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Arousal Disorder Care

If you have a vagina and have trouble getting turned on or staying aroused, it can make you feel frustrated, sad or worried about what is happening to your body. Arousal disorder is very common – and it’s treatable. Speak with one of our experts about your options today.

What is arousal disorder?

Arousal disorder is when you have a vagina, you have trouble getting or staying aroused (turned on,) and you feel sad, anxious or worried about it.

What causes HSDD? 

HSDD may be caused by things like:  

  • Menopause 

  • Recently being pregnant, giving birth, or breastfeeding 

  • Low sex hormone levels 

  • Health problems like cancer, diabetes, heart problems, multiple sclerosis, or bladder problems 

  • Medicines like antidepressants, blood pressure medicines, chemotherapy, and types of hormonal therapy  

  • Anxiety or depression 

  • Relationship problems 

  • Issues with your body image 

  • Stress 

  • Tiredness 

  • Sexual abuse or trauma in your past 

Symptoms can include:

  • Avoiding or not wanting to have sex  

  • Never thinking about or fantasizing about having sex 

  • Experiencing consistent loss of libido and sex drive after the start of sex or during sex 

  • Experiencing inconsistent libido or occasional loss of sex drive 

Are there treatments for arousal disorder? 

If your provider thinks you have arousal disorder and you’re eligible for treatment, treatment options could include:

If you’re pre- or post-menopausal:
  • Ospemifene — a pill you take once a day to help with pain caused by vaginal dryness.
  • Prasterone — a pill that you put in your vagina every night to help with pain caused by vaginal dryness.
  • Physical therapy for your pelvic floor — therapy that can help strengthen the muscles around and near your genitals.
If you’re going through menopause:
  • Hormones (estrogen or testosterone) —a cream, gel, tablet, patch, or ring that you put in your vagina; or testosterone gel that you put on your calf.
  • Physical therapy for your pelvic floor — therapy that can help strengthen the muscles around and near your genitals.

Is there anything I can do to help my or my partner’s arousal disorder?

The best thing you can do for arousal disorder is to see a health care provider that can help you pinpoint any underlying causes that might be causing your symptoms.

In addition to seeking medical treatment for arousal disorder, the following lifestyle choices may help improve the symptoms of arousal disorder:

  • Reducing stress to improve your mood through things like getting more sleep, meditation, and breathing exercises
  • Limiting alcohol and stopping smoking and using drugs
  • Exercising regularly
  • Talking with a counselor who specializes in sex and relationship problems

You or your partner can also try:

  • Kegel exercises - these can increase blood flow and feeling to your genitals
  • Talking with your partner about your likes and dislikes sexually
  • Exploring porn (movies, magazines, websites, or other entertainment) that brings you sexual pleasure
  • Masturbating, possibly with vibrators or other sex toys if that feels good
  • Using lubricants (if you’re using condoms, choose a water-based lubricant)
  • EROS Therapy Device:  A hand-held device for vulvas with a small plastic cup. It improves blood flow to your genitals to increase vaginal wetness and help you have orgasms.

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