Disorders of Orgasms—Yes, they exit

Disorders of Orgasms—Yes, they exit




If you’ve ever felt that you don’t quite have “orgasms” as you’ve expected them to be (via the wealth of “education” that’s out there these days), you may be right.


First, some medical vocabulary:

  • Orgasm: a sensation of intense pleasure creating an altered consciousness state accompanied by pelvic striated circumvaginal musculature and uterine/anal contractions and myotonia that resolves sexually-induced vasocongestion and induces well-being/contentment
  • Female Orgasmic Disorder: the persistent or recurrent delay in, or absence of, orgasm following a normal sexual excitement phase that causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty
  • Anorgasmia: a condition in which a woman cannot achieve orgasm. 
  • Delayed orgasm: a condition in which there is a persistent delay in achieving orgasm.

Second, some details:

25% of American women report some dysfunction of orgasm.   Female Orgasmic Disorder is the second most commonly reported female sexual disorder.

Since orgasms are complex, orgasmic dysfunction is a multifaceted condition.   Dysfunction can be primary—a woman has never had an orgasm or has never had an orgasm when expected; or secondary—a previously satisfied woman can no longer have one or have one on time; or situational—a woman cannot have orgasms properly in certain circumstances.  

Remember, the diagnosis of “dysfunction” comes from the distress the issue causes you.  Every woman is different, as are her goals and thresholds. 


Finally, some good news:

No matter what the issue, having language to discuss it is important.  Learn proper vocabulary about your body and your sexual function.  Furthermore, having a place to go to discuss it is just as important.  At our office, we recognize a woman’s sexual health is an important part of her life and we all welcome discussions on difficulty you may be having.  We would all much rather you brought it up with us than with Google!

Most of these issues can be successfully treated.  After discussion and evaluation, depending on what your diagnosis is, there are a variety of treatments that have proven effective in addressing orgasmic dysfunction.  There are medications that can be added, there are medications that may need to be discontinued or changed.  Some behavioral modifications make a huge difference, sometimes the introduction of a vibrator is necessary.  Primary anorgasmia is probably the most difficult to treat, may take more time and need psychotherapy and ongoing behavioral guidance, but it is also treatable. 

If this is an issue that has been bothering you, bring it up with your Gyn.  We will work to educated you on anatomy and behavior as best we can, discuss treatments that are likely to work and refer you for psychotherapy if that seems to be the next step.  We even have a special list of counselors that specialize in sex therapy.

In case you want to find one on your own, here are some resources:

AASECT-Referral Directory

ISSWSH-Find a Provider

SSTAR-Find a Therapist

El Camino Women’s Medical Group offers the latest Minimally Invasive Solutions for gynecologic problems.   Drs. Amy TengErika Balassiano, and Pooja Gupta, all members of AAGL (American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy) are highly trained and experienced in the field of Minimally Invasive Gynecgologic Surgery.   Dr. Erika Balassiano is also a graduate of the Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship at Stanford University, under the supervision of world-renowned Dr. Camran Nezhat.


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