Disease: Anorgasmia in women

Overview

Anorgasmia is the medical term for regular difficulty reaching orgasm after ample sexual stimulation. The lack of orgasms distresses you or interferes with your relationship with your partner.

Orgasms vary in intensity, and women vary in the frequency of their orgasms and the amount of stimulation needed to trigger an orgasm. Most women require some degree of direct or indirect clitoral stimulation and don't climax from penetration alone. Plus, orgasms often change with age, medical issues or medications you're taking.

If you're happy with the climax of your sexual activities, there's no need for concern. However, if you're bothered by the lack of orgasm or the intensity of your orgasms, talk to your doctor about anorgasmia.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

Symptoms

An orgasm is a feeling of intense physical pleasure and release of tension, accompanied by involuntary, rhythmic contractions of your pelvic floor muscles. But it doesn't always look — or sound — like it does in the movies. The way an orgasm feels varies among women, and in an individual, it can differ from orgasm to orgasm.

By definition, the major symptoms of anorgasmia are the inability to have an orgasm or long delays in reaching orgasm that's distressing to you. But there are different types of anorgasmia:

  • Lifelong anorgasmia. You've never had an orgasm.
  • Acquired anorgasmia. You used to have orgasms, but now have difficulty reaching climax.
  • Situational anorgasmia. You're able to have an orgasm only in certain circumstances, such as during oral sex or masturbation or only with a certain partner.
  • Generalized anorgasmia. You aren't able to have an orgasm in any situation or with any partner.

When to see a doctor

Talk to your doctor if you have questions about orgasm or concerns about your ability to reach orgasm.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

Causes

Orgasm is a complex reaction to various physical, emotional and psychological factors. Difficulties in any of these areas can affect your ability to orgasm.

Physical causes

A wide range of illnesses, physical changes and medications can interfere with orgasm:

  • Diseases. Serious illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, and their associated affects on psychological well-being can hamper orgasm.
  • Gynecological issues. Gynecologic surgeries, such as hysterectomy or cancer surgeries, can affect orgasm. Also, lack of orgasm often goes with other sexual concerns, such as uncomfortable or painful intercourse.
  • Medications. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications can inhibit orgasm, including blood pressure medications, antipsychotic drugs, antihistamines and antidepressants — particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
  • Alcohol and smoking. Too much alcohol can hamper your ability to climax. Smoking can limit blood flow to your sexual organs.
  • Aging. As you age, normal changes in your anatomy, hormones, neurological system and circulatory system can affect your sexuality. Waning estrogen levels as you transition to menopause and menopausal symptoms, such as night sweats and mood changes, can have an impact on sexuality.

Psychological causes

Many psychological factors play a role in your ability to orgasm, including:

  • Mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression
  • Poor body image
  • Stress and financial pressures
  • Cultural and religious beliefs
  • Embarrassment
  • Guilt about enjoying sex
  • Past sexual or emotional abuse

Relationship issues

Couples' problems outside of the bedroom can affect their sexual relationship. Issues might include:

  • Lack of connection with your partner
  • Unresolved conflicts
  • Poor communication of sexual needs and preferences
  • Infidelity or breach of trust
  • Intimate partner violence

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

Diagnosis

A medical evaluation for anorgasmia usually consists of:

  • A thorough medical history. Your doctor might ask about your sexual history, surgical history and current relationship. Don't let embarrassment stop you from giving candid answers. These questions provide clues to the cause of your problem.
  • A physical exam. Your doctor will probably conduct a general physical exam to look for physical causes of anorgasmia, such as a medical condition. Your doctor might also examine your genital area to see if there's some obvious physical or anatomical reason for lack of orgasm.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

Alternative medicine

Natural products, such as those made with L-arginine, are marketed for improving women's sex lives. But these supplements haven't been well-studied for this use, and they're not regulated by the FDA.

Talk with your doctor before trying natural therapies, which can cause side effects and interact with other medications.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

Coping and support

Your difficulty reaching orgasm can be frustrating for you and your partner. Plus, concentrating on climax can make the problem worse.

Most couples aren't having the headboard-banging, earth-shaking sex that appears on TV and in the movies. So try to reframe your expectations. Focus on mutual pleasure and intimacy instead of orgasm. You might find that a sustained pleasure plateau is just as satisfying as orgasm.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

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