Most of us are aware that men can sometimes have difficulty having sex. Erectile dysfunction is a very commonly discussed problem with widely popular solutions. But many people may not know that women can have trouble having sex sometimes, too. Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD) can be a disruptive condition to live with. But if you served in the military, you may be entitled to some compensation for this disorder. Read on to learn more about what FSAD is and what sort of compensation you might be able to get for it.
In this article about Female Sexual Arousal Disorder VA benefits:
- What Is Female Sexual Arousal Disorder?
- Problems Caused by FSAD
- Causes of FSAD
- FASD Symptoms
- Risk Factors
- How Common Is Female Sexual Arousal Disorder ?
- How It’s Diagnosed
- What to Do If You Think You Have FSAD
- Getting Support for FSAD
- Preparing for an Appointment
- What to Expect at Your Appointment
- Other Female Sexual Dysfunctions
- VA Benefits for FSAD
- How to Establish a Service Connection
- VA FSAD Rating
- Get Care for FSAD
What Is Female Sexual Arousal Disorder?
Female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD) is an umbrella term covering any persistent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm, or pain during sex. These problems can place a strain on you and on your relationship with your partner. They can happen only during some sexual situations or every time you try to have sex.
Problems Caused by FSAD
At first glance, it may seem like the only problem FSAD causes is a slowdown in your sex life. But the problems caused by this condition can touch nearly every area of your life. After all, your sex life can impact your relationship with your partner, your feelings about your body, and even your emotional and psychological well-being.
If you’re having trouble having sex, you may find it more difficult to be intimate with your partner. You might begin to feel as though your body is betraying you and struggle with feelings of low self-esteem. And this is to say nothing of the physical discomfort that can come with unsuccessful attempts at sex.
Causes of FSAD
FSAD is a tremendously complex disorder that can involve everything from physiological problems to psychological and emotional challenges. Many times, several factors are involved in causing FSAD.
There may be a physical cause at the root of FSAD. Any number of medical conditions, including cancer, kidney failure, heart disease, bladder problems, and more, could lead to FSAD. You might also experience FSAD as a side effect of certain medications, including antidepressants, blood pressure medications, chemotherapy drugs, and more.
Your hormones can also play a role in changes in your sexual function. Lower estrogen levels can lead to decreased blood flow to your pelvic region, causing less sensitivity and more difficulty getting aroused and achieving orgasm. You may also experience vaginal dryness, thinner vaginal lining, and lower sexual desire after giving birth, during breastfeeding, during and after menopause, and during other periods of your life.
Finally, you may not be surprised to learn that your brain is as important a part of your sex life as the rest of your body. Untreated psychological conditions such as anxiety or depression can lead to lower sexual desire and more problems during sex. To complicate things further, once you start developing FSAD, you may become self-conscious or embarrassed about your sexual function, which can make it that much harder to get in the mood.
One of our VA disability lawyers talks about depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other mental disorders related to military service.
FSAD can come with a wide range of symptoms depending on a number of factors. There are only two definite qualifying factors. You must experience some form of difficulty in having sex, and it must disrupt your life and/or your relationship with your partner.
Many people experience low sexual desire or difficulty becoming aroused even if you want sex. You might have difficulty achieving orgasm even once you are aroused. You may also have pain during sexual stimulation or vaginal contact.
There are a number of factors that can raise your risk of FSAD. If you’ve ever been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, PTSD, or another psychological condition, you may be at higher risk of FSAD. Higher stress levels or a history of sexual abuse can also be risk factors for this disorder.
On the physical end of things, conditions like heart disease or a spinal injury can raise your risk of FSAD. If you’ve ever had a gynecological condition such as vulvovaginal atrophy or infections, you may also be at risk. And if you’ve recently started on a new medication, your FSAD may be connected to that.
How Common Is Female Sexual Arousal Disorder ?
When you’re experiencing sexual dysfunction, it can be very easy to feel like you’re broken or alone. You might be embarrassed to talk to your doctor or friends about what’s happening to you for fear you’ll be judged. But you might be surprised to learn how common FSAD is.
A little more than 10 percent of people with vaginas are diagnosed with FSAD. If you’ve undergone some sort of distress factor (active duty service, for instance), that number rises to nearly 18 percent. And almost half of people with vaginas will experience some sort of sexual dysfunction at some point in their life.
One of our VA disability lawyers talks about how SMC (Special Monthly Compensation) from the VA works.
How It’s Diagnosed
In general, diagnosing FSAD is a fairly straightforward process. Because the criteria are so straightforward, a discussion with your doctor may be enough to solidify your diagnosis. But in some cases, there may be a physical exam included as part of your diagnosis.
