Anorgasmia is defined as a sexual dysfunction in which a person fails to achieve orgasm. In men, the condition is related to ejaculation, premature or delayed, and much has been written on this subject, but here we are concerned with anorgasmia in women.
Anorgasmia is far more widespread in women than in men and can often cause sexual frustration. This website offers advice on ways to massage a woman to orgasm, and this offers more advice on the female orgasm.
Some women don’t actually need to have an orgasm to enjoy sex, but their inability to reach orgasm can be a problem for some women and their partners. There's a site which discusses the reality of the female orgasm and ejaculation here. In addition it discusses female sexual pleasure in more detail, which is an ideal introduction for those who wish to pursue the subject.
What is Anorgasmia?
Anorgasmia can be classified as a psychiatric disorder, but evidence shows that it can also be caused by medical problems. If you have had the misfortune to suffer any of the following, then this could well be the cause of your condition: pelvic trauma (such as an injury from a fall), hormonal imbalance, hysterectomy, spinal cord injury, uterine embolisation, childbirth trauma such as tearing by the use of forceps or suction, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, genital mutilation or complications from genital surgery.
Medical professionals often refer to ‘situational anorgasmia’ that is a condition caused by the use of anti-depressants, recreational drugs and prescriptive drugs with side effects. The lack of good information on sexual problems has been remarked by many authorities, a fact which prompted a reviewer of Lloyd Lester's program Ejaculation By Command to observe that if we were as well provided with information on how to enjoy better sex as we are with information on how to admire celebrities, enjoy sport, improve our weight, and get fit, men would all be able to help a woman to achieve orgasm at will!
The very worst drugs are those which contain opiates (heroin and the like), even in low quantities. Studies show that anorgasmia is the most common complaint resulting from drug use.
If you suffer from anorgasmia, you are not alone: it is an extensive ailment. About one in five women have difficulties with orgasm, and as many as one in ten women claim to have never climaxed.
A word of caution is needed here. If you do not reach orgasm, each and every time, it does not mean that you suffer from anorgasmia. In the case of women who achieve orgasm regularly, the ‘success rate’ is an average of two times in three attempts.
Therapists classify anorgasmia into four groups, primary anorgasmia, secondary anorgasmia, situational anorgasmia and random anorgasmia. Primary anorgasmia is a condition where the woman has never experienced an orgasm, although sufferers can achieve a degree of sexual excitement. There may be no obvious cause for this condition.
Women often state that they have a caring, loving partner and have no concerns which could prevent the achievement of sexual satisfaction. Therefore in the case of primary anorgasmia, therapists look at the woman herself rather than the relationship with her partner.
Secondary anorgasmia is defined as the loss of the capacity to have orgasms. There are various causes for this sudden occurrence, which could be pelvic surgery, such as hysterectomy, or injuries, alcohol or drug abuse, depression, the side effect of certain medications, illness, estrogen deprivation associated with menopause, or some trauma such as rape or sexual abuse.
Situational anorgasmia is where a woman is orgasmic in some situations but not in others. The woman may achieve orgasm with one partner but not with another, or have an orgasm under certain conditions but not with others.
There are many variables, but the therapist will look particularly at the foreplay, the type, the amount and any variations which could be included.
The woman, her partner and her therapist will investigate the various types of situation in which she is or is not orgasmic. Items worth exploring are fatigue, emotional concerns or the woman’s or her partner’s mood swings.
Situational anorgasmia is probably the simplest and easiest type of anorgasmia to deal with, and the treatment and cure should pose no problem.
Random anorgasmia is where a woman is orgasmic on occasions but not enough to fulfill her basic needs. In this case therapy will help the patient to examine her desires and expectations of sexual activity and orgasm.
Diagnosis and treatment of anorgasmia
Note that in men, a certain amount of education and training may be required for successful dating and relationships. This is because few men experience any kind of help from their fathers in learning how to establish and maintain a successful relationship.
