The Quality of Sexual Experience in Women Correlates with Post-Orgasmic Prolactin Surges: Results from an Experimental Prototype Study
- The first two authors have contributed equally to the manuscript.
Corresponding Author: Brigitte Leeners, Division for Reproductive Endocrinology, University Hospital Zürich, Frauenklinikstr. 10, CH 8091 Zürich, Switzerland. Tel: 0041 044 255 50 09; Fax: 0041 044 255 43 76; E-Mail: Brigitte.Leeners@usz.ch
Sexual intercourse, orgasm, and sexual satisfaction are associated with well-being and improved quality of life. The pituitary hormone prolactin (PRL) may have an important role in regulating (and thus indexing) sexual satiety and satisfaction.
Physiological indices to quantify the quality and resulting satisfaction from female orgasm would be valuable. Therefore we aim to validate associations of orgasm-induced PRL surges with women's orgasm quality and subsequent sexual satisfaction.
In a prospective study, with a pre-post, single-blinded, cross-over design in a naturalistic field setting, we analyzed the correlation of women's post-orgasmic serum PRL surges following sexual intercourse with women's perceived quality of orgasm and resulting sexual satisfaction, as measured by a questionnaire.
Main Outcome Measures
PRL levels prior to and following penile-vaginal intercourse with and without orgasm, and scores from the Acute Sexual Experience Scale (ASES) on quality of orgasm and sexual satisfaction.
An analysis of variance of the blood samples in nine women indicated large magnitude, significant effects of intercourse orgasm on PRL levels (P = 0.004, eta squared = 0.78), as well as an interaction with the effect of multiple orgasms (P = 0.008, eta squared = 0.80). PRL post/pre ratios and arithmetic difference correlated strongly with orgasm quality (r = 0.85, P = 0.016, and r = 0.69, P = 0.08) and sexual satisfaction (r = 0.75, P = 0.05 and r = 0.77, P = 0.045).
Women's intercourse orgasm induced PRL surges are strongly related to the quality of orgasm and subsequent sexual satisfaction. This implies that post-orgasmic PRL surges are an objective index of orgasm and orgasm quality. PRL might be used in future studies on basic research as well as a treatment target in sexual disorders in women.