Female Orgasmic Disorder (FOD)

We are lead to believe that reaching the almighty holy grail orgasm is the absolute pinnacle of sexual excitement and if you don’t then it’s just quite average sex! We have TV, movies, lack of sex education, magazine articles and porn to thank for that! Orgasms are so unique to every person. It might be that someone can climax from the touch of their nipples and somebody else may need to put in the time for foreplay and it might be that someone else just doesn’t orgasm ever!


In this blog we want to focus on those who struggle to reach the orgasm. Research shows that roughly 43% of women report some difficulty reaching orgasm which can lead to feelings of isolation and distress. It doesn’t help when comparing notes with friends and there are always going to be people who climax every time.

There are two different types of FOD categories which are Primary and Secondary. Primary describes someone who has never experienced an orgasm and Secondary is when a woman may have had them in the past, say in a previous relationship or through masturbation alone, but is experiencing orgasmic struggles in certain situations now. 

So why does it happen? There are quite a few reasons why orgasms may be harder to achieve. Chemical changes in the body, during menopause for example, can effect reaching orgasm. Medication, especially anti-depressants can also have side effects that may make orgasms harder to reach. It’s best to check with your GP if this sounds like something that could be affecting you.

Like everything, stress is a huge interference in not only reaching the orgasm but also the ability to relax to the sensations during sex. Stress causes us to produce fewer sex hormones (oestrogen and testosterone) and more cortisol which is the stress hormone. It’s important to look at your stress levels and ways to balance out stress in your life. This can be introducing habits to buffer everyday stress like a daily meditation practice, breathing exercises, looking at your caffeine intake and introducing more self-care that can you bring you back into rest and digest state.

How can we tackle FOD?

The first thing is to book an appointment with your GP if you think it could be down to certain medication or changes in your body. This can be a full check-up including a blood test so physiological areas can be ruled out.

Secondly, looking at what is going on in your life at the moment. What’s happening to make you stressed and worried? Is there anything you can do to make you less stressed? Can we get to the root cause to make you feel more relaxed. Are you feeling relaxed when you’re having sex? Do you feel preoccupied and anxious about it? It’s important to be as present and as relaxed possible to reach climax. Often concentrating on one of your senses will bring you back.

Working on tensing your pelvic floor region with Kegel exercises can increase blood flow which can make you feel more aroused so another thing to try is muscle tensing.


It’s important to be mindful when masturbating. Exploring your own body and how it feels to certain touches can be really helpful to know what makes you tick. Masturbation is a skill and you have to work at it with taking time for yourself.

You are not alone if you are struggling to reach orgasm and there is support out there. Sex education, messages about this topic, damaging relationships are also deep rooted issues and reasons why people struggle.

Images from Pinterest & Elvie.com