Disorder Information Sheet Mental Health Information from PsychNet-UK
Multi Search
HomeSubject Page
Refer to conditions of use

Female Orgasmic Disorder

A disorder which may result from a traumatic experience, but can also be acquired through problems within relationships. There are those for whom the problem is of lifelong duration and for others the problem may present in generalized settings or be specific to situational settings. Female Orgasmic Disorder occurs when there is a significant delay or total absence of orgasm associated with the sexual activity. This condition must cause a problem in the relationship with the sexual partner in order to be defined as a disorder.

After a normal phase of sexual excitement, the woman's orgasm is persistently or repeatedly delayed or absent. The clinician's judgment of this is based on her sexual experience, adequacy of foreplay and norms for her age.

Except for another Sexual Dysfunction.

It is not directly caused by substance use (medication or drug of abuse) or by a general medical condition.

It causes marked distress or interpersonal problems.

Associated Features:

Present or Previous Traumatic Experience.
Possible inadequate genital stimulation.
Poor communication by both partners.

Differential Diagnosis:

Some disorders have similar or even the same symptoms. The clinician, therefore, in his/her diagnostic attempt has to differentiate against the following disorders which need to be ruled out to establish a precise diagnosis.

Emotional problems; distraction.
Medical Illness.
Negative Body Perception


A disorder which can result from trauma but can also be acquired through problems within relationships.


The capacity for orgasm increases with age, female orgasmic disorder are more common in younger women. Many women increase orgasm capacity as they acquire more knowledge of the responses of their own bodies. Masturbatory training may also be helpful in the treatment of female orgasm disorder

Counseling and Psychotherapy [ See Therapy Section ] & [ Sex Therapy ]:

Sex therapy and counselling can be helpful. Occasional orgasmic problems, which are not persistent or do not result in distress or interpersonal difficulty, are not considered a disorder, nor are orgasmic problems which result from the poor or inadequate nature of the sexual stimulation by a partner including "focus, intensity and duration."

Pharmacotherapy [ See Psychopharmacology Section ] :

 There are substance-induced (drug related) sexual dysfunctions for which inhibited orgasm can be the result.

related books
None Located
UK Support Groups
  Relate Central Office

Herbert Gray College
Little Church Street, RUGBY
CV21 3AP
Telephone: 0845 456 1310 or 01788 573241.
Fax: 01788 535007.
Web: http://www.relate.org.uk
PsychNet-UK Links
  Female Sexual Disorder's
Page Updated
19th July 2003