The average American has sexual intercourse 103 times per year, and less than half are satisfied with their sex life. A contributing factor to low satisfaction rates is Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD), a condition in which women have a recurring inability to attain or maintain sexual arousal. Between 22-34% of American women have experienced FSAD at least once in their lifetime. The signs of FSAD may not be obvious to some, and could easily be disregarded if the patient is not educated on FSAD symptoms. Here are some signs indicating that you may have FSAD:
Low sexual desire
This may seem obvious, but a persistent lack of interest in sex could be a sign of FSAD, especially if the woman had a much higher sex drive recently. Women should take note of the levels of their sexual desire, and notice any dramatic changes.
Difficulty with arousal
Having a difficult time with sexual arousal or intimacy can be another sign of FSAD. This can be especially frustrating for women that have normal levels of sexual desire but difficulty becoming or staying aroused.
Difficulty achieving orgasm
Having prolonged sexual arousal and difficulty achieving orgasm is another common sign of FSAD. On average, healthy women are able to achieve orgasm by the 20-minute mark, making prolonged sexual arousal (over 45 to 60 minutes) potentially abnormal.
Pain associated with sex
Any sort of pain during sex in the abdominal or pelvic region is not normal and could be an indicator of FSAD or another sexual arousal disorder/disease. Be sure to consult your gynecologist or primary care doctor if you’re experiencing these symptoms.
There are a few treatment options for Female Sexual Arousal Disorder, with one being estrogen therapy. The Mayo Clinic states that “localized estrogen therapy comes in the form of a vaginal ring, cream or tablet. This therapy benefits sexual function by improving vaginal tone and elasticity, increasing vaginal blood flow and enhancing lubrication”. Estrogen therapy is one of the most common treatments for FSAD. Patients could also adjust other medications (such as anxiety or depression medications) that may have sexual side effects. There is one medication option on the market, Addyi, that can boost sexual desire in women. However, Addyi has significant side effects such as low blood pressure, sleepiness, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, and fainting. Another option is the O-Stem procedure, a therapy that uses platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections to increase sexual desire and allow for a stronger orgasm. Pelvic or vaginal pain can also be treated through various therapies.
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