This article throws light on Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder, a common but least discussed sexual health topic among females.
Sexuality is a taboo in most of the societies in this world. Men on one hand consider their sexuality as a jewel of their manhood crown. On the other hand women are forbidden to discuss about their sexuality. It is considered to be their duty and responsibity to fulfil the sexual needs of their male partner. By doing so, their own sexual requirements and problems remain neglected. This is not happening since last few years, but has been a continous problem since the origin of the human race. This article is one step taken towards improvement in the understanding and thus creating awareness about sexual health among females.
Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder (FSIAD) is a common but least discussed sexual health topic among females. In males inability to experience sexual pleasure while having sexual intercourse or sexual practices and reduced desire for such activities is called Male Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (MHSDD). Similar to MHSDD, females experience FSIAD the prevalence of which varies from 16-55% across different regions. FSIAD improves on its own once the emotional and psychological well-being is established. However, with advancing age this problem increases in prevalence due to hormonal changes. This article throws light on Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder, a common but least discussed sexual health topic among females.
FSIAD is diagnosed on the following basis:
At least 3 of the above mentioned criterias should be present to make a diagnosis of FSIAD. It is also associated with painful intercourse, female orgasmic disorder, desire and sexual preferences discrepancies in a couple. Also attention needs to be paid towards assessment of associated mood disturbances, anxiety, physical and sexual abuse, relationship issues, internalization of sexual conflicts.
Multiple factors are responsible for FSIAD, which include the following:
Like most of the other sexual disorders, FSIAD is also treatable. Treatment includes the following measures:
1. Pharmacological Measures:
2. Psychological Measures:
3. Combination of both pharmacological and psychological measures can also be used in increasing the response rate.
The main aim of these measures is to increase the reinforcing value of sexual activities via increase in arousal, orgasm, pleasure and physical and emotional satisfaction. This also aims at improving the non sexual conditions such as relationship dynamics, stressors, timing and context so as to facilitate the sexual interactions.
To conclude with, FSIAD is a psychological disorder common to be found. It is not a matter to feel shy and hence has to be discussed. Rather females have equal right to seek pleasure as do the males.
The physiological causes of FSAD (Female sexual arousal disorder) may include:
- Damage of the blood vessels in the pelvic region resulting in reduced blood flow.
- Damage of the nerves in the pelvic area resulting in diminished arousal.
- General medical conditions like high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes mellitus can damage blood vessels.
- Nursing a baby (lactation).
- General medical conditions like adrenal gland disorders, thyroid disorders, and removal of the ovaries cause changes in the hormone level.
- Low levels of sex hormones due to aging.
- Side effects of medications like antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, drugs to lower the blood pressure, birth control pills, sedatives, or other hormone-containing pills.
Sexual problems usually develop when the hormones are in flux, such as after having a baby or during menopause.
- Low levels of estrogen after menopause can also lead to changes in your genital tissues and sexual responsiveness.
- A decrease in estrogen level can lead to decreased blood flow to the pelvic region, resulting in less genital sensation and more time to build arousal and reach orgasm.
- The vaginal lining will become thinner and less elastic, mainly if not sexually active. These factors can lead to painful intercourse, also known as dyspareunia.
- The body's hormone levels also shift after giving birth and during breastfeeding, leading to vaginal dryness and can affect the desire to have sex.
Female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD) is the persistent, recurrent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm, or pain that can cause distress or strain your relationship with your partner.
- Women with decreased blood flow to the genital area are believed to get FSAD similar to vascular disease in male erectile dysfunction.
- Female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD) can occur at any stage of life.
- Women who have depression or anxiety, heart, blood vessel disease, neurological conditions, gynecological conditions, certain medications, and a history of sexual abuse can get FSAD.
If you have a minimum of three of the following, you might have FSAD (Female Sexual Arousal Disorder):
- Less interest in sex.
- Fewer thoughts related to sex.
- Reduced start and denying of sex.
- Little pleasure during sex.
- Decreased interest in sex.
- Less genital sensations during sex most of the time.
The factors associated with female sexual arousal disorder are medical health, hormones, medications, and psychological factors, including stress, relationships, comorbid mental illness, and history of sexual abuse.
It is usual for females to have fluctuations in sexual desire in some part of life. However, a total loss of interest in sex, or difficulty responding to stimulation, may indicate female sexual arousal disorder (FSIAD). This condition can be lifelong or may be acquired, which needs medical attention.
The signs of female sexual arousal disorder are:
- Low sexual drive.
- Orgasmic disorder.
- Pain during sexual stimulation or vaginal contact.
- Lesser or no sexual thoughts.
- Decreased sexual pleasure during sexual activity.
- Lesser or no arousal in response to visual, written, or verbal cues.
- Infrequent or no beginning of sexual activity within a relationship.
- Reduced or no sensations in the genitals.
- Symptoms lasting for more than six months.
- Significant distress about the symptoms.
- Symptoms that are not more accurately explained by a nonsexual mental health disorder, domestic abuse, medication, substance abuse, or another medical condition.
- Difficulty in achieving orgasm after sufficient sexual arousal and continuous stimulation.
Female sexual interest arousal disorder prevalence is often unknown, although some older women report less distress about experiencing low sexual desire than younger women. About 3.3 percent of participants between the ages of 18 and 44 have female sexual arousal disorder, while 7.5 percent of participants between the ages of 45 and 64 experienced it. The prevalence also varies depending on the age, cultural background, duration of symptoms, and presence of distress.
The effective treatment for sexual dysfunction is often addressing an underlying medical condition or hormonal change. For example, the doctor may suggest changing a medication you are taking or replacing it with a new one. And possible treatments for female sexual dysfunction are usually with Estrogen therapy. The treatment is usually based on the type and severity of the pain, and it includes sex or relationship counseling and dilation exercises. For women in long-term relationships, physicians suggest that counseling should consist of both partners.
Last reviewed at:
24 May 2022 - 3 min read
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