Diagnosis and effective treatment of anorgasmia depends on the type and cause. If it apparent that one of the causes is violence or sexual trauma, the psychological treatment is the preferred option, sometimes with additional psychosexual counseling.
If there is no obvious psychological cause, then a full medical examination is called for. Not every medical professional takes the same course of action but the usual process is for a full examination in the first instance.
This will include a full blood count, liver function test, estradiol examination, total testosterone, thyroid function, blood sugar and the regular tests for other conditions such as diabetes and heart malfunction.
The results are then forwarded to the sexual therapist who
will evaluate them in terms of hormonal levels in the blood, thyroid function,
genital blood flow and genital sensation. The therapist may also conduct tests
to evaluate any nerve damage and its extent and relevance to the situation.
Hypnosis is an option, but for various reasons is very rarely used. There are devices available which will improve blood flow, sexual sensation and arousal.
One of these is called the clitoral vacuum pump, a name which speaks for itself. Medication, tablets and even injections may be used by the therapist depending on the circumstances.
If the woman has had nerve damage or pelvic trauma, surgery is an option to repair any physical damage that may have been suffered. The therapist may advise that couples use manual or vibrator stimulation during intercourse.
A matter that might be discussed is foreplay and the relationship between the couple and it is not unusual for therapists to offer practical advice on the best sexual positions that can be used.
What is important is that the sufferer must know that she is not alone as the problem is extensive amongst women of all nations and cultures, of all ages and all walks of society. Also she must realize that there are a variety of methods to be used which can solve the problem.
Fear of sexual intercourse is known as Genophobia. A persistent and significant aversion to sexual contact can have a massive impact on a man or woman's entire sense of well-being, their ability to form relationships, and their level of sexual confidence and self-confidence.
Of course body image plays a massive part here, too. The size of the penis is a massive issue for many men; they feel inadequate when their penis size does not match up to what they believe to be the normal standards of other men.
There are many reasons why people can develop a phobia about sexual activity: these include problems such as premature ejaculation, which can be - in the worst cases - highly embarrassing during sexual contact, the inability to attain or maintain an erection, either because of age or other health issues.
Even with Viagra, men do not always develop an erection, but the problems of both premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction can be treated successfully.
For women, the fear of sex may be related to dyspareunia - the act of intercourse is incredibly painful, and women with this condition often avoid intercourse. Loss of libido due to hormone level changes after the menopause, during pregnancy, and in the menstrual cycle can all affect the way a woman see sex.
It is also important that any illness or infection which may be contributing to vaginal or vulval discomfort is identified and eliminated. For example, recurrent or persistent yeast infections can cause irritation and itching which makes sex downright challenging if not impossible.
Frigidity: Real or Imagined?
Female frigidity - anorgasmia - has been the subject of many jokes. But nowadays psychologists and psychiatrists usually consider the whole idea of frigidity to be a myth.
Although loss of libido is quite common, it happens to both men and women. So often coldness and sexual disinterest can be attributed to deeper aspects of a relationship rather than fear of sex.
For women, loss of libido, a lack of desire, may well be a symptom of poor communication with the relationship partner, or it may indicate a lack of romance, or perhaps a lack of excitement or emotional intimacy in the long term relationships.
Women have considerable hormonal fluctuations during their lives, which can cause loss of libido and fear of sex during pregnancy and the menopause.
Men lose their libido when faced with erectile dysfunction, or when they experience a lot of stress caused by work or a troubled sexual relationship. In other words, if someone feels frigid, anorgasmic, they may be simply not matched with the right sexual partner, an individual who can release the passion deep in their soul.
A healthy sex drive is innate in all of us, for the greater purposes of reproduction, and with the right partner, loss of libido will dissipate and "frigidity" disappear.
Whether or not there is anything analogous between female anorgasmia and male anorgasmia remains to be seen - the latter is really an ejaculatory disorder in most cases, although if it is caused by a lack of sexual stimulation, or at least, a man not receiving enough stimulation to reach the trigger point of his ejaculatory reflex, then they may have more in common than we currently believe.