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What factors can affect a woman's ability to orgasm?

Ian Kerner, PhD
Sexual Health
Orgasm is often the measure of success for sex. Many men -- and women -- consider orgasm to be the stamp of approval that a woman enjoyed herself. Perhaps because of this pressure-cooker environment, many women have trouble with orgasm ability at one time or another in their lives. While the majority of women reach orgasm easily through masturbation, many women find themselves distracted or unable to do so during partner sex, or simply can't reach orgasm at all as a result of a health-related issue or other issues at different times in their lives.

Ultimately, the how, what, why, where and when of the female orgasm starts -- and ends -- with the woman herself. For many women, the connection and intimacy of sex may be just as enjoyable, if not more enjoyable, than the act of orgasm itself. For other women, sex just isn't sex if it doesn't end with an orgasm. Orgasm ability is affected by everything under the sun: physical health, psychological health, the state of your relationship or lack thereof, how things are going that day, what's happening in bed, and many more factors.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.