Inhibited sexual excitement; Sex - orgasmic dysfunction; Anorgasmia
Orgasmic dysfunction is when a woman either can't reach orgasm, or has difficulty reaching orgasm when she is sexually excited.
CAUSES, INCIDENCE, AND RISK FACTORS
The condition is called primary orgasmic dysfunction when a woman has never had an orgasm. This is the case in 10 - 15% of women. It is called secondary orgasmic dysfunction when a woman has had at least one orgasm in the past, but is currently unable to have one. Surveys suggest that 33 - 50% of women are dissatisfied with how often they reach orgasm.
Many factors can contribute to orgasmic dysfunction. They include:
- A history of sexual abuse or rape
- Boredom and monotony in sexual activity
- Certain prescription drugs, including fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft)
- Hormonal disorders, hormonal changes due to menopause, and chronic illnesses that affect general health and sexual interest
- Medical conditions that affect the nerve supply to the pelvis (such as multiple sclerosis, diabetic neuropathy, and spinal cord injury)
- Negative attitudes toward sex (usually learned in childhood or adolescence)
- Shyness or embarrassment about asking for whatever type of stimulation works best
- Strife or lack of emotional closeness within the relationship
A healthy attitude toward sex, and education about sexual stimulation and response will minimize problems.
Review Date: 06/05/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.