An orgasm is characterized by an intense feeling of physical pleasure and tension release creating an altered state of consciousness that is accompanied by rhythmic, involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles. In some women, this peak sensation of intense pleasure will feature pelvic contractions or quivering of the uterus, while others will describe it as fireworks all over the body, or a tingle, leading to a feeling of well-being and contentment. Orgasm may also be characterized with uterine and anal contractions. The type and intensity of stimulation that triggers female orgasm varies widely amongst women.
Also known as Coughlan’s syndrome, anorgasmia is the medical term for difficulty in reaching orgasm even after adequate sexual stimulation, which results in personal distress and frustration in the sufferer. Anorgasmia is a common occurrence that affects a lot of women, and is more common in females than in males, and especially rare in younger men. Less than a third of women experience consistent orgasms with sexual activity, while only 29% of women always experience orgasms with their partners. Anorgasmia is a female dysfunction that did not receive much attention until relatively few years ago. In the male-focused culture of the past, the inability or failure of women to achieve orgasm was never regarded as a problem.
Recent theorists on female sexuality have concluded that awareness of sexual desire at the beginning of a desired sexual encounter is not required for orgasm to occur in women. As such, both sexual and nonsexual erotic stimulation may trigger orgasm. Furthermore, despite being sexually satisfied, a woman may experience multiple orgasms or none at all. According to the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors, for women aged 40 – 80 years, inability to achieve orgasm and decreased libido were the most common types of sexual dysfunction ranging from 18 – 41% and 26 – 43% respectively.