Understanding Dysorgasmia

Dysorgasmia is a type of orgasmic disorder in which women experience pain during or after orgasm, usually in the abdomen. It is a different kind of pain than is experienced with dyspareunia which is characterized by pain in or around the genitals during or after sexual intercourse, with or without orgasm.

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To schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with a female sexual health specialist, call 216-844-3009.

What Causes Dysorgasmia?

As with many sexual disorders and conditions, dysorgasmia can be caused by any combination of physical, emotional and psychological factors.

Physical factors that may cause painful orgasm include:

  • Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction - During orgasm, the pelvic floor muscles contract rapidly and may cramp and possibly press on nearby nerves, causing pain. This is the most common reason for dysorgasmia and is more likely to occur in women with very tight or tense pelvic floor muscles.
  • Endometriosis and uterine fibroids
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) - an infection in the reproductive organs
  • Underlying infection or diseases of the reproductive tract, bladder or urethra

Psychological factors that may contribute to painful orgasm include mood disorders like anxiety or depression; stress and financial pressures; relationship problems or conflict; cultural/religious beliefs; low self-esteem or poor body image; and past sexual or emotional abuse.

Compassionate Diagnosis and Treatment of Dysorgasmia

When a woman comes to us with symptoms of dysorgasmia, our team of female sexual health professionals will conduct a thorough evaluation that includes a medical, surgical and sexual history and a physical exam to look for potential physical causes of her condition. The genitals will also be examined to look for any anatomical reasons that might be contributing to painful orgasm.

The treatments we recommend will depend on our findings during the evaluation and may include:

  • Treat underlying medical conditions. If a physical problem such as an infection or disease is discovered during the evaluation, our team will treat the condition or refer you to a specialist who can. Often, treating the underlying problem will resolve symptoms of dysorgasmia.
  • Individual or couples counseling. If we think there is an emotional component related to your condition, we may refer you to our highly specialized psychologist and sex therapists who can help you work through conflicts in your relationship, help with communication skills and teach you behavioral exercises to do at home.
  • Pelvic floor therapy. If no underlying medical cause is found, the next step will be to see our pelvic floor therapists who have advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of dysorgasmia caused by pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.