Sexual Health

Differences Between Desire and Sexual Arousal

July 15, 2018

Much of the population frequently conflates libido with stimulation. After all, if you feel satisfied with your sex life, these elements of your sexuality can be difficult to distinguish from one another.

In actuality, libido identifies to a baseline fascination with sexual activity, and might also be referred to as your sexual appetite.

Arousal, on the other hand, refers to a bodily response to sexual stimulation.

Physical signs of sexual arousal contain vaginal stimulation and increased blood flow to the labia, clitoris, and vagina.

Increasing Levels of Sexual Arousal

One of the indicators of decreased sexual arousal in women would be a diminished amount of vaginal lubrication. Cosmetic vaginal lubricants can augment lubrication.

If a decline in vaginal lubrication has been due to menopause, hormone replacement therapy is frequently prescribed. While this is an approved drug therapy for this particular problem, however, newer research indicates that this therapy also carries great risk. Because of this, personal lubrication purchased from the regional pharmacy can be your safest choice.

Viagra (sildenafil) and also a class of drugs called alpha-adrenergic blockers, for example Regitine (phentolamine), have also been shown to improve vaginal lubrication in response to sexual stimulation. However, it should be noted that study after study of Viagra for various female sexual issues have not shown an increase in sexual pleasure in women, also it’s not been accepted by the FDA for use with women.

Besides pharmacological solutions, you might also pick behavioral therapy to help increase sexual stimulation. Such treatment is aimed at enhancing sexual dreams and focusing one’s attention on sexual stimulation. If you’re in a continuous relationship, then your therapist would also take a hard look at the possibility that communication problems exist in your connection, or your spouse doesn’t spend too long as is required to stimulate you.

Increasing Levels of Sexual Desire

The FDA recently approved Addyi (flibanserin) for treating low sexual desire, but this acceptance comes after a long, challenging road during which the medication’s side effects have been shown to be greater than its possible benefits. Even after its acceptance, doctors will need to go through a training process before they are able to prescribe it.

Addyi is a pill that must be taken daily. It is advised that you not drink while on Addyi, as this may result in fainting.

Perhaps this less-than-ideal mix of high risk followed by reduced benefits is the reason Addyi isn’t exactly performing well on the market. There are those, however, who hope its acceptance will lead to more research to what women might be able to do using their distressingly low levels of stimulation, libido, and orgasm frequency, or with instances of genital pain.

There have also been studies suggesting that testosterone may increase sexual desire in women whose low sex drive is a result of the surgical removal of their ovaries. Continual therapy with testosterone does, but carry unwanted effects and health risks.

One more factor to consider is that, for many women, feelings of guilt and shame learned in early childhood might interfere with mature sexual role, and might affect one or more phases of the sexual response cycle.

In these cases, as well as in cases of sexual abuse, psychotherapy can be beneficial. Marriage counseling or couples therapy may also be of value.