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Sexual arousal disorder is characterized by a lack or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity in a situation that would normally produce sexual arousal, or the inability to attain or maintain typical responses to sexual arousal. The disorder is found in the DSM-IV.[1] The condition should not be confused with a sexual desire disorder.

The term is often used in the diagnosis of women (female sexual arousal disorder), while the term erectile dysfunction (ED) is often used for men.

Signs and symptoms[edit]

In women, the symptoms of the disorder include:

However, whether lack of physiological arousal is a reliable symptom of the disorder is questionable. Research has shown that women with arousal deficits and women without arousal deficits show equivalent increases in physiological response during experience of erotic stimuli.[2][3]


Contrary to popular belief, the disorder is not always caused from a lack of sexual arousal. Possible causes of the disorder include psychological and emotional factors, such as depression, anger, and stress; relationship factors, such as conflict or lack of trust; medical factors, such as depleted hormones, reduced regional blood flow, and nerve damage; and drug use. The lack of sexual arousal may be due to a general lack of sexual desire or due to a lack of sexual desire for the current partner (i.e., situational). A person may always have had no or low sexual desire or the lack of desire may have been acquired during the person's life.


A psychologist will first consider any psychological or emotional problems; while a sex therapist will examine relationship issues; after which a medical doctor will investigate medical causes for the disorder. In order to receive this diagnosis, a women must, for at least 6 months, report at least 3 of the following symptoms: absent or significantly reduced interest in sexual activity, in sexual or erotic thoughts or fantasies, in initiation of sex or receptiveness to sex, in excitement or pleasure in most sexual encounters, in sexual responsiveness to erotic cues, or in genital or non-genital responses to sexual activity. This can be either lifelong or acquired.[4]


Depending on the cause of the disorder, hormone therapy or a blood-flow enhancing medication, like Viagra, may be appropriate.

Bremelanotide (formerly PT-141) is being studied in clinical tests to increase sexual desire in women. In 2014, Palatin, the company developing the drug, announced the beginning of a Phase 3 clinical trial to determine its effectiveness.[5]


  1. ^ DSM-IV, American Psychiatric Association 1994
  2. ^ Morokoff PJ, Heiman JR (1980). "Effects of Erotic Stimuli on Sexually Functional and Dysfunctional Women". Behaviour Research and Therapy 18 (2): 127–137. doi:10.1016/0005-7967(80)90107-2. 
  3. ^ Laan E, van Driel EM, van Lunsen RHW (June 2008). "Genital Responsiveness in Healthy Women With and Without Sexual Arousal Disorder". Journal of Sexual Medicine 5 (6): 1424–1435. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00827.x. 
  4. ^ Hoeksema, S. (2007). Abnormal psychology (4th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
  5. ^ "Palatin Announces Start of Bremelanotide Phase 3 Program For Female Sexual Dysfunction". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2015-02-17. 

See also[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_arousal_disorder — Please support Wikipedia.
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278 news items


Wed, 19 Aug 2015 20:00:00 -0700

Also known as Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD) or Candace Syndrome, female sexual dysfunction a disorder marked by the recurring inability to become sexually aroused or maintain such arousal throughout sexual activity. Those who suffer from this ...
Business Wire (press release)
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 06:52:30 -0700

A published study of Zestra showed that women with both female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD) and women with normal sexual functioning both experienced improved desire, arousal, and orgasm. Vaginal Dryness or vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA): VVA can ...

New York Magazine

New York Magazine
Wed, 19 Aug 2015 12:50:25 -0700

("You mean you wouldn't risk passing out or dizziness for the possibility of one more satisfying sex per month??" Lori Brotto, a sex researcher at the University of British Columbia and a leading expert on female sexual-arousal disorder, snarked on ...
Seeking Alpha
Wed, 19 Aug 2015 06:16:04 -0700

Citing Sprout Pharmaceuticals' success in gaining regulatory clearance for Addyi (flibanserin) for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire in premenopausal women, Apricus Biosciences (NASDAQ:APRI) CEO Richard Roscoe says that there is now a ...
Stock Transcript
Sat, 29 Aug 2015 10:15:00 -0700

... to its investigational antifungal product candidate, VL-2397, and Apricus Biosciences Inc. announced that it is seeking a global development partner for Femprox, its treatment for female sexual arousal disorder, according to company announcements.

Fox News

Seeking Alpha
Sat, 22 Aug 2015 17:22:30 -0700

Apricus Bio has spent over a decade studying Femprox and the treatment of female sexual disorder. At the end of 2014, the company put its plans for Femprox on the shelf, awaiting a pathway forward with the FDA and EMA. With the approval of Addyi, ...


Tue, 18 Aug 2015 16:35:13 -0700

It's been shown to help with male erectile dysfunction, but, more interestingly for us, a 2002 study also gave yohimbine to post-menopausal women with sexual arousal disorder. The results? While the women didn't necessarily report feeling different ...
American Trade Journal
Sun, 23 Aug 2015 13:15:00 -0700

The Companys pipeline of approved and late stage NexACT based product candidates includes Vitaros, which is approved in Canada for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, Femprox for female sexual arousal disorder, MycoVa for onychomycosis excluding ...

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