Female Orgasmic Disorder

shutterstock_75489988(1)  Reaching climax is something that many women struggle with occasionally. It is normal for a woman to only be able to reach orgasm through a certain type of stimulation as well. However, failure to reach climax on a regular and consistent basis can be a sign of Female Orgasmic Disorder (FOD). This can be a sign of damage done to the body and nerves, but can also be symptomatic of trauma. FOD can be particularly distressing when engaging in sexual activity with your significant other. There are many causes for FOD, but the toll it takes both mentally and emotionally can be devastating to you and your partner. It can seriously affect your relationship and make sex feel like more of a chore than something to be enjoyed by both parties. So what causes FOD? Is there anything you and your partner can do to work past it? Is it completely curable? These are some of the questions that we are going to answer.

The causes of FOD are different in every woman diagnosed with it. FOD causes break down into two different categories, primary (never had an orgasm) and secondary (trauma). There is no one specific cause, but in most cases it is the result of some sort of trauma. The causes of FOD can be broken down into two different categories as well, shutterstock_79104379physiological and psychological. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Nerve damage in the spine and/or pelvic area
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Damage to the blood vessels in the pelvic area
  • Medication you may be taking
  • Depression and other mental health disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Past sexual abuse or violation
  • Guilt about sex or sexual experiences
  • Religious beliefs or values
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of becoming pregnant
  • Fear of losing control

Traumatic events (i.e. rape, molestation, Female Genital Mutilation, etc.) cause your brain to react to sexual activity in a negative way. Even years after trauma, it is very hard for some women to connect physically with another person, especially someone of the same gender as the person responsible for the trauma. This is completely normal, because regardless of the type of trauma, it is a life changing and personality altering event. It is not uncommon for others to downplay the significant effects that trauma can have on your life. It is very important to make your feelings and boundaries known to those around you, especially those you choose to be intimate with.

submission 8FOD does not have to be a death sentence for your sex life. With a combination of therapy, medical interventions for physical trauma, and building a strong sense of self, it is possible to recover. Is it 100% curable 100% of the time? No. There are many women who will struggle with FOD for their entire lives. But this is no reason to give up hope and seek help. With the correct interventions, you can have a healthy sex life and work towards knowing yourself in an intimate way.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Other Compulsive Behaviours: Part 1

Dr. Peggy Richter is an internationally known researcher, author, professor, and the Director of the Clinic for OCD & Related Disorders at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Richter’s research is focused on exploring the genetic and biological basis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She is a frequent speaker in both the professional and public about her specialty. An innovator in her field, Dr. Richter works tirelessly to help those suffering with OCD and anxiety disorders have hope, through her research to better define the boundaries of OCD and related disorders.

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Intrusive thoughts. Ritualistic behaviours. Repetition. An anxiety ridden individual. What do these 4 things have in common? Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

OCD is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by the above mentioned. It can be a debilitating disorder, causing the affected to become so consumed with their “rituals” that they are no longer able to focus on anything else. It may be hand washing, counting, hair pulling, picking. OCD takes many forms and affects each person differently.

There are many different things that can cause OCD. A few of them include:

  • Brain Chemistry
  • Trauma (of any kind can trigger ritualistic behaviour in order to avoid dealing with the trauma)
  • Misinterpretation of their intrusive thoughts (exaggeration of the need to perform rituals)
  • Association of an object or situation with fear (learn to avoid that fear by self-soothing with ritualistic behaviour)

Whatever they cause (s) might be, OCD is an extremely difficult disorder for a bystander to understand. To the average person the behaviours may seem “silly”, “irrational”, and “unnecessary”. The person suffering with OCD is well aware that their rituals are irrational and unnecessary, but they are compelled to perform them anyways. This is extremely distressing for the individual, causing more anxiety.

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OCD is often confused with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). The clear distinction between the two is that those with OCPD do not feel that their actions are irrational. More often than not, they can readily express why their rituals and obsessions are nothing out of the ordinary.

So what are the available management/treatment options for those suffering with OCD? There are several different types of therapies that are available for those suffering. The treatment will depend on the person but common types include:

  • Behavioral therapy: A general exposure to the objects/situations in which the person feels compelled to perform their rituals. Their therapist will help them work through their anxieties, eventually minimizing the behaviours associated with the objects/situations.
  • Medication: Often times antidepressants and other medications are prescribed to help regulate brain chemistry and stabilize mood in the person suffering.

For anyone with a debilitating disorder like OCD, every day can be a continuous struggle. It is important to remember that management of symptoms is possible. It will take a lot of hard work and dedication, but it is possible. Asking for help is the first step towards a brighter future.