Orgasm isn’t always easy.Whether due to negative messages or experiences from childhood, poor body image, relationship woes, stress, or physical difficulties, many women (and men) suffer from an inability to reach orgasm.
Some surveys suggest that 33 percent to 50 percent of women are dissatisfied with how often they reach orgasm. In extreme cases, when a woman has never had an orgasm, the condition is known as primary orgasmic disorder. It is called secondary orgasmic dysfunction when a woman has reached orgasm at least once in the past but is currently unable to.
Here are eight reasons — from past trauma to present medical conditions — why you may not be able to reach an orgasm.
Emotional Trauma or Sexual or Physical Abuse
There is no doubt that women with a history of abuse are at greater risk for all sorts of emotional and physical problems — especially depression and anxiety — that can negatively impact their sex lives, including their ability to reach orgasm.
Negative Childhood Messages
Many women with lifelong orgasm difficulties were taught as children that sex was bad or dirty. As adults, they have a hard time quieting those negative voices and enjoying sex — even in the context of a loving relationship
Feeling Unsafe Studies have found that women experience decreased activity in the amygdala (the part of the brain that helps with memory and processing emotions) and the hippocampus (another area that contributes to memory processing) during orgasm, both of which help to monitor fear and anxiety, It may be that these parts of the brain are deactivated because women need to feel safe and relaxed in order to orgasm. Bottom line, if a woman doesn’t feel safe in a relationship, she may not reach orgasm.
Medications and Alcohol
Excessive consumption of alcohol and medications including antidepressants known as selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors, antianxiety medications, and sedatives can delay or impede orgasm.
Severed pelvic nerves, as a result of surgery or childbirth, can inhibit the engorgement of the genitals — a precondition for building to a climax.
This condition occurs when the muscles that support your pelvic organs weaken and loosen. Prolapse can result from childbirth, aging, and spinal-cord injury.
Blood Flow and Hormonal Disorders
Hormonal changes due to menopause and chronic illness can affect not only general health and sexual interest, but also a woman’s ability to reach orgasm. Good blood flow is especially important for orgasms, so diabetes and other health conditions that affect blood flow might be part of the problem as well.
It is important to note that just one-third of women regularly get orgasms during intercourse. Yes, just a third!
The rest of us rely on techniques that go beyond penetration, and others of us can’t reach orgasm at all during intercourse. For orgasms in general, the clitoris is usually the magic button.
Remember, if you are struggling to reach orgasm, it isn’t a reflection on you or your relationship. And don’t lose heart, with communication and openness, your orgasmic potential can still be realized in all its glory.