Female Orgasmic Disorder Assignment

Female Orgasmic Disorder Assignment

Female Orgasmic Disorder (FOD): Diagnostic Criteria, Psychotherapeutic and Psychopharmacologic Management

The Diagnostic Criteria of Female Orgasmic Disorder or FOD

Female orgasmic disorder is part of a larger group of sexual problems known as the sexual dysfunctions, which include erectile dysfunction and delayed ejaculation in males and penetration disorder amongst others (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The disorder was formerly referred to simply as orgasmic disorder, and means experiencing problems with achieving an orgasm as a woman despite being sexually aroused (Psychology Today, 2019). Female Orgasmic Disorder Assignment

The current diagnostic criteria of female orgasmic disorder – 302.73(F52.31) – are given by the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and encompass four parameters from A to D as follows (American Psychiatric Association, 2013):


  1. The fact of experiencing either significant absence of, delayed, or reduced orgasm; or a considerable reduction in the amount of orgasmic feelings.
  2. A duration of at least six months for the symptoms described in criterion A. above.
  3. The person must be suffering noticeable and considerable psychological stress – which can be clinically established – because of the symptoms described in criterion A. above.
  4. The female orgasmic dysfunction symptoms described in criterion A. above cannot be attributed to any other cause like medication taken, another psychological disorder, or organic disease.

As a rule, therefore, all the four criteria above must be satisfied for a diagnosis of female orgasmic disorder to be made according to the DSM-5.

The Management of Female Orgasmic Disorder

There is no single treatment for female orgasmic disorder. The management of the condition instead focuses on a multifaceted approach with greater emphasis being laid on any underlying psychological, organic, or medication causes. It is thus the management of these underlying causes that generally resolves the condition of female orgasmic disorder.

The first line of management for FOD is usually involves counselling of the patient and her partner, with emphasis on behavioral and lifestyle changes. In counselling, for instance, an explanation of the normal physiologic changes that occur with age has to be offered. Lifestyle modifications on the other hand include measures like cessation of smoking amongst others (Jameson et al., 2018). To this end, the psychotherapeutic treatment of stress inoculation training or SIT has been proven to be effective in FOD (Corey, 2017). In this, the woman is psychologically trained on how to cope with the anxiety and stress brought about by or leading to FOD. SIT offers the patient “immunity” through exposure to small doses of stress, leading to the development of the ability to handle higher amounts of stress as in FOD. Sex therapy on the other hand will aim at treating concurrent sexual problems like lack of interest and pain upon penetration. Training in communication during this sex therapy will also address relationship problems (Psychology Today, 2019). Female Orgasmic Disorder Assignment

Lastly but not least, management of FOD involves checking for medication history and use. This is because substances that are known to cause the side effect of sexual dysfunction include antidepressants and anti-hypertensives. In these classes are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs (like fluoxetine and escitalopram), 5-HT receptor modulators (like vortioxetine), and sympathetic nerve terminal blockers (like guanethidine). If the female patient is using any of these; they must be changed, the dose reduced, or the patient given drug holidays (Jameson et al., 2018; Katzung, 2018).


American Psychiatric Association [APA] (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), 5th ed. Arlington, VA: APA.

Corey, G. (2017). Theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy, 10th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Jameson, J.L., Fauci, A.S., Kasper, D.L., Hauser, S.L., Longo, D.L., & Loscalzo, J. (Eds) (2018). Harrison’s principles of internal medicine, 20th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Katzung, B.G. (Ed) (2018). Basic and clinical pharmacology, 14th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Psychology Today (2019). Orgasmic disorder. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/conditions/orgasmic-disorder%3famp

Female Orgasmic Disorder Assignment


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