A spontaneous orgasm is when an orgasm occurs without any sexual stimulation. There are several possible causes, but it is not clear how common they are.

Occasional spontaneous orgasms are typically not something to be concerned about. However, they can be a serious issue for some people and interfere with their daily life.

This article explains what spontaneous orgasms are, their causes, and how to manage them.

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Also known as spontaneous ejaculation, a spontaneous orgasm is when someone experiences an orgasm without any intentional sexual stimulation or desire.

Spontaneous orgasms can occur in various ways. They can be a single orgasm or a continuous stream of orgasms and may or may not involve ejaculation.

There are a few causes for spontaneous orgasms, and researchers understand some better than others.

The following are potential causes of spontaneous orgasm.

Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD)

PGAD is when someone experiences a continuous state of genital arousal without sexual desire or activity.

PGAD can be very distressing, uncomfortable, and painful. It can make a person’s focus and day-to-day functioning difficult.

This condition is more common in people with vulvas but can also occur in people with penises.

Nocturnal orgasms

Nocturnal orgasms occur when a person is asleep.

They can occur with or without ejaculation and may or may not wake the person up. When it occurs with ejaculation, some individuals refer to it as a wet dream.

For most people, nocturnal orgasms can be inconvenient but nothing to worry about. However, for those who experience them frequently, it can make sleeping difficult and may be a cause of embarrassment.

For people with penises, nocturnal orgasms are relatively common during puberty.

Other causes

The following are other potential causes of spontaneous orgasms.

Drug use

Several people have reported experiencing spontaneous orgasms after taking certain drugs.

A 2018 case report and review concluded that drugs that increase serotonin neurotransmission seem to be associated with spontaneous orgasms. These included several antidepressant and antipsychotic medications.

There are also case studies on other drugs. For example, a 2017 case study reported on a woman who experienced spontaneous orgasms after using cannabis and having sex for 5 hours.


Some people report experiencing spontaneous orgasms during physical activity, particularly during abdominal or core exercises. This is sometimes known as a “coregasm.”

Although scientists have long been aware of this phenomenon, their exact cause is unknown. Some studies suggest a link between core exercises and the pelvic floor muscles might explain it.


Although vaginal childbirth for most people can be challenging, some individuals have experienced spontaneous orgasms during the process. However, there is little research on what causes this.

One possible reason is that the infant is moving through the same areas involved in sexual pleasure, which might trigger an orgasm.

Another explanation may be the release of oxytocin. This is a chemical that the brain releases during both orgasm and childbirth.

Although researchers are aware of various causes for spontaneous orgasms, there is a lack of data on their prevalence. This could be because people who experience them are reluctant to discuss it with a healthcare professional.

Nocturnal orgasms are probably the most common type of spontaneous orgasm. They are considered typical for people with penises during puberty. People with vulvas may also experience them.

While there is some public awareness of exercise-induced orgasms, they still seem to be quite rare.

Researchers also consider orgasms caused by PGAD to be very rare. However, there is very limited data on the condition. This may be because people with PGAD do not report it due to feeling embarrassed or self-conscious.

Managing spontaneous orgasms depends on their respective causes.

For example, if a person has PGAD, medication and cognitive behavioral therapy may help. They can speak with a doctor about treatment options for PGAD.

If a person experiencing spontaneous orgasms has recently started a new prescription medication, they may want to consider switching to a different type to see if this helps. However, they should contact a doctor before stopping or changing their medication.

For spontaneous orgasms caused by physical activity, a person could swap their current exercises for different types.

It is also important to note that for some people, stress and anxiety can play a role in triggering spontaneous orgasms. By relaxing and destressing more often, a person may find their symptoms improve.

This could include:

A person does not need to consult a doctor if they occasionally experience spontaneous orgasms. It is a typical experience for many people — especially those going through puberty.

However, if a person is experiencing spontaneous orgasms frequently enough to cause mental or physical distress, they should talk with a doctor. A person should also consult a doctor if they are experiencing symptoms of PGAD.

Spontaneous orgasms can occur for several reasons — in most cases, they are not a health concern.

Depending on their cause, there are various ways that a person can treat and manage spontaneous orgasms.

People should contact a doctor if they have them too frequently or are experiencing symptoms of PGAD.