Within the studies that have been made in the field of sexuality, much has been said about sexual dysfunctions , their origins and their diagnosis. In this paper I would like to make a contribution to one of the most common sexual dysfunctions: female anorgasmia , its causes and possible treatments.
What is ‘Female Anorgasmia’?
Defining it a little above, we could say that female anorgasmia is the inability or difficulty that women experience in reaching orgasm . Or, as explained by Lopiccolo (1990), we can also define female anorgasmia as “the persistent difficulty or inability to obtain orgasms given adequate stimulation and a normal excitement phase”.
One thing we should keep in mind is that there are stages when a woman feels the absence of orgasm for short periods. These periods can occur after an important event, such as after the woman has left the birth stage and some physical damage has been detected; when marital relations are in crisis or when there are family problems, etc. If all these events are not managed in the right way, they can lead to an absence of orgasm and to the fact that she cannot fully enjoy her sexuality .
Female anorgasmia is relatively common: types of anorgasmia
It is estimated that 7 to 30% of women suffer from this type of disorder in its three categories (although some groups of scientists distinguish up to five categories). These different types of anorgasmia are
- Primary anorgasmia : refers to women who never had an orgasm.
- Secondary anorgasmia : occurs in women who had orgasms and then stopped experiencing them.
- Situational anorgasmia : refers to women who can only have an orgasm under certain circumstances.
Causes of Female Anorgasmia
Specialists in Medicine, Sexual Health and Psychology agree that female anorgasmia has two possible origins or causes:
Organic factors of female anorgasmia
That is, those that have to do with alcohol consumption, drug abuse, organic problems (such as Rokitanksy Syndrome), hormonal problems or endocrine system disorders. We could say that these are general health problems.
Psychological factors of female anorgasmia
These factors refer to issues related to traumatic experiences, sexual abuse (in childhood or adolescence), rigid sexual education, self-esteem, etc.
The importance of culture
Only 6 or 7% of female anorgasmia is known to have an organic cause . In the rest of the cases, the cause is psychological (93% to 94%), and by means of the psychological consultation and interview, its origin can be ascertained.
We cannot forget the cultural and social factors that influence the appearance of female anorgasmia. Not so long ago, it was believed that only the woman should satisfy her partner, denying that the woman could have any interest or sexual desire . This cultural heritage has not yet completely vanished in the West, and that can be a source of problems. Furthermore, shame, ignorance of the subject and taboos have caused many women in the past and today to continue to suffer from this problem in silence, without seeking efficient professional help to cure it.
Today, in certain parts of the planet, a profoundly macho system is still maintained where this idea that women are the property of men and have to satisfy them affects the lives of many people very negatively. In certain countries, both in Africa and in the Middle East, clitoridectomy (removal or ablation of the clitoris) is carried out for cultural or religious reasons, which is only a sharpened symptom of the cultural roots that affect many women in many parts of the world (including rich countries).
In part, these are the causes that cause many women to inhibit their ability to achieve orgasm during sex , which can translate into a picture of female anorgasmia.
For a good diagnosis it is necessary to see a mental health professional specialized in these disorders. The specialists state that 80% of the women who come for consultations manage to solve their problem of anorgasmia. During the consultations, it is necessary to investigate the personal history of the person who experiences female anorgasmia, and obviously also to investigate how they have been or how their sexual experiences were throughout their lives.
Cognitive-behavioral therapies have been shown to be effective. Few specialists recommend a drug treatment, and they do so as long as there is organic damage requiring the use of a drug.
The role of the partner is also very important, since emotional support , commitment and collaboration can increase the chances of success of the treatment, they have a very important role in sexual relationships.
Rodes, Piqué and Threshing (2007) detail a chart of sexual skills that most professionals recommend as homework. These recommendations are:
- Encourage women to explore their bodies, especially their genitals.
- During the practice of masturbation exercises, try to imitate the orgasmic response through sounds and movements.
- Receive manual stimulation of the clitoris by the partner, indicating movement and frequency.
- Manually stimulate the clitoris during intercourse.
- Caballo, V. (2010).Therapy and Behavior Modification (2010). Faculty of Psychological Sciences of the University of Guayaquil. Ecuador.
- Rodez, Pique, Trilla (2007).Health book of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and the BBV Foundation.BBV Foundation. Bilbao.
- Sánchez Hernández, Monje Hernández and Gándara (2005).Human Sexuality: an integral approach. Editorial Panamericana. Madrid, Spain.