Female ejaculation is when a female’s urethra expels fluid during sex. It can happen when a female becomes sexually aroused, but there is not necessarily an association with having an orgasm.
Scientists do not fully understand female ejaculation, and there is limited research on how it works and its purpose. Female ejaculation is perfectly normal, although researchers remain divided on how many people experience it.
In this article, we look at the current thinking on the mechanisms, purpose, and frequency of female ejaculation.
What is it?
Female ejaculation refers to the expulsion of fluid from a female’s urethra during orgasm or sexual arousal. The urethra is the duct that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
There are two different types of female ejaculate:
- Squirting fluid. This fluid is usually colorless and odorless, and it occurs in large quantities.
- Ejaculate fluid. This type more closely resembles male semen. It is typically thick and appears milky.
Analysis has shown that the fluid contains prostatic acid phosphatase (PSA). PSA is an enzyme present in male semen that helps sperm motility.
In addition, female ejaculate usually contains fructose, which is a form of sugar. Fructose is also generally present in male semen where it acts as an energy source for sperm.
Experts believe that the PSA and fructose present in the fluid come from the Skene’s glands. Other names for these glands include the paraurethral glands, Garter’s duct, and female prostate.
Skene’s glands sit on the front, inside wall of the vagina near the G-spot. Researchers believe that stimulation causes these glands to produce PSA and fructose, which then move into the urethra.
Is it real?
For many years, scientists thought that females who ejaculated during sex were experiencing continence problems. Research has since disproved this idea and confirmed the existence of female ejaculation.
A 2014 study found that the fluid accumulates in the bladder during arousal and leaves through the urethra during ejaculation. Seven women who reported experiencing female ejaculation during sex took part in the trial.
First, the researchers used ultrasound exams to confirm that the participants’ bladders were empty. The women then stimulated themselves until they ejaculated while the researchers continued to monitor them using ultrasounds.
The study found that all the women started with an empty bladder, which began to fill during arousal. The post-ejaculation scans revealed that the participants’ bladders were empty again.
Is it normal and how common is it?
Female ejaculation is perfectly normal, yet people do not discuss it very often. According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, different estimates suggest that between 10 and 50 percent of women ejaculate during sex.
Some experts believe that all women experience ejaculation, but that many do not notice. It is possible that they are not aware of it because the fluid can flow backward into the bladder rather than leaving the body.
In an older study that involved 233 women, 14 percent of participants reported that they ejaculated with all or most orgasms, while 54 percent said that they had experienced it at least once.
When the researchers compared urine samples from before and after orgasm, they found more PSA in the latter. They concluded that all females create ejaculate but do not always expel it. Instead, the ejaculate sometimes returns to the bladder, which then passes it during urination.
What is known is that the experience of female ejaculation, including the feeling, triggers, and amount of ejaculate, varies considerably from person to person.
Are there any health benefits?
There is no evidence that female ejaculation has any health benefits. However, research has found sex itself to offer several benefits.
During orgasm, the body releases pain-relieving hormones that can help with back and leg pain, headaches, and menstrual cramps.
Immediately after climaxing, the body releases hormones that promote restful sleep. These hormones include prolactin and oxytocin.
Other health benefits include:
- relieving stress
- boosting the immune system
- protecting against heart disease
- lowering blood pressure
Connection to the menstrual cycle
It is not clear whether or not there is a link between female ejaculation and the menstrual cycle.
Some women say that they are more likely to ejaculate after ovulating and before menstruating, while others do not see a connection. More research is necessary to confirm or refute this association.
Connection to pregnancy
Some scientists believe that female ejaculate plays a role in pregnancy. They think this because the fluid contains PSA and fructose, which help sperm on their journey toward an unfertilized egg.
Others dispute this theory, however. They argue that ejaculate usually contains urine, which can kill sperm. They also say that it is not easy for the fluid to travel from the urethra to the vagina, where it would need to be to play a role in pregnancy.
Female ejaculation is perfectly normal, and research suggests that it may be common despite people rarely discussing it.
Scientists do not fully understand the biological purpose of female ejaculation or how it works.
The experience of females who have ejaculated during sex varies considerably.
Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST
Written by Amanda Barrell