Female sexual interest or arousal disorder is a type of sexual dysfunction in which there is little to no interest in sexual activity.

You may enjoy the physical bond with your partner and be in a loving relationship, but for some reason, you may have less sexual enthusiasm. You may not be as interested as your partner in engaging in a sexual activity. This is a significant sign of sexual arousal disorder in women. When a woman shows little or no desire to have sex, it is known as female sexual arousal disorder, also known as sexual interest disorder. We tell you the symptoms and causes of female sexual interest or arousal disorder (FSIAD).

What is female sexual interest or arousal disorder?

Women who experience arousal dysfunction often have no or less desire for sex, and they do not respond physically or subjectively to sexual stimulation. “This reduction in desire and ability to be sexually aroused is typically more significant than what would be anticipated based on the woman’s age and the length of her relationship. Lack of sexual interest and inability to become sexually aroused are only considered disorders if they cause distress for women and are present throughout the sexual encounter,” says sexologist and psychiatrist Dr Sanjay Kumawat.

An upset woman with low sex drive
Low sex drive is a symptom of female sexual arousal disorder. Image courtesy: Freepik

What are the symptoms of female sexual interest or arousal disorder?

Here are some common symptoms of female sexual interest or arousal disorder or sexual dysfunction, according to a 2022 research published in the Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS.

  • Low sexual desire: The most prevalent female sexual dysfunction is a lack of sexual desire and willingness to be sexual.
  • Lacking sexual arousal: Your desire for sex may still be present, but you may find it difficult to arouse yourself or to stay aroused during a sexual encounter.
  • Trouble in achieving orgasm: You have persistent or recurring trouble achieving orgasm despite adequate sexual desire and continuing stimulation.
  • Pain during physical contact: You feel pain after sexual stimulation or vaginal touch.

What causes of female sexual interest/arousal disorder?

The causes of reduced sexual arousal disorder include a complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors, such as:

1. Hormonal causes

Hormones are necessary components of arousal. Hormonal changes may impact your ability to be aroused. However, there is no study to claim whether there is a direct link between hormone levels and sexual function. The following can trigger hormonal changes and possibly female sexual interest arousal disorder:

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  • Birth control tablets
  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy

2. Psychological causes

The disorder can be caused by the following emotional and mental health issues:

  • Stressful relationships
  • Communication issues
  • A lack of emotional attachment
  • Discord in the relationship
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Trauma
A couple fighting due to sexual disorder
Stressful relationships can lead to female sexual interest or arousal disorder. Image courtesy: Freepik

3. Physiological reasons

Arousal is heavily influenced by the body’s circulatory and neurological systems. Problems with one of these may result in this disorder. Among the possible physiological reasons are –

  • Reduced blood supply to the vaginal
  • Nerve damage in the pelvic
  • Vaginal or bladder infection
  • Drying vaginal tissues

How to treat female sexual arousal disorder?

Here are some ways to treat female sexual arousal disorder:

1. Education

Educate yourself about your body and its functioning. This might also emphasis non-sexual stimulation, such as how crucial it is to develop trust with your partner.

2. Hormonal therapy

In many cases, treating underlying medical conditions or hormonal imbalances is beneficial when treating female sexual arousal disorder. “Reduced arousal and even a decreased desire for sex can be caused by low levels of estrogen or testosterone in certain people,” says the expert.

It is crucial to speak with your doctor before beginning any therapy. Also, make sure to communicate with your partner on a regular basis. The ability to process sexual encounters will be greatly aided by a loving and understanding relationship.

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