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How Do I Know If I Had an Orgasm?

author image Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D.
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
How Do I Know If I Had an Orgasm?
A couples' feet at the end of a bed. Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Orgasm is also known as sexual climax. It is most often caused by stimulation of the genitals. Orgasm is controlled by the involuntary nervous system (also known as the autonomic nervous system), which means that the signs and bodily actions that occur during orgasm are not under voluntary control. Orgasm, which is experienced by men and women, results in a feeling of euphoria as well as other signs, such as muscle contraction.

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Step 1

Be aware of changes that occur right before orgasm. Men, just before orgasm, experience a tingling sensation in their urethra that is often described as feeling similar to the need to urinate. Women will have the outer lips of their labia darken and then, as orgasm approaches, the outer third of the vagina will constrict as the entire vagina dilates.

Step 2

Be aware of muscle contractions. Whether you are a male or a female, an orgasm involves the contraction of various muscles. For men, the contracting muscles are that of the sphincter, the prostate and the muscles in the penis. While you may not be able to actually feel these muscles move, they do produce a visible result: ejaculation. Ejaculation results in the excretion of semen from the tip of the penis and is an easily identifiable sign of male orgasm. Females will experience muscle contractions of the anus, uterus, vagina and pelvic muscles.

Step 3

Look for a wave of pleasure. Orgasm is associated with a sudden surge in a pleasurable feeling, though the exact nature of this feeling varies from person to person. It occurs in men and women after an orgasm.

Step 4

Monitor heart rate and blood pressure. During orgasm, the heart rate and blood pressure doubles. Thus, if you have an intense wave of pleasure that is combined with muscle contractions and a rapid heart rate, you have most likely experienced an orgasm.

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