While orgasm during sex is not the only benchmark of truly good sex, there’s no denying it’s important. Orgasms boost our sexual satisfaction. They have even been known to offer health benefits.


They boost vaginal health, lower the risk of heart disease, regulate sleep, help you lose weight, and offer pain relief. So if you find it difficult to orgasm, you might be missing out on both truly satisfying sex and some amazing health benefits. Though there are some reasons why women can’t orgasm. Let’s have a look at what they can be.

The most common reasons why women can’t orgasm 

A study published in the Journal of Marital Sex & Therapy explored reasons why women think achieving orgasm is a struggle for them during sex.


Out of the 452 women surveyed who had orgasm problems, they listed the most common reasons they think it is difficult for them to orgasm.

How did researchers arrive at these 11 reasons? First they screened 913 women over 18 years old. Of this number, 452 revealed severe difficulty to orgasm. 45% of these women had difficulty orgasming during half of their encounters. 30% found it difficult to orgasm almost every single time they have sex.

Then, researchers took various factors — age, background, lifestyle, relationship status, health history, orgasm— and assessed the “level of distress” associated with orgasm difficulties.


They gave the women the following categories to choose from:

  1. Sex with my partner does not interest me.
  2. Sex with me does not seem to interest my partner.
  3. I don’t find sex with my partner enjoyable.
  4. My partner doesn’t seem to find sex with me enjoyable.
  5. I’m neither sufficiently aroused nor stimulated during sex.
  6. I’m not sufficiently lubricated during intercourse.
  7. I find sex painful.
  8. We have to rush through sex, not having enough time.
  9. I am self-conscious about my body and physical appearance.
  10. Medication and a condition is keeping me from reaching orgasm.
  11. I feel that it is difficult to orgasm because of my stress and anxiety.

58% of the women cited stress and anxiety as the main reason why they can’t orgasm.

Here are the other major reasons:

  • 48% said that a lack of arousal or stimulation was their suspected cause.
  • 40% also said they felt not having enough time is a hindrance to orgasm.
  • 28% reported poor body image.
  • 25% said pain or irritation during sex was the main problem.
  • 24% said insufficient lubrication was to blame.
  • Only 17% said medical conditions were at fault.

Psychiatrist Grant Brenner writes that the respondents can experience more than one of the reasons. For instance, women can experience stress and anxiety because of poor arousal. Or inadequate lubrication can lead to pain and irritation.


Orgasmic dysfunction: How can mums deal when they can’t orgasm?

Studies show that about 50% of women do not orgasm at all during sex.  It’s important to know that there is nothing wrong with you. An inability to orgasm doesn’t make you less of a woman.

Based on the aforementioned reasons, it’s clear that the causes are rooted in the psychological and emotional aspects of sex.

It’s no secret that women’s level of satisfaction during sex is closely linked to their emotions. But a 2007 study challenged this assumption, claiming that a man’s sexual pleasure is more emotionally driven.


Whatever may be true, one thing’s for sure: sex in marriage should be a deep expression of love and intimacy. Once satisfying sex goes out the door, it can cause a slew of other problems. In the same way, unsatisfying sex could also be a reflection of deeper unresolved issues.

Brenner recommends the following areas for improvement:

  • Improving sexual techniques
  • Strengthening communication strategies
  • Offering encouragement and support is key, especially for those struggling with poor body image
  • Elevating relationship quality, through paying attention to the spouse
  • Of course, if a medical condition is to blame, then couples need to seek professional help. It’s always best to be open with a trusted doctor.

Though orgasms are not the only thing worth looking forward to during sex, the lack of it is often reflective of an issue that needs to be addressed so you can move forward to a satisfying sex life and marriage.

This article was first published on AfricaParent.com


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