Female orgasmic disorder can be primary or secondary:
Factors that contribute to female orgasmic disorder include
Contextual factors (eg, consistently insufficient foreplay, early ejaculation by the partner, poor communication about sexual preferences)
Psychologic factors (eg, anxiety, stress, lack of trust in a partner)
Cultural factors (eg, lack of recognition of or attention paid to female sexual pleasure)
Drug therapy (eg. some antipsychotics or, commonly, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs])
Lack of knowledge about sexual function
Damage to genital sensory or autonomic nerves or pathways (eg, due to diabetes or multiple sclerosis)
Vulval dystrophy (eg, lichen sclerosus)
Clinicians interview both partners separately and together if possible; the woman is asked to describe the problem in her own words and should include specific elements (see table Components of the Sexual History for Assessment of Female Sexual Dysfunction).
Diagnosis of orgasmic disorder is clinical, based on criteria in the DSM-5:
Delayed, infrequent, or absent orgasm or markedly decreased intensity of orgasm after a normal sexual arousal phase on all or almost all occasions of sexual activity
Distress or interpersonal problems due to orgasmic dysfunction
No other disorder or substance that exclusively accounts for the orgasmic dysfunction
Symptoms must have been present for ≥ 6 months.
Because the type of stimulation that triggers orgasm varies widely, clinicians must use clinical judgment to determine whether the woman's response is deficient, based on her age, sexual experience, and adequacy of the sexual stimulation she receives.
Data support encouraging self-stimulation (masturbation). First-line treatment of female orgasmic disorders is directed masturbation, which involves a series of prescribed exercises.
A vibrator placed on the mons pubis close to the clitoris may help, as may increasing the number and intensity of stimuli), simultaneously if necessary. Education about sexual function (eg, need to stimulate other areas of the body before the clitoris) may help.
Sex therapy for women, with or without their partners, can often help them with concerns about sexual performance and feelings.
Other psychologic therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychotherapy, may help women identify and manage fear of vulnerability and issues of trust with a partner. Recommending the practice of mindfulness and using mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can help women pay attention to sexual sensations (by staying in the moment) and not judge or monitor these sensations.
Currently, no data suggest that any drug is efficacious in the treatment of female orgasmic disorder.