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:
- hormone changes, for example after childbirth, around the time of menopause or after menopause
- certain medical conditions, including thyroid problems, diseases that affect the nerves, anxiety and depression
- painful sex
- vaginal dryness
- not being stimulated enough
- medicines (such as antidepressants and antipsychotic medicines)
- worries or fears about having sex
- lack of self confidence
- use of recreational drugs, alcohol or smoking
- relationship worries
- stress or emotional distress
- history of trauma or unwanted sexual contact
CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use the 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.
Leading a healthy life may improve your chances of having a healthy sex life. You could try:
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Last reviewed: May 2022