal domains. Kegel exercises have been found to enhance sexual arousal, improve pelvic floor muscle strength, and benefit sexual function in various populations, including postmenopausal women.
In summary, Kegel exercises are beneficial for training pelvic floor muscles, treating urinary incontinence and prolapses, and improving sexual function.
Embracing Vaginal Wellness:
Recognizing the importance of pelvic floor muscles in maintaining optimal vaginal tone empowers women to prioritize their vaginal health. Seeking guidance from healthcare professionals, such as gynecologists or pelvic floor physiotherapists, can provide valuable insights into exercises, techniques, and lifestyle adjustments that can contribute to vaginal well-being.
Taking proactive steps toward strengthening the pelvic floor muscles through targeted exercises can lead to improved vaginal tone and overall confidence.
Another area of controversy when it comes to orgasmic contracts involves the nerve involvement.
Nerve impulses are needed to cause the contractions. Researchers debate about what nerves are all involved with the pelvic floor muscles and with contractions.
The innervation of pelvic floor muscles has been a topic of controversy.
While branches from the sacral nerve roots S2, S3, and S4 are known to innervate the pelvic floor muscles, the role of the pudendal nerves in innervating the levator ani muscles is debated.
A study by Percy et al. found that electrical stimulation of the pudendal nerve did not activate the puborectalis muscle. However, it is possible that their electrode placement was not precise enough to target the puborectalis portion accurately.
The puborectalis muscle, as part of the middle layer of the pelvic floor muscles, is indeed innervated by the pudendal nerve, while the deep muscles (pubococcygeus, ileococcygeus, and coccygeus) are innervated by direct branches of sacral nerve roots S3 and S4.
This understanding is significant because damage to the pudendal nerve may result in dysfunction of the puborectalis muscle and external anal sphincter, leading to changes in pelvic floor health, incontinence, and changes in orgasmic contractions.
Another component of the neurological system is the involvement of both our sympathetic (fight or flight) and our parasympathetic (rest digest) part of our nervous system. While some processes are really predominantly sympathetic or parasympathetic, the process of orgasm and of sexual intimacy largely involves both of these parts of our nervous system dancing together.
Also, some research says that the more nerves involved the more intense the orgasm. Therefore, sexual activity that activates all of these various nerves can potentially lead to more vaginal tone and more intense orgasms. Pelvic tone is only one component of orgasm contractions and of how to have great orgasms.
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Conclusion: Pelvic floor muscles not only support the abdominal viscera and ensure continence but also play a critical role in maintaining good vaginal tone. Understanding the anatomy and function of these muscles, particularly the puborectalis muscle, empowers women to take control of their vaginal health. By incorporating Kegel exercises into their routine and seeking professional guidance, women can enhance vaginal strength, elasticity, and overall well-being. Prioritizing pelvic floor muscle health is the key to unlocking a satisfying and confident journey towards vaginal wellness.
Huang YC, Chang KV. Kegel Exercises. [Updated 2022 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555898/
Raizada V, Mittal RK. Pelvic floor anatomy and applied physiology. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2008 Sep;37(3):493-509, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2008.06.003. PMID: 18793993; PMCID: PMC2617789.