Anorgasmia: Failure to Achieve Orgasm

Published: Tuesday 7th October 2014 - Updated: Tuesday 9th February 2016
Summary: Information regarding Anorgasmia, a form of sexual dysfunction in which a male or female fails to achieve orgasm.

Anorgasmia is defined as a form of sexual dysfunction in which a person fails to achieve an orgasm. In men, the condition is related to ejaculation; whether delayed or premature, and quite a bit has been written on the subject. Anorgasmia is much more widespread in women than it is in men and may often times cause sexual frustration.

Anorgasmia may be classified as a form of psychiatric disorder, although evidence shows that is might also be caused by medical issues. If a person has experienced any of the following, it may well be the cause of the condition:

'Situational anorgasmia,' is a term medical professionals use to refer to a condition caused by the use of anti-depressants, prescription medications, or recreational drugs with side effects. The worst drugs are ones that contain opiates such as heroin, even in low quantities. Studies have shown that anorgasmia is the most common complaint resulting from the use of drugs.

If you experience anorgasmia you are not alone, it is an extensive ailment. Around 1 in 5 women have difficulties with achieving an orgasm and as many as 1 in 10 women claim they have never climaxed at all. Understand that if you do not achieve an orgasm every time, it does not mean you have anorgasmia. For women who achieve an orgasm regularly, the average is 2 times in 3 attempts. Therapists classify anorgasmia into 4 different groups which include:

Primary anorgasmia is a condition where a woman has never experienced an orgasm, although she may achieve a certain level of sexual excitement. The might not be an obvious cause for the condition. Women often times state that they have a loving and caring partner and do not have any concerns that may prevent them from achieving sexual satisfaction. Therefore, in the case of primary anorgasmia, therapists look at the woman herself instead of the relationship she has with her partner.

Chart showing causes of secondary anorgasmia
Chart showing causes of secondary anorgasmia

Secondary anorgasmia is defined as the loss of the capacity to have orgasms. There are different causes for this sudden occurrence, which may include:

Situational anorgasmia is where a woman achieves an orgasm in some situations, yet not in others. She may achieve orgasm with one partner, but not with another, or have an orgasm under certain conditions – but not in others.

There are a number of variables, but a therapist would look especially at the foreplay, type, amount and any variations that could be included. The woman, her partner and the therapist investigate the different types of situations in which the woman is or is not able to achieve an orgasm. Items worth exploring include emotional concerns, fatigue, or the woman's or her partner's mood swings. Situational anorgasmia is perhaps the easiest and simplest form of anorgasmia to work with.

Random anorgasmia is where a woman achieves orgasm occasionally, but not enough to fulfill her needs. In this instance, therapy will help her to examine her desires and expectations of sexual activities and orgasm.

Diagnosing and Treating Anorgasmia

One thing that is important to note is that in men, a certain amount of education and training might be required for successful dating and relationships. The reason why is because few men experience any form of assistance from their fathers in learning how to establish and maintain a successful relationship.

Chart showing anorgasmia medical tests
Chart showing anorgasmia medical tests

Diagnosis and effective treatment of anorgasmia depends on the type and cause. If it is apparent that one of the causes is sexual trauma or violence, psychological treatment is preferred, at times with additional psychosexual counseling. If there is no obvious psychological cause of the person's anorgasmia, a full medical examination is called for. Medical professionals may take different courses of action, although the usual process is for a full examination including:

As well as regular tests for other conditions such as heart malfunction and diabetes. The results are forwarded to the person's sexual therapist, who will then evaluate the results in terms of hormonal levels in the person's blood, genital blood flow, thyroid function and genital sensation. The therapist might also conduct tests to evaluate any nerve damage and its extent and relevance to the person's situation.

A number of treatments are available and many variations are practiced by medical professionals. Hormonal tablets or patches are a simple means of correcting hormonal imbalances. Hypnosis is an option, yet for various reasons it is rarely used. There are devices available that will improve a person's blood flow, arousal, and sexual sensation.

One of the devices that is available is called the, 'clitoral vacuum pump.' Tablets, medication, and injections might be used by a therapist depending on the person's circumstances. If a woman has experienced pelvic trauma or nerve damage, surgery may be an option to repair any physical damage they may have. The therapist might advise that couples use vibrator or manual stimulation during intercourse.

A topic that may be discussed is foreplay and the relationship between the couple and it is not unusual for a therapist to offer practical advice on the best sexual positions the couple may use. What is important is that the person must know they are not alone as the issue is extensive among women of all cultures and nations, of all ages and walks of society. The person must understand that there are a variety of methods to be used that can solve the issue.

Fear of Sexual Intercourse or, 'Genophobia'

Fear of sexual intercourse is known as, 'Genophobia.' A persistent and significant aversion to sexual contact may have a large impact on a man or woman's sense of well-being, their ability to form relationships, as well as their level of sexual confidence and self-confidence. Body image plays a large part too. The size of a person's penis is a big issue for a number of men – they feel inadequate when the size of their penis does not match up to what they think is the usual standard for men.

Chart showing medical issues that may cause anorgasmia
Chart showing medical issues that may cause anorgasmia

There are several reasons why people may develop a phobia about sexual activity, including issues such as premature ejaculation, which may be – in worst instances, very embarrassing during sexual contact. Another issue includes the inability to attain or maintain an erection, either due to age or other health issues. Even with the use of viagra men do not always develop an erection, yet the issues of premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction can be treated successfully.

For women, fear of sex might be related to, 'dyspareunia.' With dyspareunia the act of sexual intercourse is highly painful and women with this particular condition often times avoid intercourse. Loss of libido due to hormone level changes after menopause, during pregnancy, as well as during their menstrual cycle may all affect the way a woman perceives sex. It is also important that any infection or illness that might be contributing to vulval or vaginal discomfort be identified and eliminated. For example; persistent or recurrent yeast infections may cause itching and irritation that makes sex highly challenging, if not completely impossible.

The Notion of, 'Frigidity'

Female anorgasmia – at times referred to as, 'frigidity,' in the past, has been the subject of a number of jokes. Today, psychiatrists and psychologists consider the whole notion of frigidity to be a myth. While loss of libido is very common, it happens to both men and women. Sexual disinterest may be attributed to deeper aspects of a relationship, rather than fear of sex.

For women, a lack of desire or loss of libido might well be a symptom of poor communication with their partner. It might indicate a lack of romance, or possibly a lack of emotional intimacy or excitement in a long-term relationship. Women experience considerable hormonal fluctuations during their lives, which may cause loss of libido and fear of sex during pregnancy or menopause.

Men lose their libido when faced with erectile dysfunction, or when they experience large amounts of stress caused by work or trouble in a sexual relationship. If a person feels anorgasmic, they might simply be inappropriately matched with a sexual partner who has the ability to release the passion deep within their soul. A healthy sex drive is innate in everyone, for the purpose of reproduction, and with the right partner loss of libido will dissipate and anorgasmia will disappear.


Female Orgasms: Myths and Facts

Anorgasmia in women

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