advertisement

Sexual Arousal Disorder

General Definition

Sexual Arousal Disorder is the inability to attain or maintain adequate genital lubrication, swelling or other somatic responses, such as nipple sensitivity. The disorder can include:

  • Lack of vaginal lubrication

  • Decreased clitoral and labial sensation (e.g. lack of tingling/ warmth, or "asleep feelings in the genitals")

  • Decreased clitoral and labial engorgement

  • Lack of vaginal lengthening, dilation and arousal

Potential Causes

  • Psychological/emotional factors: e.g. depression, anxiety, stress

  • Relationship Factors: e.g. conflict, anger, lack of trust

  • Medical factors: low testosterone, low estrogen, diminished vaginal or clitoral blood flow, nerve damage.

What Can You Do?

First, consider whether there are indeed emotional or relationship variables contributing to your problem. It helps to be evaluated by a trained sex therapist who can help you sort this out. Not only do traumatic pasts, relationship issues, and general emotional conflicts impact on sexual arousal, but unrealistic expectations about sexuality or stress around sexual situations can impact on your sexual response as well. It will also be important to rule out medical factors, both testosterone (connected to genital sensation) and estrogen (connected to lubrication). This way you can talk to your doctor about replacement if your levels are low. Also, diminished blood flow to the genital area, either as a result of aging, or some kind of pelvic injury or pelvic surgery can impact on response. Nerve damage can occur in the same way and impact on sexual arousal as well. If your hormones are where they should be, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about trying a blood flow enhancing medication (like ) or device (like the EROS-CTD).

APA Reference
Writer, H. (2009, January 2). Sexual Arousal Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/sex/female-sexual-dysfunction/sexual-arousal-disorder

Last Updated: June 25, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

More Info