Sexual Dysfunction

Female Orgasmic Disorder

The inability to orgasm is an issue related to men and women. This issue is frustrating for many women as it interferes with enjoyable sex and partner relationships. While female orgasmic disorder can be challenging to talk about, seeking science-based education and resources from a sex therapist can help women discover the source of sexual dysfunction and enjoy a more fulfilling sex life and better mental health.
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What Is Female Orgasmic Disorder?

Medical professionals often refer to female orgasmic disorder as anorgasmia, which is infrequent or delayed orgasms. Sometimes, women may not orgasm at all, resulting in frustration. Research shows that at least 5% to 10% of women have primary, or lifelong, anorgasmia. While every woman experiences an orgasm at different times and for various lengths, women who must work to reach climax may feel distressed, triggering emotional, mental, or physical concerns.

Anorgasmia refers to a wide range of orgasmic dysfunctions, classified into four types. These types are lifelong, acquired, situational, and generalized. All orgasms vary from one sexual encounter to the next, so it’s common for women not to reach climax every time they engage in sexual intercourse. However, if they’ve never had an orgasm, always struggle to have one, or they can only reach climax in certain situations, they may suffer from anorgasmia.

The four categories of anorgasmia are:
1. Lifelong: Never having an orgasm
2. Acquired: Developed problems having an orgasm
3. Situational: Difficulty reaching orgasm in specific situations
4. Generalized: Difficulty reaching orgasm in any situation

Symptoms of Female Orgasmic Disorder

Every woman reaches climax at different moments that will last for various lengths. Clitoral stimulation is the most common way that women achieve orgasm. Not all women have orgasm through vaginal penetration, which does not indicate a problem unless it causes the woman distress. Those who struggle with anorgasmia may experience symptoms such as:
  • Delayed orgasms
  • Absence of orgasm
  • Reduced intensity during orgasm
  • Less frequent orgasms

What Causes the Inability to Orgasm in Women?

Most women need to feel arousal to achieve a fulfilling climax. Physical, emotional, relational, and psychological factors play a part in enjoying orgasms during sexual intercourse. Many factors can make reaching climax difficult for females.

Physical Factors

A primary cause that prevents women from achieving orgasm is physical factors. Pregnancy, medications, pelvic floor dysfunction, gynecological treatments, or vaginal congenital conditions can make sex painful, preventing orgasm. Surgery, drugs, or treatments can also affect the clitoral nerves, making stimulation difficult. Some women may suffer from dyspareunia, pain during sex that keeps them from reaching climax. Endometriosis, medications, certain positions, or uterine fibroids are a few factors that can result in dyspareunia.

Medical Conditions

Any number of medical conditions can also contribute to anorgasmia. Cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other medical conditions can make sex painful. Vaginismus, the tightening of the vaginal muscles, is another common medical condition that triggers involuntary muscle spasms, making sexual intercourse uncomfortable or painful.

Hormonal Imbalances

Age-related issues like menopause, pregnancy, childbirth, and other hormonal imbalances will limit a woman’s ability to enjoy an orgasm. As the female body ages, estrogen levels decline, causing vaginal dryness, which prevents enjoyable sex. If a woman finds sex uncomfortable, it’s hard to reach climax.

Psychological Stressors

Women who take medications for mental health disorders may experience a shift in their sexual desires and encounters. Antidepressants, antipsychotics, or hormone replacement therapy can interfere with the female orgasmic response. Stress, anxiety, depression, or past trauma can keep women from enjoying sex with their partners. Talking about mental health struggles and female orgasmic disorders with a sex therapist and processing past trauma can help women break free from emotional bondage and relax during sexual intercourse.
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Emotional, physical, or sexual trauma will prevent a woman from reaching climax by herself or with a partner. Whether she’s suffered any form of trauma (sexual, emotional, or physical abuse or neglect), surgery, or relationship strain, a woman may have complex emotional impacts that lead to the inability to achieve orgasm.

Relationship Issues

When it comes to sexual intercourse, women initiate and respond on a deep, emotional level. Relationship issues such as a lack of trust, betrayal, or poor communication can keep women from enjoying a fulfilling sex life. 

How Can Women Overcome Orgasmic Disorder?

Treatment for anorgasmia is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The recovery process varies depending on the underlying cause. For many medical issues, healthcare professionals may prescribe medication, hormone therapy, self-stimulation techniques, or counseling. While psychological and sex therapies may take time, addressing the root cause can help women overcome sexual dysfunction and establish deeper connections with their partners.

Although treatments and therapies may help for a time, they may not always address the root cause of female orgasmic disorder. Women need time to process the physical and emotional aspects of this dysfunction so they can reconnect with their partner and enjoy sex again.
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Online Sexuality Education and Resources Can Help Women Recover From Sexual Dysfunction

Anorgasmia can occur in women because of medical issues, relationship disconnect, trauma, or a lack of confidence. This type of sexual dysfunction can prevent women from initiating sex, feeling aroused, or deepening a connection with their partner. MendEd’s sex therapists can provide female orgasmic disorder education and support to help women recover from this condition and improve overall sexual well-being. We offer online sexual education courses like From Sexual Distress to Sexual Satisfaction to help men and women discover the power of healing and how to prioritize sexual health.

Understand Sexual Health and Pleasure

Sexual dysfunction, like anorgasmia, is more common than most people think. We understand it’s hard to talk about sexual issues with a stranger, but opening up to a certified sex therapist can help you address conditions like vaginismus and anorgasmia and enjoy sex once again. Our comprehensive online sexuality courses help men and women understand the foundations of sexual health and how to achieve optimal pleasure. We provide a compassionate and supportive environment where people can process their feelings and thoughts and work toward healing female orgasmic disorder and anorgasmia with sex therapy and expert knowledge.
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Unlock the Source of Anorgasmia

Women can feel frustrated if they suffer from the inability to orgasm. They may also feel depressed or ashamed, believing they are inadequate for their partner. We have resources to help empower women to regain control of their sex lives as they work through our online courses. From Sexual Distress to Sexual Satisfaction contains several modules to help women:

  • Restore passion
  • Boost confidence
  • Unlock the source of unsatisfying sex
  • Recover from sexual anxiety and distress
  • Learn about sexual foundations and health
  • Discover body positivity and awareness
  • How to respond to sexual arousal and pleasurable sensations

Women do not have to struggle with orgasmic disorder in silence. Our certified therapists can guide you through this course and help you learn how to enjoy a fulfilling sex life.
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About Kimberly Keiser

Kimberly Keiser is licensed professional counselor, AASECT certified sex therapist, AASECT certified sex therapist supervisor, EMDRIA certified EMDR therapist and trauma expert providing client care, clinical supervision, and clinical consultation. Kimberly is a researcher in Dr. Kristine Jacquin's clinical forensic neuropsychology lab at Fielding Graduate University. Kimberly develops educational training, presentations, CEUs, and webinars for professional and lay audiences in the fields of sex therapy and trauma therapy. 
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Enjoy a Better Sex Life Today

If you’re ready to learn how our online sexual education courses can improve your sexual well-being, contact MendEd today. We offer several courses to help you understand the importance of sexual health, recover from dysfunction, and achieve a more fulfilling sex life.

Ask Me Anything

If you aren’t sure whether this course is right for you, submit an anonymous question that Kimberly will respond to through our Ask Me Anything inquiry. 
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Schedule a Call

If you would like a complimentary 15-minute consultation with Kimberly to ask any questions related to your specific experience, feel free to reach out to Kimberly directly at or schedule your 15-minute consultation online.