Can Women Get Blue Balls, Too?

No doubt you’ve heard of blue balls, the painful condition that can occur when a man gets aroused but doesn’t have an orgasm. And you’ve probably been thankful on more than one occasion that women can’t get them. Or can we?

Survey says: Yup.

Women's sexy bits can most definitely get the blues when they don't get off, says Teresa Hoffman, M.D., an OB/GYN and medical director of Hoffman & Associates, an OB/GYN group affiliated with Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center. Of course, since we don’t have testicles the mechanism is a wee bit different—but the concept is the same.

Basically, when you get aroused more blood flows into your uterus, you know, just like a guy's junk gets a surge of blood when he gets an erection. If you don’t have an O, that extra blood is still there, waiting to be released via contractions in your uterus (which is what happens when you orgasm). As a result, you can feel, um, congested in your vag.

The details of female blue balls are a little uncertain, since Hoffman says there’s no scientific research on it and it isn’t an easy thing to track (for obvious reasons). “But if you talk to women, they say it can be uncomfortable,” says Hoffman. “You feel kind of full, like there’s a weight in your pelvis that needs to be released.”

Check out more fascinating facts about the female anatomy:

It’s nothing to stress about: The discomfort typically lasts for a few minutes and disappears 15 to 20 minutes after you didn’t orgasm. “It’s just like a guy,” says Hoffman. “If he has sex but doesn’t orgasm, it goes away and he’s fine. It’s a self-resolving thing.”

Luckily, Hoffman says this isn’t super-common and the phenomenon can affect women differently. So, don’t actually worry that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t feel the need to ice down your uterus after a failed orgasm attempt, k?

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