This difficulty occurs even when they’re sexually aroused and there’s sufficient sexual stimulation. When this condition occurs in women, it’s known as female orgasmic dysfunction. Men can also experience orgasmic dysfunction, but this is much less common. Orgasms are intense feelings of release during sexual stimulation. They can vary in intensity, duration, and frequency. Orgasms can occur with little sexual stimulation, but sometimes much more stimulation is necessary. Many women have difficulty reaching orgasm with a partner, even after ample sexual stimulation. Studies suggest orgasmic dysfunction affects 11 to 41 percent of women.
Let’s see what the causes are.
It can be difficult to determine the underlying cause of orgasmic dysfunction. Women may have difficulty reaching orgasm due to physical, emotional, or psychological factors. Contributing factors might include: older age, medical conditions, such as diabetes, a history of gynecological surgeries, such as a hysterectomy, the use of certain medications, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for depression, cultural or religious beliefs, shyness, guilt about enjoying sexual activity, history of sexual abuse, mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, stress, poor self-esteem and relationship issues, such as unresolved conflicts or lack of trust.
Sometimes, a combination of these factors can make achieving an orgasm difficult. The inability to orgasm can lead to distress, which may make it even harder to achieve orgasm in the future.
The main symptom of orgasmic dysfunction is the inability to achieve sexual climax. Other symptoms include having unsatisfying orgasms and taking longer than normal to reach climax. Women with orgasmic dysfunction may have difficulty achieving orgasm during sexual intercourse or masturbation.
There are four types of orgasmic dysfunction:
- Primary anorgasmia: A condition in which you’ve never had an orgasm.
- Secondary anorgasmia: Difficulty reaching orgasm, even though you’ve had one before.
- Situational anorgasmia: The most common type of orgasmic dysfunction. It occurs when you can only orgasm during specific situations, such as during oral sex or masturbation.
- General Anorgasmia: An inability to achieve orgasm under any circumstances, even when you’re highly aroused and sexual stimulation is sufficient.
How to deal with it?
Treatment for orgasmic dysfunction depends on the cause of the condition. You may need to: treat any underlying medical conditions, switch antidepressant medications, and increase clitoral stimulation during masturbation and sexual intercourse.
The inability to orgasm can be frustrating and may have an impact on your relationship. However, you may be able to reach climax with proper treatment. It’s important to know that you’re not alone. Many women deal with orgasmic dysfunction at some point in their lives.
If you have orgasmic dysfunction, you may find therapy to be particularly helpful. Part of individual or couples therapy focuses on how you view sexual intercourse. Meeting with a therapist can help you and your partner learn more about one other’s sexual needs and desires. It will also address any relationship issues or everyday stressors that may be contributing to your inability to orgasm. Resolving these underlying causes can help you reach orgasm in the future.