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Other Names:
Inhibited Sexual Excitement, Anorgasmia
Orgasmic Dysfunction

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Definition

Orgasmic dysfunction is an inhibition of the orgasm or climax during sexual activity.

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Types

  • Primary orgasmic dysfunction - In this condition the female has never experienced orgasm through any means of stimulation.
  • Secondary orgasmic dysfunction - The problem is called secondary if the woman has attained orgasm in the past but is currently not able to attain orgasm.

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Causes

  • Performance anxiety
  • Some medications like antidepressants (fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft))
  • Excessive use of alcohol.
  • Hormonal imbalance e.g. menopause.
  • Chronic medical conditions that may affect the nerve supply to pelvis like diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), heart diseases, kidney and liver failure, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury.
  • Severed nerves of the pelvis during hysterectomy or other surgeries involving the pelvic organs.
  • Negative attitudes toward sex related to childhood experiences like sexual abuse or rape.
  • Lack of emotional closeness between sexual partners.
  • Monotony in sexual activity leading to inadequate stimulation and arousal.

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Implications

When enjoyment does not accompany sex, it can become a chore rather than a mutually satisfying, playful and intimate experience. When orgasmic dysfunction persists, sexual desire and frequency usually declines. This may create resentments and conflicts in the relationship.

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What You Can Do

  • Treatment
    • Manual clitoral stimulation is quite successful for a woman to have orgasm.
    • Conscious efforts should be made minimize performance anxiety, pressure, maximize communication, effective stimulation and playfulness techniques. Gradually, these activities will help to let go of the inhibitions and make it possible for the woman to achieve orgasm with her partner.
    • Similar exercises are usually part of the therapy for the woman with secondary orgasm dysfunction.
    • Sometimes hypnosis may also assist in increasing concentration, exploring and overcoming subconscious conflicts, and minimizing performance anxiety.
  • Prevention
    • Education about sexual stimulation and learning about different sexual arousal techniques can change unhealthy attitudes toward sex and alleviate the problem to some extent.
    • Couples should communicate openly to verbally and nonverbally guide their partner in providing them with the stimulation that feels best.
    • It is also important to realize that you cannot make an orgasm to happen, so be patient and just enjoy the sexual act and intimacy with your sex partner.

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Orgasmic Dysfunction