Ever feel a tingling sensation while taking a trip to the restroom?
When I was a junior in high school a friend came back from the bathroom and described the feeling of peeing like having a mini-orgasm. Cis-men in the classroom were shocked, wanting to hear more, as we all agreed and were probably all relieved that someone felt a similar sensation. At the time, I barely knew what an orgasm was so I just knew that it felt like an immense amount of relief.
As it turns out, after a few Google searches, many people with a vagina feel a similar way during the time they empty their bladder, especially after holding it in for long amounts of time (something that is definitely not advised.) But other than that, there are very few searchable scientific reasons as to why orgasm and urination feel so eerily similar. Why? It’s possible that patients don’t admit it to their doctor because it isn’t necessarily a problem or an issue. It’s a feeling of relief. It feels, quite frankly, good. Patients probably don’t feel a need to explain it to their doctor since it isn’t interfering with their livelihood. Moreover, most people online say that they feel embarrassed, or “weirded out” by their response to urinating. Because of this, they don’t feel the need to ask a medical professional.
And this is mostly prevalent in people who have a vagina. People with a penis cannot urinate and ejaculate at the same time but for people with a vagina, this is not the case.
Brooke M. Fraught, the Clinical Director of WISH in Nashville explains that, “The pudendal nerve innervates (functions) at both the urethra and clitoris.” She continues, “I have some patients that experience orgasm with urination, presumably because the passage of urine through the urethra stimulates the pudendal nerve.”
Brooke deals with many patients that have persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD). Since she works in urology, she sees many patients who have urinary issues, and while persistent genital arousal disorder may not seem terribly awful, it can become a painful and stressful disorder.
Brooke explains that, “Men and women with PGAD experience chronic sensation of unwanted and unwarranted genital arousal. Self stimulation may result in orgasm which only temporarily resolves symptoms of arousal. The arousal and orgasm is rarely pleasurable—it’s more of a burdensome nuisance that can become debilitating in severe cases.”
As for PGAD, which differs from my original explanation of orgasm and urination, Brooke says there are several causes. “Polypharmacy, spinal pathology, hormonal disorders, genital trauma, vulvar and penile skin disorders, and other neuropathic causes.”
For people who experience a urinary orgasm, or a similar feeling, it is considered to be rare. Your Tango writes that this type of orgasm might feel “light” and “tingling.” It’s definitely not considered a fulfilling orgasm (if “orgasm” is even the right word). “However, since the act of peeing is related to relaxation, letting go and surrender, some women might experience a much deeper form of orgasm, or even a whole-body orgasm,” says the Your Tango article.
Urinary orgasms are still a bit vague and PGAD is a disorder that can be treated by monitoring stress and triggers. While you may be concerned about a slight tingling sensation during your next trip to the restroom, have no fear, it’s all normal. It’s a release of pressure of a full bladder that is alleviating for the body.