Female Orgasmic Dysfunction
Difficulty with Orgasms
Difficulty achieving orgasm is a common problem among women. One study found that nearly a quarter of women reported inability to climax during sex over several months.
Despite the frequency of the problem, many women feel uncomfortable talking about it — either to their partners or to their doctors. If you have concerns about difficulty with orgasms, it may help to understand more about the condition and how an experienced medical provider can assist you.
What is Anorgasmia?
An inability to reach orgasm is defined as the medical condition anorgasmia when it persists over time — despite sufficient sexual stimulation — and interferes with relationships or quality of life. The condition has several forms, including:
- Lifelong anorgasmia, affecting women who have never experienced an orgasm.
- Generalized anorgasmia, in which orgasm is not achieved with any partner or with any type of sexual stimulation.
- Situational anorgasmia, involving climaxing only in certain situations or with certain types of stimulation.
- Acquired anorgasmia, affecting women who have experienced orgasms in the past but have begun having difficulty reaching climax.
Women are all unique, and orgasms vary in length, intensity and required stimulation. In addition, many women may achieve orgasm, or have problems doing so, based on a complex mix of emotional, physical and psychological factors. Difficulty achieving orgasm can relate to any of these areas, including:
- Medical issues, including illnesses, surgeries and problems with medications.
- Aging, which can cause changes in hormonal levels, anatomy and the circulatory and neurological systems.
- Relationship problems, such as conflicts and arguments, poor communication, breached trust and physical or emotional abuse.
- Personal causes, including stress, cultural beliefs or feelings of guilt.
When to Speak to a Doctor
If you are experiencing difficulty with orgasms, our team of experienced OB/GYNs can assist you. Our team will review your medical history and speak with you confidentially and supportively about your concerns.
For postmenopausal women and others experiencing low estrogen, your OB/GYN may recommend systemic estrogen therapy through a patch, gel or pill. Local estrogen therapy in the form of a cream, ring or suppository also may help by increasing vaginal blood flow.
Your doctor also will work with you to identify any relationship or lifestyle changes that may help your ability to achieve orgasm.
The experienced OB/GYNs at Henry Ford Health System respect your confidentiality as they work with you to discover a personalized course of treatment.