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Orgasmic Disorder - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Orgasm is the climax of any sexual activity. Inability to produce an orgasm occurs due to orgasmic disorder. Read the article below to learn more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Ramchandra Lamba

Published At October 31, 2022
Reviewed AtMay 31, 2024

What Is an Orgasm?

Orgasm, also known as "cum'’, is the fourth stage of sexual activity. During a sexual encounter, the sexual excitement gets collected, and at last, an altogether discharge occurs. Controlled by the autonomic nervous system, these produce a sense of sexual pleasure and rhythmical contractions of the pelvic muscles. In every individual, the frequency, duration, and intensity of orgasm differ. In some, orgasms can occur with minimal sexual stimulation, while some may require increased stimulation.

What Is an Orgasmic Disorder?

Inability or problems in attaining orgasm characterize orgasmic disorder, orgasmic dysfunction, or anorgasmia. Although the individual has been sexually aroused and there is adequate sexual stimulation, in orgasmic disorder, getting an orgasm is difficult or not possible. The orgasmic disorder impacts the relationship quality, psychological health, and self-esteem of that affected individual.

How Common Is Orgasmic Disorder?

The orgasmic disorder most commonly affects women and transgender people, with around 11% to 41% of women affected. However, it can also occur in men, in whom it is often seen as delayed ejaculation. Only about 5 to 10 percent of men are affected by delayed ejaculation.

What Are the Types of Orgasmic Disorders?

Depending on the situation in which anorgasmia occurs, it is divided into:

  • General Anorgasmia: In this type, getting an orgasm becomes difficult despite the circumstance in which the sexual activity occurs. Anorgasmia occurs even though there is enough sexual arousal and sexual stimulation to achieve an orgasm.

  • Situational Anorgasmia: This is the widely prevalent type of orgasmic disorder and pertains to a particular situation. For example, some people might find it challenging to have an orgasm during masturbation or oral sex.

Depending on the occurrence, anorgasmia is divided into:

  • Primary Anorgasmia: When the individual has not had an orgasm throughout his life, it is called primary anorgasmia.

  • Secondary Anorgasmia: In the case of secondary anorgasmia, although the individual had previous episodes of anorgasmia, they find difficulty reaching an orgasm.

What Causes the Orgasmic Disorder?

Orgasmic disorder can occur due to several factors, including physical, mental, sexual, and relationship.

The following are the contributing factors for orgasmic disorder:

  • In terms of men, the ejaculatory function declines with age. In women above the age of 45, the changes in the vagina and hormonal imbalances brought about by the yet-to-occur menopause create trouble in reaching orgasm.

  • Previous gynecological surgeries like hysterectomy in women. And in the case of men, surgery like radical prostatectomy.

  • Stress.

  • Having a history of sexual abuse.

  • Chronic medical conditions like diabetes, cardiac problems, bladder disorders, cancer, multiple sclerosis, etc.

  • Anxiety and depression.

  • Problems in relationships.

  • Fatigue.

  • Reduced self-esteem.

  • Having cultural and religious beliefs that stand out against getting an orgasm.

  • Taking antidepressants by Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), antihypertensives, or chemotherapy.

  • Pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

  • Having a feeling of guilt for enjoying the sexual activity.

  • Reduced levels of sex hormones like Estrogen and Testosterone.

  • Vascular disorders hamper the blood flow to the sex organs.

  • Feeling shy.

Despite all these factors, a previous episode of anorgasmia itself posts anxiety in the affected individual, thus worsening it further.

What Are the Symptoms Associated With Orgasmic Disorder?

The following are the characteristics of an orgasmic disorder:

  • Attaining orgasm takes a longer time than usual.

  • Inability to reach orgasm.

  • The orgasm attained seems unsatisfying.

How Is the Diagnosis of Orgasmic Disorder Made?

Diagnosis of the orgasmic disorder is made initially by taking the patient's personal history, sexual history, and medical history. Next, a physical examination of the genital organs is done to look for visible abnormalities. With the help of these, the doctor will be able to determine the cause of your orgasmic disorder. Identifying the reason for anorgasmia is essential to aid in appropriate treatment.

What Is the Treatment for Orgasmic Disorder?

Treatment for orgasmic disorder involves a causative approach. The following are the different modalities involved in the treatment of orgasmic dysfunction:

  1. Treating Underlying Medical Conditions: If an underlying medical condition like diabetes, cardiac diseases, etc., is the cause of anorgasmia, then treating the condition can help improve orgasmic disorder.

