A good tumble in the sheets is what keeps relationships and libido alive and exciting. Sexual health is important but is sadly often taken for granted or not given much attention. While some people have perfectly healthy sex, others may face difficulties that social inhibitions have made difficult to talk about.
In an attempt to bring to light some of these problems, here are orgasm-related issues that you should be aware of.
Different Types Of Orgasm Disorders
An orgasm, also called a climax or coming, is an intense pleasurable release of sexual tension at the peak of sexual intercourse.
Many may think that being a natural phenomenon it will always take its natural course. Such is not always the case. Frequent, infrequent, absent, and painful orgasms are some orgasm disorders that we need to start talking about.
1. Anorgasmia: No Orgasm
Both men and women may suffer from a condition where they are unable to orgasm despite sufficient sexual stimulation. This is called anorgasmia.1 About 12% women never attain an orgasm. Biological changes that accompany aging often have a hand in this.
A person who has this condition may have never had an orgasm in their life or have had orgasms in the past but can no longer experience them. For the former type, ignorance may be bliss. They may have a very fulfilling sexual life that is not dependent on orgasming. For the latter, significant sexual dissatisfaction is common, however, targeting the underlying cause can help.
2. Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: Non-stop Orgasms
As inviting and enjoyable as this may sound, it is quite the opposite. Orgasms are designed to be the peak of sexual enjoyment, not the beginning, middle, and end.
Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) involves spontaneous genital arousal in women for which masturbation or orgasms offer negligible or no relief.2
What’s more is that PGAD triggers sexual stimulation even when not engaging in sex. For instance, the slightest stimulation to the clitoris, say because of tight underwear, can cause an orgasm. This makes daily activities like driving difficult to perform. Because of this, PGAD causes harmful levels of stress in afflicted women.
Thankfully, PGAD is a very rare condition.
3. Orgasm-induced Sneezing
Sneezing when you’re approaching climax or when you reach climax is an under-discussed topic of a very real thing affecting both men and women. People can sneeze when they orgasm in the absence of nasal irritation or the flu.
Scientists believe that the parasympathetic nervous system has something to do with this sneezing reflex.3 This part of the nervous system is involved in involuntary muscle movements that relax the body to an unexcited state. One can look at it as the body’s way of releasing built-up sexual tension.
4. Orgasmic and Pre-orgasmic Headaches
This rare type of headache occurs during or after sex and is more common in men than women.4 Some individuals experience a dull pre-orgasmic headache that gradually increases with the intensity of sexual activity. Others experience a sudden, explosive, throbbing orgasmic headache at or just before an orgasm.
More severe headaches last from a minute to a day while milder headaches can last up to 3 days. The headaches occur toward the back of the head and on both sides. It’s important not to ignore these headaches as they may be indicators of underslying conditions like a hemorrhage or reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome.
5. Dysorgasmia: Painful Orgasms
While pain and pleasure seem to be the packaged deal for sex, too much pain can be a major turn off. Painful orgasms are usually associated with painful sex.
Vaginismus (tightening of the vagina), vulvodynia (chronic pain in and around the vulva), and endometriosis (uterine tissue outside the uterus) can cause such pain – severe, cramp-like abdominal pain during and after orgasms. The pain can last from a few minutes to a few hours. Men who have had lower pelvic surgery may also have painful orgasms.
Factors Influencing Orgasms
The frequency, intensity, and even the presence or absence of an orgasm is influenced by a number of physiological and psychological factors:5
- Physiological: Prescription drugs (antidepressants), alcohol or recreational drugs, medical conditions (nerve problems, problems in the pelvis, diseases of the heart or blood vessels, hormonal problems)
- Psychological: Depression, performance anxiety, history of sexual abuse, not being comfortable with a partner, negative body image
Masturbation is a good way to understand what gets you off and how soon you climax. Having this as your reference point, you will be able to gauge whether it is discomfort with your partner or whether it is a medical condition or stress that is interfering with your orgasms.
Don’t shy away from medical help when you sense something abnormal. Having said that, also explore other ways you can enhance the pleasure you obtain from sex.
|↑1||Jenkins, Lawrence C., and John P. Mulhall. “Delayed orgasm and anorgasmia.” Fertility and sterility 104, no. 5 (2015): 1082-1088.|
|↑2||Aswath, Manju, Lakshmi V. Pandit, Karthik Kashyap, and Raguram Ramnath. “Persistent genital arousal disorder.” Indian journal of psychological medicine 38, no. 4 (2016): 341.|
|↑3||Bhutta, Mahmood F., and Harold Maxwell. “Sneezing induced by sexual ideation or orgasm: an under-reported phenomenon.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 101, no. 12 (2008): 587-591.|
|↑4||Primary headache associated with sexual activity (Orgasmic and Pre-orgasmic Headache). American Migraine Foundation.|
|↑5||Problems with orgasm. Sexual Advice Association.|