26 August 2016
Female orgasms are usually described as a state of intense pleasure that some women experience during sexual intercourse.
Scientists over the years have tried to study the rationale behind this phenomenon in women.
A new study may have provided the answer to this long-term mystery suggesting that orgasms in women induce ovulation.
Study co-author Gunter Wagner, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University in New Haven, U.S.A. and colleagues published their findings in the Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B Molecular and Developmental Evolution.
Wagner noted that previous studies that had attempted to uncover the reasons why women orgasms focused on “evidence from human biology and the modification of a trait rather than its evolutionary origin.”
In an attempt to address this research gap, the team conducted an analysis of how orgasms have evolved across a wide range of species.
Specifically, they looked at whether a certain physiological trait associated with the human female orgasm – the release of the hormones prolactin and oxytocin – arises in other mammals with a placenta, and if so, what role it plays.
The team explains that there is an abundance of physiological characteristics that can be traced across mammalian evolution.
For example, they pointed out that while ovarian cycle in female humans does not depend on sexual activity, ovulation is induced by males in other mammalian species.
As such, the researchers speculate the female orgasm may have once had a direct role in reproduction – in other words, it acted as a reflex to trigger ovulation.
Female orgasm in women could have been one of the body kinetics needed for reproduction but momentarily felt during sexual intercourse.
Author: Dotun Obatuyi
My name is Dotun Obatuyi (Dotunoba), I hail from Osun state, a public health scientist (monitoring and evaluation specialist), my keen interests are researching, critiquing and writing feature articles on health, science and technology as well as issues around the globe.