Arousal Disorder

When it comes to sexual dysfunction among women, about 40% of the women experience some part of it. Problems, such as persistent desire, orgasm, or pain that affects your relationship with your partner, come under female sexual dysfunction. This can be a reason behind arousal disorder.

What Is Female Arousal Disorder?

Arousal disorder is a type of female sexual dysfunction, which includes general symptoms, such as:-

  • Pain while sexual intercourse
  • Inability to orgasm
  • Lack of sexual desire

During such disorder, the body fails to respond to sexual stimulation and builds a limitation of its own in the patient’s mind. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-5), it is very difficult to distinguish arousal disorder from hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Therefore, doctors use the term female sexual interest/ arousal disorder(FSIAD).

Having such a disorder may make you feel isolated, which can be frustrating, and it’s fairly common. Sexual response involves complex interplay, such as physiology, emotions, experience, beliefs, lifestyle, and relationships. Disturbance to any of these factors will affect your sexual desire. Such disturbance can be treated and often involves multiple approaches.

What Are The Signs Of Female Arousal?

The arousal disorder symptoms occur from women to women. Some females experience the symptoms only for some period of time, while some may experience them every time they have sexual intercourse.

Symptoms of arousal disorder include:-

  • Low sexual desire: The initial and most common symptom is a lack of interest during sexual intercourse. Well, it may also occur because of anxiety and stress from having FSIAD.
  • Less initiative for sexual intercourse: You may not be interested in initiating or during sexual activity.
  • Lack of sexual excitement: Things that may turn you on during sexual activity don’t work for long. 
  • Lack of arousal from internal or external sexual cues: You may feel a lack of interest in psychological intimacy, reading about sexual pleasures, or recalling an erotic fantasy.
  • Lack of genital or nongenital sensation: You might lack sensation in the genital area or other erogenous zones.

Also Read: Male Refractory Period: Time Taken To Get Ready For The Second Round!!

Why Do I Not Get Turned On?

When a woman has sexually aroused, the flow of blood to the tissues around her vagina and clitoris increases, leading to swelling and natural lubricant. These mechanisms are a series of chain reactions that, on interruption, cause FSIAD.

Both psychological and physical factors that may affect this mechanism include:-

Psychological Factors:-

  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Poor body image
  • Untreated anxiety or depression
  • Stress
  • Relationship issues
  • Negative thoughts
  • Guilt
  • Trauma

Hormonal Factors:-

In spite of being unsure about the relation between the hormonal changes and the arousal disorder, the doctors feel that the change in the hormone level affects your arousal ability.

Therefore, here are some factors that may result in hormonal changes, such as:-

  • Low level of estrogen after menopause
  • Birth control pill
  • After giving birth
  • While breastfeeding

Physical Factors:-

Apart from the psychological and hormonal changes, some physical conditions may also lead to arousal disorder, such as:-

  • Cancer
  • Kidney failure
  • The low blood flow rate through the vagina
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Nerve damage in the pelvis
  • Heart disease
  • Dry and thin vaginal tissues
  • Infection of the bladder or vagina

Some usage of medicines may also lead to a decrease in your arousal ability, such as:-

  • Antidepressants
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Antihistamines drugs
  • Chemotherapy drugs

Additionally, some other factors increase the risk of developing arousal disorder, such as:-

  • Disease-related to heart and blood pressure
  • An injury in the spinal cord
  • Gynecological complications, like vulvovaginal atrophy, infections, or lichen sclerosis
  • Emotional or psychological stress, especially in the case of a relationship with your partner
  • History of sexual abuse

How To Diagnose Arousal Disorder?

The diagnosis of arousal disorder is hard to perform. Most of the women do not feel comfortable talking to the doctor about any such complications. They prevent having a conversation regarding their sex life or arousal signs and symptoms.

Initially, the doctor will examine you by asking some questions regarding your sexual and mental health. Infection or nerve damage in the pelvic region of the body may also cause arousal disorder. Therefore, the doctor may ask you to give a pelvic exam.

In order to get an idea about your overall health, the doctor may ask you to go for a complete blood count test. After examining you through these parameters, if the doctor doesn’t find any clue in your physical health, he may refer you to a psychotherapist. 

The psychotherapist will help you to know if the cause of arousal disorder is related to your mental health or emotions. In case the doctor finds it necessary, he may refer you to a counselor or therapist specializing in sexual and relationship problems.

How Do You Fix Arousal Problems?

Treatment for female arousal disorder depends on its cause. The case study says a combination of treatments seems to work best to cure arousal disorder. The basic treatment for such disorders usually involves medication, therapy, or sometimes a combination of both.

Treatment through medication involves:-

  • Hormone therapy:-  In case the cause of the arousal disorder is because of hormonal change. The doctor may recommend certain therapies to treat low estrogen levels or testosterone, vaginal dryness, or pain during intercourse.
  • Medication dose:-  You might need some of the medicines, but on the other hand, it may affect your ability to arouse. Therefore, the doctor may change your dose in such a way that it will not cause arousal disorder.
  • Counseling:- Consult with the counselor or therapist specializing in handling sexual and relationship problems. It includes ways to optimize your body’s sexual response, intimacy with your partner.
  • Try devices:- Arousal can be increased with stimulation of the clitoris. Use of some toys may help you to enhance your ability to arouse.
  • Talk and Listen:- Communication with your partner plays a vital role in treating arousal disorder. Talking with your partner about your likes and dislikes, learning to do so if not doing, and providing feedback builds a stage for greater intimacy.

Consulting the sexual health therapist with or without your partner may also help you deal with rouse disorder. 

Apart from these medical treatments, some healthy habits and home remedies may help you boost your sexual health by improving comfortability between the couple, improving self-esteem, and, most importantly, accepting your body.

  • Avoid excessive intake of alcohol: Consuming too much alcohol may blunt your sexual responsiveness.
  • Prevent Smoking:  Smoking causes a restriction in the flow of blood. As a result, blood flow through the sexual organs also decreases, resulting in a decrease in sexual arousal or orgasmic response.
  • Try to be physically active: Regular physical activity increases your stamina, improves the body structure, and reduces your daily stress. Relaxing increases your sexual experiences and gives you more satisfying arousal and orgasm.