Orgasmic dysfunction is a condition wherein someone struggles to reach orgasm, even when they’re sexually aroused and sexually stimulated sufficiently. Men and women can both experience this, but much less common among men. This condition is called female orgasmic dysfunction if it happens in women.
Orgasms are described as having an intense feeling of release during sexual stimulation; and the intensity, duration, and frequency may vary. They can occur with minimal sexual stimulation, but sometimes more stimulation is needed. Even after enough sexual stimulation, a lot of women still have difficulty reaching orgasm with a partner. Studies suggest that 11-41% of women experience orgasmic dysfunction.
There are a lot of physical, emotional, or psychological factors that could possibly contribute to orgasmic dysfunction, and it can be difficult to determine the underlying cause. Contributing factors could be:
- Older age
- Medical conditions, such as diabetes, or a history of gynecological surgeries, such as a hysterectomy
- Use of certain medications, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for depression
- Cultural or religious beliefs
- Guilt about enjoying sexual activity
- History of sexual abuse
- Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, stress, poor self-esteem, etc.
- Relationship issues, such as unresolved conflicts or lack of trust
Difficulty achieving orgasm can be caused by one of these factors, or sometimes even a combination of them. The inability to reach orgasm can be frustrating, which could make it even worse in the future.
Inability to reach sexual climax is the main symptom of orgasmic dysfunction, while unsatisfying orgasms, and taking more time than normal to reach climax are other possible symptoms—whether during sexual intercourse or masturbation.
Orgasmic Dysfunction Has Four Types:
- Primary Anorgasmia: A condition wherein you’ve never had an orgasm.
- Secondary Anorgasmia: Difficulty reaching orgasm, even though you’ve had one before.
- Situational Anorgasmia: You can only orgasm during specific situations, such as during oral sex or masturbation. This is the most common type of orgasmic dysfunction.
- General Anorgasmia: An inability to achieve orgasm under any circumstances, even when you’re highly aroused and sexually stimulated enough.
How To Deal With It
The best treatment for your orgasmic dysfunction will depend on what’s causing it. You may need to:
- Treat any underlying medical conditions.
- Switch antidepressant medications.
- Increase clitoral stimulation during masturbation and sexual intercourse.
The inability to achieve orgasm can cause frustration, and problems in your relationship, but it may still be addressed with proper treatment. You are not alone in this struggle—many women experience orgasmic dysfunction at some point in their lives. Therapy may help you with your condition. Part of individual or couple therapy concentrates on how you see sexual intercourse. You and your partner can learn more about each other’s sexual needs and desires by consulting a therapist who can help with that. Any issues in your relationship, or everyday stressors that might be contributing to your orgasmic disorder will also be addressed during the consultation. Resolving these possible factors can help you achieve orgasm in the future.