Senior gynecologist urges doctors to prescribe vibrators for women with sexual dysfunction.
Once a medical device prescribed to treat “female hysteria,” vibrators have been largely relegated to sex toys and novelties and remain illegal in two states – Alabama and Mississippi – in the United States.
But Dr. Lauren Streicher, a gynecologist and sexual health specialist at Northwestern University, says women’s difficulty in enjoying an orgasm should be treated as a medical problem, and vibrators should be offered as a solution.
Speaking this week at the American College of Obstetricians, a meeting of gynecologists, she urged doctors to educate themselves and ask patients about their orgasms.
Vibrators of all shapes and sizes stimulate blood flow to the clitoris, helping women with anorgasmia reach their peak and, according to Dr. Streicher, should be prescribed regularly.
It is estimated that 4.7 percent of women in the United States suffer from anorgasmia, which means they have difficulty cumming, have weak orgasms, or are unable to cum at all.
Achieving orgasm is difficult for psychological reasons for some. But “some medical conditions that cause decreased blood flow to the clitoris and nerve endings don’t respond as well,” says Dr. Streicher.
But for many women, says Dr Streicher, a vibrator can change that, or at least be the exception.
When she sees patients, Dr. Streicher has them fill out a screening form that includes detailed questions about their orgasms and how they reach them.
“It’s a little checklist and they check if they can have an orgasm with digital stimulation, oral sex stimulation, or a vibrator.
“It’s no surprise that a lot of women tick ‘no, no, no, no’ and then go to the vibrator and check yes,” says Dr Streicher.
Especially for an older woman who “at some point in her life might have a digital or oral simulation orgasm and is no longer able to do so, it may be due to vascular or neurological issues, so she needs to. more stimulation to be able to have an orgasm. ,’ she says.
But there is still an undeniable stigma around vibrators, and, in some places, even laws against them.
You can’t own vibrators in Alabama, Mississippi, or Georgia – where a city will give you jail time if you buy one.
In Texas, an obscure law limits possession of dildos to six, while keeping that many guns is perfectly legal.
Instead of being regulated like guns, Dr Streicher says vibrators should be viewed more as medical devices.
Vibrators provide much more intense stimulation and have the added benefit of increasing blood flow to the clitoris.
About half of women use vibrators, according to a 2009 survey.
“But many – especially those over 50 – who come from a different culture are uncomfortable with the idea of using one,” says Dr Streicher.
They are also the group most likely to have difficulty reaching orgasm for physical reasons, and for whom a vibrator could be most useful.
“So asking a doctor to recommend a one-time use can really go a long way,” says Dr. Streicher.
A vibrator can be purchased for as little as $ 1 (or as much as $ 400 – but many cost around $ 30), making it a much cheaper option than a $ 200 sex therapy session.
The problem is that doctors and patients rarely reach this point in their conversations, says Dr Streicher.
Women very rarely feel comfortable enough to take it upon themselves to bring up the subject of their sex life and satisfaction, a phenomenon so well documented in the medical literature that Dr Streicher says it is a fact.
Equally well established is the fact that doctors don’t ask.
“Women can be just too shy or embarrassed, and we know doctors don’t ask about it,” says Dr Streicher.
“Doctors may think you’re sexually active or that everything is sexually okay, but that’s not the same as asking if you’re capable of having an orgasm,” says Streicher.
And she says it shouldn’t be the patient’s responsibility in any way, but her doctor.
“From my point of view, it’s not that doctors would be uncomfortable asking questions about [orgasm], don’t do it because they don’t ask you questions if they don’t have solutions, ”she says.
“So if I keep going out and telling doctors that there are solutions” – namely vibrators – “the more likely they are to ask,” she explains.
Dr Streicher says her presentation was given to a “packed hall of extremely enthusiastic doctors” who she says she needs to “script” on how to talk to patients about orgasms and the vibrators that can cause them.