What is anorgasmia?

Anorgasmia is a consistent inability or difficulty in reaching orgasm, even with abundant sexual stimulation. It is one of the most common sexual disorders in women. It can occur in men, although less frequently.

Types are:

  • Lifelong anorgasmia - when a person has never achieved orgasm
  • Acquired anorgasmia - when a person was able to orgasm in the past but is now unable to, or they find it very difficult
  • Situational anorgasmia - when orgasm can be reached in specific situations, such as with a specific partner or during only penetrative sex or masturbation

Symptoms of anorgasmia

If you’re unable to orgasm or having difficulty reaching orgasm, you may have lifelong, acquired, generalised or situational anorgasmia.

Medical tests to diagnose anorgasmia

A doctor will take a full medical history to determine if there are potential psychological or physical factors that cause the anorgasmia. They may then also perform a physical examination to determine if you have any gynaecological condition that might be resulting in the anorgasmia.

What are the causes of anorgasmia?

Physical and mental factors affect the ability to orgasm:

  • Painful sex
  • Having had surgery for gynaecological problems
  • Some medications
  • Relationship issues
  • Mental health issues
  • Alcohol and smoking
  • Substance abuse
  • Getting older - reduced oestrogen levels during the transition to menopause can impact the desire for sexual activity

Can anorgasmia be prevented?

The prevention of anorgasmia involves trying to avoid its causes, such as excess tobacco and alcohol. There is no specific method to try to prevent it, although it is important to see a specialist if the inability to reach climax is a problem.

Treatments for anorgasmia

The most effective treatment for anorgasmia depends on the cause.

In many cases, the causes are psychological, so usually, a consultation with a therapist is recommended. Your doctor may recommend trying new methods of sexual stimulation or increasing the amount of stimulation to figure out what works for you - many women require clitoral stimulation with penetrative sex to orgasm, for example, and can’t orgasm with penetrative sex alone. If hormones are the cause, the appropriate hormone therapy for men and women could be offered.

Which type of specialist treats anorgasmia?

Specialists in the field of gynaecology and obstetrics (for women), andrology (for men), psychology and psychiatry (for both genders) treat anorgasmia.

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