  2. Changing the Medications: Anorgasmia that occurs as a result of a side effect of a medication can be treated by switching to other drugs which do not produce this as an adverse effect. However, you must consult with your treating doctor before altering the drug or modifying its dose. Also, switching to other alternative treatments like psychotherapy in terms of depression can help withdraw from medication, but only at the physician's advice.

  3. Couples Counseling: For couples who have contradictory thoughts or those with disagreements can be given couple counseling to come out of their relationship and sexual problems.

  4. Hormonal Therapy: In women, if anorgasmia is caused due to a reduction in the level of Estrogen, then hormonal therapy using Estrogen can produce fruitful benefits. With Estrogen, blood flow to the genital organs is enhanced, thus improving sexual activity. Estrogen is available in pills, patches, rings, or gels. Although Testosterone therapy is given in some women to treat anorgasmia, it is not recommended.

  5. Eros Therapy Device: These devices increase the blood flow to the genital organs by using a gentle vacuum around the clitoris, thereby helping achieve an orgasm. It can be held at hand.

  6. Kegel Exercises: Kegel exercises can be practiced, which helps strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.

  7. Sexual Stimulation: Obtaining sexual stimulation by using sex toys is recommended during masturbation or sexual intercourse to arouse the individuals sexually to bring about orgasm.

  8. Lubrication: In women with vaginal dryness, using lubricants or moisturizers can help in improving orgasmic dysfunction.

  9. Speak Out With Your Partner: Having an open conversation with your partner about your sexual likes and dislikes creates a sense of containment. Thus, it enhances your sex life.

How Can We Prevent Orgasmic Dysfunction?

The below lifestyle modifications play an additive role in preventing orgasmic dysfunction:

  1. Avoid smoking and alcohol.

  2. Do regular exercises.

  3. Maintain ideal body weight.

  4. Avoid drugs.

Conclusion:

Orgasmic disorder is characterized by failure to produce an orgasm. Physical, sexual, and psychological factors bring about anorgasmia, which can be best managed by identifying and treating the cause. If you feel like you cannot obtain an orgasm, it is advisable to consult with a doctor to improve your sexual life.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Is It Good to Have an Orgasm Every Day?

As per newer studies, daily or regular orgasm is beneficial as:
- Reduces the risk of prostate cancer in men.
- Increases immunity.
- Make the menstrual cycles more regular.
- Reduces pain like menstrual cramps in women and other pains like headaches in men.
- Improves cardiovascular function.
- Provides good sleep due to the release of dopamine.
- Reduces stress and improves mood.

2.

Is It Good to Have an Orgasm?

Orgasm is the height of sexual pleasure and offers various benefits:
- Improves mood.
- Strengthens relationships.
- Better sleep.
- Increase body confidence.
- Strengthens pelvic muscles.

3.

How Long Does an Orgasm Last?

Female orgasms, on average, last for 13 to 51 seconds. Male orgasms, on average, last for 6 seconds. Some physiologic studies suggest female orgasms that last for twenty seconds and two minutes.

4.

Are Female Orgasms Better Than Males?

Studies suggest that in heterosexual relationships, males have more orgasms than females. This is referred to as the orgasm gap. Though the number of orgasms is higher in males, females tend to have longer orgasms compared to males.

5.

What Are the Most Number of Orgasms a Woman Can Have?

Recent studies show that women can have multiple orgasms in a row. Studies suggest that about 7 in 10 females achieve around 20 orgasms during sex. Although, the number varies from one to another. 

6.

Can Men Tell When Their Woman Partner Has an Orgasm?

Men cannot predict orgasm in the female partner, it can only be understood by enquiring about the same with the partner. Some females make noises, some flush, some sweat, and some remain silent during orgasms. The only way to know is to talk about the same with the partner.

7.

What Hormone Is Released at the Time of Orgasm?

Dopamine and oxytocin hormones are released by the brain during orgasm. Oxytocin is referred to as the “love hormone”, and promotes bond and connection with the partner during orgasm. Dopamine, on the other hand, is a neurotransmitter that is referred to as “feel-good hormone”.

8.

Can a Girl Ejaculate?

Some females ejaculate with milky white or gray thick fluid as they reach orgasm. These are thought to be produced by the paraurethral glands situated along the vaginal walls. Studies suggest that about 70 percent of females ejaculate during orgasm. The amount of ejaculation varies from one person to another.
Dr. Ramchandra Lamba
Dr. Ramchandra Lamba

Psychiatry

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