Orgasm Problems

Orgasm Problems

What is Female Orgasmic Disorder?

There are multiple factors that can cause a woman to occasionally fail to achieve orgasm. Some of this may be related to situational issues such as inadequate foreplay. However, a woman with Female Orgasmic Disorder (FOD) consistently cannot achieve an orgasm despite adequate sexual stimulation and arousal. Women with FOD are unable to reach orgasm with their partner or through self-stimulation (masturbation).


What causes Female Orgasmic Disorder?

There are multiple reasons that this may occur and it can be due to situational, psychological and physiological causes behind FOD. It is necessary to work closely with your healthcare team to determine both the causes and treatment options available for treating your FOD. Below are some reasons for FOD.


Situational Causes of FOD*:

  • One or both partners lack understanding of how female sex organs function
  • Poor communication as to what kinds of sexual stimulation are preferred
  • Inadequate foreplay
  • Relationship issues

Psychological Causes of FOD:

  • Past sexual abuse, rape, incest or sexual trauma
  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of becoming pregnant
  • Fear of rejection by partner
  • Body image issues
  • Relationship issues
  • Stress or anxiety issues
  • Depression
  • Guilt about sex and/or sexual pleasure
  • Religious or cultural beliefs about sex and/or sexual pleasure

Physiological Causes of FOD:

  • Side effect of prescription medications or drugs
  • Nerve damage to the spinal cord or pelvic region
  • Female genital mutilation


At the SHOW Center your provider will delve into the root cause of the FOD, which can be a combination of bio-psych-social issues. The SHOW Center will help you with a treatment pathway that may be multifocal and may include psychological therapy to acknowledge and reduce feelings of fear, guilt and shame, education about sexual function, exercises in self-stimulation and relaxation, and couple’s therapy.

*Instances of situational FOD are partner or situation specific. Women with situational FOD may be able to achieve orgasm through self-stimulation or with a different partner.

*This information does not replace a provider consultation. You should schedule an appointment with your provider if you experience any of these symptoms.