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Can cannabis be a treatment for female orgasmic disorder?

Suzanne Mulvehill
International Institute of Clinical Sexology

Objective: This study will evaluate if cannabis could be a treatment for female orgasmic disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) defines female orgasmic disorder (FOD) as reduced intensity, delay, infrequency, and/or absence of orgasm. Women with FOD may never have had an orgasm (lifelong), may have experienced orgasms at one time but no longer (acquired), or may have orgasms in certain situations but not in others (situational).

Background: Female orgasmic disorder (FOD) affects up to 41% of women worldwide, and the percentage of women suffering from FOD has not changed in 50 years. Causes of the problem may include: lack of communication, lack of sex education, high religiosity, focus on penile-vaginal intercourse, and women focusing on men’s pleasure rather than their own.

Anecdotal contributions suggest that cannabis enhances the quality of women’s orgasm or helps women orgasm who have had orgasmic difficulties. Yet, no formal studies have evaluated cannabis as a treatment for FOD. Although FOD is not a listed condition for use in the 36 U.S. states with medical marijuana programs, cannabis is being used for that purpose. Recent reports identified a sex therapist in California, and a medical office in Massachusetts have publicly acknowledged using cannabis as a treatment for FOD and other sexual disorders. Women are also reporting secondary sexual benefits to their sexuality while being treated with cannabis for other medical problems.

The ‘Why’: Female orgasmic disorder is associated with anxiety, depression, poor self esteem, adverse effects on quality of life, shame, faking orgasms and relational and interpersonal distress. Little progress has been reported on this problem despite that more than a third of women nationwide in need of assistance.

Methods: I will be using a mixed-method approach, including an online survey and follow-up interviews to evaluate women who have female orgasmic disorder and use cannabis to answer the question if women who are receiving cannabis benefit in the treatment for female orgasmic disorder.

Results: Work in progress

Conclusion: Work in progress

Co-authors: Jordan Tishler 1

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