What is anorgasmia and why do some women have trouble achieving orgasm?
Earlier this week, it was National Orgasm Day.
A day for celebrating sex, masturbation, and all the things that often come with them.
In some cases though, people don't come. And not just because the person they're with isn't pushing all the buttons they should be pushing.
For a lot of women (and some men too), orgasming during sex isn't a regular occurrence - or an occurrence at all.
It's important to remember that reaching orgasm isn't the absolute pinnacle of sexual activity.
It's entirely possible to have a good sexual experience without orgasming, but it's also worth recognising that not everybody might be able to.
So, why do some women struggle to achieve orgasm?
There is no one reason as to why sometimes people can't reach orgasm.
For some, it could be due to external factors like the person they are with, the type of stimulation that is occurring, or their inability to relax.
And for others, the issue might be a more internal one due to previous sexual experiences, past partners, subconscious guilt, or sexual pressure.
What is anorgasmia?
Anorgasmia is the inability to have an orgasm.
The condition can either be lifelong (a person has never had an orgasm), or acquired (a person used to have orgasms but now doesn't).
Similarly, anorgasmia can also either be situational (a person can orgasm in some scenarios, ie: with another person or while pleasuring themselves) or generalised (a person cannot achieve orgasm no matter what the scenario is).
What causes it?
Similar to the various triggers that can lead to the struggle to achieve orgasm in general, there is no one cause of anorgasmia.
For some people the condition can be a lifelong experience, seemingly occurring for no reason at all, and for others, anorgasmia can develop over time.
Everything from ageing to anxieties around sex to medication can affect a woman's ability to orgasm.
According to Mayo Clinic, anorgasmia can also be caused by physical gynaecological issues including hysterectomies and pain during sexual intercourse.
The condition can also stem from underlying psychological issues, such as internalised guilt, trauma, or mental health problems.
Is there any way to treat anorgasmia?
Sex means different things to different people, and just because somebody isn't orgasming doesn't mean that they're not having sex.
Similar to the way that intimacy means different things to different people, sex doesn't have to stop when somebody climaxes - and it shouldn't either.
You can have a satisfying sex life irrespective of whether you can achieve orgasm or not, but if the inability is something that causes regular issues for you - in your relationships or otherwise - there are a couple of things you can do.
Seeing your GP should always be your first step when it comes to your own body.
After that, sex therapists and relationship counsellors may be able to help you find out where the anorgasmia is coming from and point you in the right direction to figure out what works best for you.