Frigidity - Female Orgasmic Disorder
Female Orgasmic Disorder
What Is It
Female orgasmic disorder is distinct from female sexual arousal disorder in that you may be highly aroused but cannot cross the threshold from arousal to climax. It is not just failure to have an orgasm during intercourse. Many women who have orgasms with their partners regularly through manual or oral stimulation may not do so during intercourse. In contrast to men, women learn how to orgasm, typically in the context of a trusting relationship. This learning curve increases until the fifth decade when it plateaus.
Orgasmic disorder can be lifelong or it can occur in women who have previously had little difficulty climaxing. For the 10 percent of women who have never experienced orgasm, the causes most often have to do with sexual inexperience, performance anxiety or past experiences, such as negative sexual upbringing or sexual trauma, that have led to inhibited sexual response. For a woman who has experienced orgasm in the past but can no longer do so, anger, resentment or hostility toward her partner can also be the cause, as can anxiety, personal crises and other stress factors. Certain medications may affect response as well, especially the newer antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine (prozac), paroxetine (paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft).
The primary symptom is an inability to have an orgasm despite adequate stimulation.
What Your Doctor Looks For
Your doctor will assess a number of different factors, including your age, your sexual experience, your attitudes toward sex and your partner and past or present experiences that may have influenced your attitude toward sex.
Counseling will be the most effective treatment. A qualified sex therapist should be able to get to the root of your problem and help you resolve it. Depending on how deeply rooted your disorder is, the usual treatment duration is about 6 to 12 months, although briefer periods are common.
When To Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you suspect your problem is caused by medication. You should consider counseling and contact your doctor or a counselor if you feel that your disorder has begun to significantly affect your sex life and your relationship, particularly if it may be a result of the dynamics of the relationship or if it has left you depressed.
The prognosis is excellent to very good. Although it is estimated that a certain percentage of women never have orgasms, most women can and do. Seeking treatment will significantly improve the likelihood of resolving your disorder.