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Female Sexual Arousal Disorder

Female Sexual Arousal Disorder is described as the inability of a woman to complete sexual activity with adequate lubrication. Swelling of the external genitalia and vaginal lubrication are generally absent. These symptoms must cause problems in the interpersonal relationship to be considered a disorder. It is not unusual for the woman with female sexual arousal disorder to have almost no sense of sexual arousal. Often, these women experience pain with intercourse and avoid sexual contact with their partner.

Chronically or recurrently, the patient cannot lubricate enough to complete the sexual activity.

Except for another Sexual Dysfunction.

It is not directly caused by substance use (medication or drug of abuse) or by a general medical condition.

It causes marked distress or interpersonal problems.

Associated Features:

Personal relationship problems.

Differential Diagnosis:

Some disorders have similar or even the same symptoms. The clinician, therefore, in his/her diagnostic attempt has to differentiate against the following disorders which need to be ruled out to establish a precise diagnosis.

Inadequate Genital Stimulation.
Drug Abuse.


Sexual Desire Disorders may be associated with specific settings, situations and relationships or generally present in all sexual settings. It may be due to psychological factors or a combination of psychological and physical factors. It is characterized by inability to attain or maintain adequate physical response to sexual excitement. It is considered a disorder when it causes distress or interpersonal conflict, and it must be differentiated from other psychological problems for which it may be simply a symptom rather than the primary problem.

Contrary to popular belief, a lack of lubrication is not always caused from a failure to be aroused. The exact causes of female sexual arousal disorder are not known. It has been associated with illness, a lack of the hormone estrogen, and side effects from medications. Possible psychological explanations include guilt, hostility, and anxiety.


Relaxation techniques and various creams and jellys are suitable lubricants and may help to alleviate the discomfort.

Counseling and Psychotherapy [ See Therapy Section ] & [Sex Therapy ]:

The psychological portion of treatment is directed at teaching how to focus on pleasurable thoughts and feelings about sex.

Medical & Other

It is recommended that the sufferer discuss this matter with her gynecologist.

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Page Updated
19th July 2003