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Difficulty reaching female orgasm

4-minute read

It’s common for women not to have orgasms – this is the case for about 1 in 3 women. Sometimes women who have experienced orgasms go through periods of time where orgasms are less frequent or absent.

If you are unhappy about the amount, or type of orgasms you have, talk to your doctor.

It’s quite natural for a woman to have experienced orgasms many times before, only to go through periods of time where orgasms are less frequent or absent.

What can affect orgasm in women?

Difficulty reaching an orgasm can be a result of several things.

Common causes may include:

CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use the Sexual health and lower body Symptom Checker and find out if you need to seek medical help.

Where can you get advice?

You should visit your doctor if you have any concerns about your sexual performance, especially if it has changed for no apparent reason.

Your doctor may ask you questions about your sex life, relationships and medical history.

They may also perform an examination or order some tests if they think a health condition may be the underlying cause of your concerns.

Your doctor may also refer you to a sexual therapist who deals with sexual issues, as well as advising you on the best steps to take to resolve the issue.

Are there treatments to help with problems with orgasm?

Your doctor will treat any underlying medical conditions. They may recommend hormone therapy if you have been through menopause.

What else can help?

If you are concerned about not reaching an orgasm, you may want to try some self-stimulation (masturbation). When you know how to please yourself, you can share your knowledge with your partner.

Some women like to use objects, such as sex toys or vibrators, to masturbate with or use during partnered sex. Everyone is different and will find that different things stimulate the genitals in different ways.

Mindfulness therapy may help women who have stopped being able to reach orgasm.

Some women find couples counselling or sex therapy helpful.

Lifestyle changes

Leading a healthy life may improve your chances of having a healthy sex life. You could try:

  • maintaining a healthy weight and losing weight if you are overweight
  • reducing the amount of alcohol, you drink
  • not using illegal drugs
  • reducing stress
  • taking regular exercise
  • if you smoke, try to cut down or quit
  • don’t stop any prescribed medication until you have spoken to your doctor

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: May 2022


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