Guys aren’t the only ones to get “blue balls” —women can feel the exact same way

Generally speaking, women don’t walk around complaining about “blue balls” (aka, that achy feeling when you don’t get to climax) very often — at least, not their own. Some people even believe that “blue balls” are a myth. Oh, if only. As Cristen Conger hilariously explains in this Stuff Mom Never Told You video, the struggle is actually very, very real.

As Conger says, “prolonged sexual pleasure can eventually turn into pain no matter what your downstairs anatomy is.” When we are experiencing desire, our bodies have to prep, regardless of whether you have a penis or vagina. That means increased blood pressure and increased blood flow to our genital areas.

The medical term for “blue balls” is epididymal hypertension, and it happens when too much blood and fluid builds up in the testicles. Women can experience the tension in their uterus, ovaries, and, you guessed it, the vulva. If there’s no release, that swelling can get very uncomfortable. You know what that means? The “blue vulva” is real, you’ve probably experienced it, and if you have, you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy.

The good news is that the condition isn’t permanent and doesn’t cost any lasting physical harm to any of your sexual organs or desires. There are also a few “cures” for the “blue vulva,” if you will. If sexual release with a partner isn’t possible, you can wait the pain out, masturbate, take a walk, or soothe the area with a hot or cold compress. You can watch Conger explain the phenomena in further detail below.