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Female Sexual Arousal Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments


If you think you may be suffering from some form of sexual dysfunction, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, sexual dysfunction is much more common than most people realize. Studies have shown that around 40 percent of women experience symptoms of sexual dysfunction at some point in their life. At the Center for Female and Male Sexual Medicine, we treat a variety of sexual issues that fall under the broad term of sexual dysfunction, including what the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) refers to as Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder (FSIAD). Here is a quick overview of the symptoms, causes, and treatments for Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder.

Symptoms of Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder (FSIAD) You Shouldn’t Ignore

The symptoms of female sexual interest/arousal disorder vary widely from woman to woman. While some women will occasionally experience symptoms, other women find that they experience them whenever they try to engage in sexual activity. For an official diagnosis of FSIAD, you need to have experienced symptoms for at least 6 months and be significantly distressed by them. These symptoms include:

  • Less interest in sex or no interest at all
  • Fewer or no sexual thoughts or fantasies
  • Reduced or absent initiation of sexual activity
  • Less or no excitement or pleasure from most sexual activity
  • Reduced arousal from sexual cues, such as psychological intimacy or a partner’s attempt to initiate sex
  • Lack of sensations in the genital or erogenous zones during sexual activity

A lot of women ignore these symptoms because sexuality is a private and often difficult thing to talk about. But there is no need to suffer with them. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and they’re causing you distress, the compassionate and knowledgeable sexual health experts at the Center for Female and Male Sexual Medicine are here to help. You can contact us by phone at 973-218-9400 to make an appointment when you’re ready.

The Many Causes of Female Arousal Disorder

Anything that interrupts the female arousal process can cause symptoms of FSIAD, which means the causes can be physical, psychological, or both.

Psychological causes may include depression, low self-esteem, stress, anxiety, trauma, and more. Negative thoughts, poor body image, and even relationship challenges can make it difficult to engage in sexual activity.

Physical causes can be hormonal (menopause, birth control, pregnancy) or anatomical (reduced blood flow, infections, nerve damage, drying or thinning of the vaginal wall), as well as situational or long-term. Having diabetes, taking certain medications for depression, undergoing chemotherapy or radiation for cancer, and inadequate sexual stimulation can all have an impact on your sexual arousal.

In many cases, there isn’t one underlying cause. There’s typically a complex web of physical and psychological reasons for female sexual interest/arousal disorder, which is why it’s important to talk with an expert who can recognize the many causes and how they may be working together.

Female Arousal Disorder Treatment is Tailored to the Underlying Causes

Depending on which causes are suspected by the sexual health experts at the Center for Female and Male Sexual Medicine, you may be treated with medication, hormone therapy, psychotherapy, or a combination of therapies. Our therapists will work with you to identify what’s getting in the way of your sexual arousal and satisfaction. We offer treatment for you alone or in conjunction with your partner, depending on the causes and your desired plan for treatment. We know that sexuality can be a delicate subject, and we will always respect your privacy.

Contact the Center for Female and Male Sexual Medicine Today

If you think you may be suffering from female sexual interest/arousal disorder, the Center for Female and Male Sexual Medicine can help. Contact us today to learn more, or call 973-218-9400 to schedule an appointment.


Center for Female and Male Sexual Medicine
225 Millburn Avenue, Suite 304
Millburn, NJ 07041
Phone: 973-218-9400

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