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Weak or Absent Orgasms

August 1, 2016 | Valerie Padd, RN, BSN

Oh where, oh where did my orgasm go?
Most women are able to experience orgasm. However, orgasms can feel differently depending on any number of factors: method of stimulation, solo play or partner sex, and where you are in your menstrual cycle. But it’s true that some women – about 10 percent of those with normal genitalia – have never had an orgasm.

It used to be said that a woman who rarely or never experienced orgasm was anorgasmic. This term suggests that she is incapable of having an orgasm, or that she is “frigid” and incapable of enjoying a healthy sexual response. Neither term is appropriate and both are woefully out of date. When women don’t experience orgasms, it often has more to do with not knowing how the female body responds to sexual stimulation than to anything else. A little knowledge about your body can go a long way.

Since most female orgasms occur with stimulation to the clitoris, it’s exceptionally rare for a woman with a healthy clitoris to be truly anorgasmic. Today, it’s more appropriate to say that a sexually active woman who seldom or never reaches an orgasm is preorgasmic – that is to say that she just hasn’t had an orgasm yet, or at least regularly.

For Her
In other cases, women who have had normal sexual responses in past can develop issues later on. The problem of the absent or weak orgasm can have a transient or external cause, like overactive bladder. Medications for certain conditions – depression, hypothyroidism or high blood pressure – can lower sexual desire and interfere with orgasm. That’s for a woman and her health-care professional to determine.

While physicians can help identify sexual problems, it’s not always their place to offer advice; for that, you may be referred to a qualified sexual health counselor or therapist. Physicians help identify any issues that can be resolved medically. For urologists in particular, the focus is restoring and preserving the health and fitness of your pelvic floor in order to alleviate and cure the symptoms of urgency and urinary incontinence, which offers sexual benefits as well.

Anatomically speaking, the health and fitness of the pelvic floor has a lot to do with the PC muscle (pubucoccygeus). This muscle wraps around the vagina and, when contracted, squeezes the vagina. It’s often mentioned in the context of kegel exercises to enhance vaginal intercourse.

For Him
A woman’s strong and healthy pelvic floor also plays a major role in pleasuring her partner. In fact, penis size shouldn’t matter to a woman with a strong pelvic floor; she can contract to grip and squeeze whatever he has to offer. Both participants benefit. And she is further empowered by heightening the pleasure of her partner. Not every woman’s sexual partner has a penis, but those who do are more likely to be the secondary beneficiaries of a woman’s strong pelvic floor.

In our experience – setting aside external physical and emotional factors – when we improve anatomical understanding, what we see is that a woman with a healthy pelvic floor can enjoy optimal sexual satisfaction. Pelvic floor therapy or a regimen of exercises can have a substantial sexual dividend!

For more information or to kegel your way to better sex, click here.

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