During childbirth, it's natural for moms to experience some pain. But a new survey reveals that moms also can experience pleasure during labor: It notes that midwives report witnessing orgasms in about 0.3 percent of births.
Midwife responses to the survey "established the fact that obstetrical pleasure exists," said psychologist Thierry Postel of Blainville-sur-Mer, France, who conducted the study. The study collected 109 complete responses from midwives, who combined had assisted 206,000 births in their careers.
Anatomically it makes sense, says Barry Komisaruk, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey who studies orgasm. "The intense stimulation of the vaginal canal in childbirth may work to block pain — whether that stimulation is felt as sexual or not," he says.