Female Orgasmic Disorder –Causes, Diagnosis and its Treatment
Orgasmic dysfunction in women is a much more common disorder than orgasmic disorders in men. And while in men, the causes of orgasmic dysfunction can be typically physiological; in women the chances of root causes of orgasmic dysfunction can be psychological. Given the neural network and vasculature present in pelvic area of women, they are capable of achieving multiple orgasms from a single act of intercourse. However, due to various reasons 30-50% of women at any given point in time are unsatisfied with their capability of reaching orgasms. Not only this, 10-15% of women are unable to reach orgasm at all, despite sustained sexual activity.
Most women experiencing problems pertaining to orgasm are unlikely to have health risks associated with it. However, orgasmic dysfunction can be a symptom of underlying neurological, psychological, hormonal and physical ailments. Therefore, it is important for every woman to recognize the extent of orgasmic disorder and get it properly diagnosed as well as treated by a specialist. Orgasmic dysfunction is of two types – primary and secondary. In primary orgasmic dysfunction, a woman never experiences orgasm despite being sexually active. In secondary orgasmic dysfunction, a woman may have experienced orgasm formerly but is unable to do so due to some changes in her circumstances. Both conditions have to be analyzed and treated for better mental and physical health of woman concerned.
- Onset of menopause: Hormonal and physical changes that accompany the onset of menopause are a leading reason for secondary orgasmic dysfunction in middle-aged women. As female reproductive hormones are either over-produced or totally dry-up, a woman’s capability to reach orgasm via intercourse or masturbation is drastically effected. This condition can, however, subside once the menopause is over.
- Hormonal disorders: Other hormonal disorders post pregnancy or abortion or miscarriage can also lead to orgasmic dysfunction. Hypo and hyperthyroidism can also affect a woman’s ability to achieve orgasm.
- Chronic fatigue and stress: With changing lifestyles, women are taking on multiple roles and balancing demanding careers with household demands. As a result, a persistent level of anxiety and fatigue can be experienced by women. This can also be an underlying cause for orgasmic disorder.
- Multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury: As sexual satisfaction and orgasm are heavily dependent on the neural signals travelling between the sympathetic nervous system and reproductive organs; an injury to the spinal cord or a debilitative disease like multiple sclerosis can completely disable a woman from reaching sexual satisfaction.
- Chronic diabetes & heart condition: Long standing diabetic condition and heart problems can also be underlying causes for secondary orgasmic dysfunction.
- Effect of prescription drugs: Anti-depressants and tranquilizing drugs like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft can also affect the sexual desires as well as sexual performance in women.
- Past history of rape or sexual abuse: A woman who has suffered from rape or sexual abuse in early age may be incapable of enjoying the sexual act in a normal way and can always feel distressed about it. Such women may in-fact be suffering from primary orgasmic dysfunction.
- Sexual anxiety: Due to certain moral values instilled in women during upbringing, they always find sex unnatural and experience anxiety instead of enjoyment during sex. As a result they may also suffer from primary orgasmic dysfunction.
- Lack of awareness about stimulation during sex: Due to natural shyness, behavioral expectation and lack of sexual awareness, some women fail to reach orgasm or enjoy sex in an un-inhibited manner.
- Relational strife: Women experiencing relationship related disturbances or discord can also fail to achieve orgasm as for them, this could be a highly emotional response and is not directly related with the act of sex.
Diagnosis of orgasmic dysfunction can be done by observing sexual behavior of patient as well as taking her sexual history into account. Some women require clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. Therefore, a complete diagnosis of orgasmic dysfunction can only be performed by evaluating orgasmic disorder during sex as well as during masturbation. Physicians may recommend blood plasma analysis for hormonal imbalance and side effects of prescription drugs. Additionally a psycho-analysis may also be advised to inspect the cause of problems with orgasm in women.
Treatment for Female Orgasmic Disorder
As problems related to female orgasm are majorly associated with hormonal or psychological disorder, physiological treatments rarely provide relief. In case of menopause related orgasmic dysfunction, steroid based treatment can be provided to balance the hormonal imbalance in the body. In case of primary orgasmic dysfunction which is rooted in sexual anxiety or past trauma, physicians recommend psychiatric treatment. Also guidance about own sexuality and basic training in ways to achieve orgasm helps many women in achieving orgasms.