anonymous on September 12, 2011

My partner is emotionally abusive and I can’t seem to orgasm...what’s going on?

I’m in my 40s and I’ve had a weight problem almost all my life. When I was growing up, my father made negative comments about my body and called me a whore. Now, my partner makes negative comments, too…and since my total hysterectomy, I can’t seem to have an orgasm any more. What do I need to do to have an orgasm?

answered by Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD on September 12, 2011

I’m very sorry to hear that you’ve been emotionally abused most of your life, and I appreciate your sharing your concern about that, and about your inability to orgasm.

First, I would recommend that you speak with your doctor about your inability to orgasm since your total hysterectomy. Some women need cervical stimulation in order to orgasm and, since your cervix was removed along with your uterus, this may be interfering with your ability to reach orgasm.

However, your clitoris and its nerve supply should still be intact. You may be able to stimulate yourself to orgasm by stroking your clitoris, or your partner could do it. You can also try using a vibrator to increase the stimulation.

When ovaries are removed as part of a total hysterectomy, some women also suffer from sudden low estrogen levels...which, in turn, affects libido and the ability to orgasm. Again, I would encourage you to speak with your doctor about your concern, and to find out what treatment, if any, might be most appropriate for you (e.g.,hormone replacement therapy); as well, your doctor can probably refer you to a dietician to help you manage your weight and improve your overall health, well-being and body image.

That said, I would further suggest that you see a counselor or therapist to work through any emotional issues you may have from years of abuse that may also be contributing to your sexual dysfunction. And it would seem that couples therapy might also benefit you and your partner.

In other words, there are both physical and emotional issues that can affect a woman’s ability to climax or achieve orgasm. Physical issues include an imbalance in hormone levels, diabetes, problems with blood flow, nerve issues and certain medications.

Among other conditions, emotional or mental issues that can affect sexual response are depression, anxiety or relationship dysfunction. Again, your doctor and a qualified therapist can help you identify exactly which of these factors – or combination of factors – are affecting you.

Thanks again for sharing your situation with us. I wish you and your partner the best of health…physically, emotionally and in the bedroom.  

Related info:

Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD

Dr. Owens is an AASECT-certified sexuality counselor. Her areas of expertise include the medical aspects of human sexuality and sexual problems, as well as the impact of STDs ⎼ and other diseases, illnesses and disabilities ⎼ on sexuality. Dr. Owens was educated at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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