Premature Orgasms Also Occur in Women, Study Finds

An orgasm is considered "premature" when it occurs earlier than anticipated, can't be controlled and causes discomfort. Although it isn't so well known, it also occurs in women.
Premature Orgasms Also Occur in Women, Study Finds
Mariel Mendoza

Written and verified by the doctor Mariel Mendoza.

Last update: 20 January, 2023

Premature orgasms also occur in women, although it isn’t very common nor has it been studied too much. This is in contrast to premature ejaculation in men, which is common and widely studied.

The orgasm is the most intense part of sexual arousal. It’s the moment when sexual tension is at its peak and the orgasm releases the pressure from the body and genitals. It is there, with that release, that an intense sensation of pleasure that runs through the whole body is produced.

When premature orgasm occurs, in both women and men, it produces frustration, discomfort and usually ends the sexual encounter earlier than expected because the orgasm is reached earlier than desired.

Premature ejaculation is the most common sexual dysfunction in men and it’s estimated that up to 30% of the male population suffers from it. However, it hasn’t yet been possible to accurately estimate the prevalence of premature orgasms in women.

What occurs in premature orgasms?

A woman having premature orgasms.
Premature orgasms are when there’s a release of sexual tension before the desired moment.

There’s no established time parameter for having an orgasm or ejaculating. Therefore, the term premature orgasm refers to experiencing orgasm early (earlier than desired). That is to say that there’s a lack of control over the orgasm that creates dissatisfaction, distress, or complications.

Many women lose desire and interest in the sexual encounter after reaching orgasm, and must wait a while to regain it. This time is called the “refractory period”; that is, the time that elapses from having an orgasm to when their bodies can experience another one.

During the refractory period, the genitals don’t respond to stimulation due to increased blood flow in the genital area. In women, the refractory period usually lasts between 5 to 10 minutes.

However, premature orgasms in women aren’t always a negative thing. Some women can experience multiple orgasms in the same sexual encounter, while in others it’s associated with distress and a loss of interest that’s often accompanied by frustration at not being able to reciprocate.

You’re sure to be interested in Types of Orgasms and How to Get There

Some data on premature orgasms in women

In a study led by psychiatrist and sexologist Serafirm Carvalho and published by the journal Sexologies in 2011, investigated how common premature orgasms are in Portuguese women between the ages of 18 and 45.

Using questionnaires, it was found that 42% of the women had no problem with premature orgasm, 40% had it once in a while, 14%, frequently, and 3% all the time.

However, its prevalence hasn’t been studied much further. The Journal of Adolescent Health reported in 2016 that 3.9% of women aged 16 to 21 experienced at least one premature orgasm in the previous year.

What are the causes of premature orgasms?

A woman having an orgasm.
Avoiding clitoral stimulation can decrease the risk of having a premature orgasm.

There are several reasons why premature orgasms occur in women. Some of them are the following:

  • Few sexual encounters or low frequency of masturbation: Prolonged sexual abstinence can lead to anxiety and a lower arousal threshold.
  • Too much arousal: The woman considers the relationship or partner bond “too exciting” – it could also be the case with a certain sexual practice (such as oral sex).
  • The form of stimulation: Especially if there’s an over-stimulation of the clitoris, which has the greatest influence on orgasm. The clitoris is a very sensitive area due to its thousands of nerve endings. For this reason, if it’s stimulated directly from the beginning of the sexual activity, orgasm may occur very quickly.

How can you avoid reaching climax “too soon”?

The main suggestion is to perform sexual stimulation slowly in order to maintain tension. It’s recommended to first of all explore the body with caresses and leave the clitoral stimulation to the end. There are many erogenous zones in both women and men and their exploration can allow the climax to be reached more intensely.

Women are also more sensitive to erogenous zones ranging from the shoulders to the inner thighs and hips. In fact, among the areas most preferred by women are the labia, neck, breasts, and inner thighs.

Learn more about The Female Erogenous Zones

On the other hand, when sexual tension increases, one can pause and change position or movements to learn how to delay orgasm if desired.

Although the sensitivity of the clitoris doesn’t vary from woman to woman, all vulvas are different, and in some women, it’s more exposed or larger, so it’s more available and a woman can feel the pleasure more quickly. Thus, some women can be aroused by simply rubbing their vagina through their panties, while others require direct contact.

Masturbation can also be used to become more familiar with personal arousal patterns and the moments prior to orgasm. One technique involves masturbating to the point of near climax and stopping for as long as possible.

When none of these methods are successful, psychiatrists and sexologists recommend sex therapy and, in some cases, the use of antidepressants (especially serotonin reuptake inhibitors) that can prevent premature orgasm.

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The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only. At no time can they serve to facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult with your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.