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Sexual Anhedonia - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Sexual anhedonia is a condition in which a person can not feel sexual pleasure. The symptoms and signs of sexual anhedonia can vary from person to person.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Ramesh Mohanlal Maheshwari

Published At February 21, 2023
Reviewed AtFebruary 21, 2023


Sexual anhedonia is a common sexual dysfunction among men and women, especially women. It is one of the most difficult sexual dysfunctions to treat because it is more of a psychosomatic condition than a physical one. This article covers everything one needs to know about sexual anhedonia.

What Is Sexual Anhedonia?

Sexual anhedonia is a condition in which a person cannot feel sexual pleasure. This can be due to various factors, including psychological issues, physical problems, or medications. It can be very frustrating and distressing, making it difficult or impossible to enjoy sexual activity. Sexual anhedonia can also be a normal variation in sexual response.

What Are the Causes of Sexual Anhedonia?

It is not clear what causes sexual anhedonia. Some experts believe that it may be due to psychological and physical factors. Psychological factors that may contribute to sexual anhedonia include anxiety, depression, stress, and relationship problems. Physical factors that may be involved include hormonal imbalances, certain medications, and neurological conditions.

What Are the Symptoms of Sexual Anhedonia?

It is important to note that sexual anhedonia can be a symptom of underlying medical conditions. If one is experiencing difficulties with their sexual response, it is important to see a doctor or mental health professional for evaluation and treatment.

Some people may not feel any sexual pleasure at all, while others may only be able to feel a minimal amount of pleasure. Symptoms and signs of sexual anhedonia may also include a lack of sexual desire or interest, difficulty becoming aroused, and difficulty reaching orgasm. If one is experiencing sexual anhedonia, he or she must speak with a doctor or healthcare provider.

A lack of sexual pleasure or interest characterizes sexual anhedonia. People with sexual anhedonia may have difficulty becoming aroused or cannot reach orgasm. The condition can cause distress and impact a person’s quality of life.

What Is the Diagnosis of Sexual Anhedonia?

There is no one test or specific diagnostic criteria for sexual anhedonia. Instead, the diagnosis is typically based on a person’s self-reported symptoms and medical history. The diagnostic process also includes medical and physical checkups. Mental health professionals will look for other factors, such as depression and anxiety. Many different factors can cause sexual anhedonia, so it is important to rule out other potential causes before making a diagnosis.

What Is the Treatment for Sexual Anhedonia?

The treatment for sexual anhedonia will vary depending on the underlying cause. If the condition is due to a medical condition, such as diabetes or an endocrine disorder, treating the underlying condition may improve sexual function. If the condition is due to medications, changing or discontinuing the medication may improve sexual function. Psychotherapy may be helpful if the condition is due to psychological factors, such as stress or anxiety. In some cases, hormonal therapy or other treatments may be recommended.

What Are the Ways to Prevent Sexual Anhedonia?

There are a few ways that someone can prevent sexual anhedonia. One way is to ensure they get enough foreplay before sexual intercourse. This can help to increase sexual arousal and make the experience more pleasurable. Another way to prevent sexual anhedonia is to experiment with different sexual activities and find what is most pleasurable for them. This could involve trying different positions, speeds, or levels of stimulation. It is also important to communicate with a partner about what is enjoyable and to ensure that both partners are satisfied.

What Is the Differential Diagnosis of Sexual Anhedonia?

There are several potential differential diagnoses for sexual anhedonia, which can make it challenging to diagnose and treat the condition accurately. The most common differential diagnoses include major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is also important to rule out other potential causes of sexual dysfunction, such as medical conditions or medications that can interfere with sexual functioning. In some cases, sexual anhedonia may be caused by a combination of factors, making it even more difficult to identify the underlying cause.

When to See a Doctor?

If one is experiencing a complete loss of sexual desire or pleasure, it is important to see a doctor. Various underlying medical conditions can cause sexual anhedonia, so it is important to get a thorough evaluation. In addition to a complete loss of sexual desire, other symptoms of sexual anhedonia include a lack of pleasure from sexual activity, difficulty becoming aroused, and difficulty reaching orgasm. If one is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor.

Sexual anhedonia can be frustrating and distressing, but fortunately, treatments are available. If one thinks he or she may be suffering from sexual anhedonia, make an appointment with the doctor today.

What Are the Tips to Deal With Sexual Anhedonia?

If a person is struggling with sexual anhedonia, here are a few tips that may help:

  • Talk to the partner about the concerns. This can help one feel more comfortable and connected during sex.

  • Make time for foreplay. This can help increase the sexual arousal and make sex more enjoyable.

  • Experiment with different types of sexual activity. This can help one find what feels pleasurable for them.

  • Be patient. It may take some time to find what works for one.

With a little effort, one can start enjoying sex once again.


Sexual anhedonia can make sex feel like a chore or like a job. It can cause people to avoid sex or to lose interest in sex altogether. All of this can cause stress, anxiety, and isolation. If this is something that one is dealing with, he or she must consult a doctor to get solutions for the sexual problems.

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Dr. Ramesh Mohanlal Maheshwari
Dr. Ramesh Mohanlal Maheshwari



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