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Female Sexual Dysfunction



  • Female sexual arousal disorder

  • Sexual aversion disorder

  • Situational hypoactive sexual desire disorder




  • Increase desire for and enjoyment of sexual activity.

  • Attain and maintain physiological excitement response during sexual intercourse.

  • Reach orgasm with a reasonable amount of time, intensity, and focus to sexual stimulation.

  • Eliminate pain and achieve a presence of subjective pleasure before, during, and after sexual intercourse.

  • Eliminate vaginal spasms that prohibit penile penetration during sexual intercourse and achieve a sense of relaxed enjoyment of coital pleasure.


Behavioral Definitions


  • Describes consistently very low or no pleasurable anticipation of or desire for sexual activity.

  • Strongly avoids and/or is repulsed by any and all sexual contact in spite of a relationship of mutual caring and respect.

  • Recurrently experiences a lack of the usual physiological response of sexual excitement and arousal (genital lubrication and swelling).

  • Reports a consistent lack of a subjective sense of enjoyment and pleasure during sexual activity.

  • Experiences a persistent delay in or absence of reaching orgasm after achieving arousal and in spite of sensitive sexual pleasuring by a caring partner.

  • Describes genital pain experienced before, during, or after sexual intercourse.

  • Reports consistent or recurring involuntary spasm of the vagina that prohibits penetration for sexual intercourse.



  • Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

  • Sexual Aversion Disorder

  • Female Sexual Arousal Disorder

  • Female Orgasmic Disorder

  • Dyspareunia

  • Vaginismus

  • Sexual Abuse of Child, Victim

  • Female Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder Due to Axis III Disorder

  • Female Dyspareunia Due to Axis III Disorder

  • Sexual Dysfunction NOS

What is Female Sexual Dysfunction? 

Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a term used to describe a variety of problems that can affect a woman's sexual health and well-being. It can encompass issues with desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, or pain during sex.  Here's a breakdown of FSD:

Symptoms: Women with FSD may experience one or more of the following difficulties:


  • Low or absent desire for sexual activity

  • Difficulty becoming aroused or maintaining arousal

  • Lack of vaginal lubrication

  • Difficulty achieving orgasm

  • Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)

Causes: The causes of FSD can be complex and vary from woman to woman.  They can be physical, psychological, or a combination of both. Here are some common contributing factors:

Physical factors: Hormonal changes (e.g., menopause, childbirth, breastfeeding), medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, neurological disorders), medications, and certain surgeries can all affect sexual function.

Psychological factors: Stress, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, past sexual trauma, and low body image can all contribute to FSD.

Diagnosis: There is no single test to diagnose FSD. Doctors typically diagnose it based on a woman's history and symptoms. They may ask questions about her sexual history, general health, and any medications she is taking. A physical exam may also be performed to rule out any underlying physical causes.

Effects of Female Sexual Dysfunction

Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) can have a significant impact on a woman's life, affecting not just her physical well-being but also her emotional and mental health, and potentially her relationships. Here's a closer look at the potential effects of FSD:

Physical Effects:

Painful Sex: Pain during intercourse can make sex physically uncomfortable and deter women from wanting to be intimate.

Reduced Sexual Satisfaction: Difficulty achieving orgasm or experiencing a lack of lubrication can decrease a woman's overall satisfaction with sex.

Emotional Effects:

Frustration and Disappointment:  Struggling with sexual dysfunction can be a source of frustration and disappointment for women, leading to feelings of inadequacy or insecurity.

Loss of Self-Esteem:  FSD can negatively impact a woman's self-esteem, particularly if she feels like she's failing to meet societal expectations or her partner's needs.

Anxiety and Stress:  The worry and pressure surrounding sex can lead to anxiety and performance anxiety, further hindering sexual function.

Relationship Effects:

Communication Issues: FSD can create communication problems within a relationship as couples may struggle to talk openly about their sexual difficulties.

Decreased Intimacy:  Sexual dysfunction can lead to a decrease in overall intimacy within a relationship, impacting emotional connection and closeness.

Relationship Strain: Unresolved FSD can put a strain on a relationship, potentially leading to resentment, frustration, and even infidelity in some cases.

How does Female Sexual Dysfunction affect your life?

Intimate Relationships: FSD can strain intimate relationships and partnerships. 

Self-esteem and Body Image: Feelings of inadequacy or failure to meet societal expectations of sexual performance may lead to diminished self-confidence and self-worth. 

Emotional Well-being: The inability to experience sexual pleasure or satisfaction may lead to a sense of loss, sadness, or frustration.

Quality of Life: It may also lead to avoidance of sexual activity or intimacy, which can limit opportunities for connection, pleasure, and intimacy.

Impact on Partner: Partners may feel rejected, confused, or inadequate if they are unable to satisfy their loved one sexually.

Treatment Challenges: Accessing appropriate healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable and sensitive to FSD can be difficult, further exacerbating the problem.

Relationship Dynamics: Partners may experience shifts in roles, expectations, and communication patterns as they navigate the challenges of FSD together. 

It's important to recognize that FSD is a complex and multifaceted issue that can have significant impacts on individuals' lives and relationships. Seeking support from healthcare professionals, counselors, or support groups can help individuals affected by FSD navigate the challenges they face and explore treatment options to improve their sexual health and well-being.

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