Essentials of Female Sexual Dysfunction from a Sex Therapy Perspective

Linda E. Ohl, MSW, CSW, ACH


Urol Nurs. 2007;27(1):57-63. 

In This Article

Female Sexual Arousal Disorder

Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (302.72, DSM-IV) is the inability to attain or maintain sufficient sexual excitement, which may be expressed as a lack of subjective excitement, or lack of genital lubrication/swelling or other somatic responses. It should cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty. It cannot be accounted for by another major mental disorder and is not exclusively due to medications. The woman experiencing sexual arousal disorder looks much different. She enjoys sexual encounters and finds herself frustrated due to the inability to attain, or to maintain sufficient lubrication for penetration during a sexual encounter, or at least until completion of the sexual activity.

Paik and Laumann (2006) reported the incidence of current problems with lack of feeling of excitement or pleasure as low as 2%, with lifetime incidence of 20%. Difficulties with peripheral manifestations of FSAD, such as vaginal dryness or lack of lubrication, had a lifetime prevalence of 13% to 31%. However, when considering all symptomatology related to problems with sexual arousal, clinic-based lifetime incidence is 12% to 50%.


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