Your doctor may want to discuss your sexual and medical history with you to determine if you’re at risk for any other causes of sexual dysfunction. They may also perform a pelvic exam or order blood tests. This helps them to be sure there isn’t a larger issue at work causing your challenges in the bedroom.
Tips on how to handle your C&P Exam from one of our VA disability lawyers.
What to Do If You Think You Have FSAD
If you believe you have FSAD, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with your doctor. Even if you don’t intend to seek treatment for the condition, it’s important to get checked out. There can be underlying conditions that might be causing your FSAD, and those might warrant treatment.
In the meantime, communicate openly with your partner about your experience. It can be easy for negative feelings to build up when you run into sexual challenges, so talking about it is crucial. If you have a close friend you can talk to about these issues, that may also help you to get an outside perspective.
One of our VA disability lawyers talks about how mental health disorders can be rated.
Getting Support for FSAD
When you’re dealing with FSAD, it’s crucial that you get the support you need. First and foremost, this support should come from your partner. Be open with them about what you’re experiencing and use this as an excuse to explore alternate sexual options and new ways to experience intimacy.
Try to get as much information as you can about your situation; understanding what’s going on can help you cope better with it. Take time to learn more about your body and appreciate the things it can do as it changes. And as those changes come, explore new aspects of what sexuality can mean for you in a body that’s always remaking itself.
Preparing for an Appointment
Once you have a doctor’s appointment set up, there are several things you can do to make sure you get the most out of it. Start by documenting your symptoms in detail. It’s going to be much easier to remember all your symptoms and what triggers them if you have notes than if you’re working off of memory.
Also, put together a complete sexual and medical history to take with you to your appointment. Knowing your background can help your doctor eliminate certain root causes and can get you a faster diagnosis and treatment plan, if that’s what you wish. You should also write down a list of questions you have for your doctor.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
At your appointment, your doctor may ask you several questions about your sexual health and behaviors. These are not meant to be prying or inappropriate. They are crucial to helping your doctor figure out what’s going on and how best to help you.
Your gynecologist may ask you what specific problems you’re having, how much they’re bothering you, and how satisfying you currently find your sex life. They might also ask if you feel aroused with your partner, if you achieve orgasm, and if you have any pain with intercourse. They might also need to know about your past sex life, including if you could have orgasms before and if you’ve ever had an unwanted sexual experience.
Other Female Sexual Dysfunctions
It is important to note that most people experience sexual dysfunction at some point in their life. And there are several other conditions that can cause a disruption in your sex life. It’s important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms so they can get you a proper diagnosis.
Vaginismus is a condition that causes the muscles in your pelvic floor to spasm involuntarily. Vestibulodynia causes chronic pain in and around the vagina, especially when it’s touched. Both conditions can make sex difficult or painful, and there are a lot of similar conditions that can cause problems for people with vaginas.
VA Benefits for FSAD
As a member of the Veterans Association, you may be entitled to some disability benefits due to your FSAD. This is a fairly recent update to the VA benefits policy. In 2017, they added FSAD to the schedule for rating disabilities, along with a number of other gynecological conditions.
If you qualify for disability benefits, you can get a monthly tax-free payment. The amount you get will vary depending on your specific situation. With an FSAD diagnosis, you may also be entitled to Special Monthly Compensation level K, which means you’ll get additional compensation of more than $100 per month.
How to Establish a Service Connection
In order to get your VA disability benefits, you’ll need to establish a service connection for FSAD. This has several requirements you must meet in order to get your monthly payments. First and foremost among these is you must have a current diagnosis from a qualified doctor of FSAD.
In order to qualify for VA disability payments, you must be able to prove that your FSAD is the result of your military service. There must have been an in-service event, injury, or illness that led to your condition. And you must have a medical nexus linking the current diagnosis of FSAD to the in-service event that caused it.
VA FSAD Rating
The VA rates FSAD under 38 CFR § 4.116, Gynecological Conditions and Disorders of the Breast. These conditions have a diagnostic code of 7632 under VA regulations. Unless there is physical damage to the genitals, service-connected FSAD is rated at 0 percent.
In order to qualify for the SMC(K) compensation, your FSAD must qualify as a loss of use of the reproductive organs. This means you must be infertile in order to qualify for this compensation. This amount will be added on top of your existing disability benefits if you qualify for it.
The other term the VA uses is loss of use of creative organ. When reproductive organs are disabled to the point of ‘loss of use’ then they can also get a rating. The rating might be low, but every bit counts when you are dealing with VA math.
Here is one of our videos about how to move your VA rating from 80% to 100%.
Get Care for FSAD
Sexual dysfunction can be painful and embarrassing to deal with, but with proper education and treatment, you can find your way back to a fulfilling sex life. Knowing more about Female Sexual Arousal Disorder can help you get the support and treatment you need. And knowing about the VA benefits for this condition can help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you’d like help getting the compensation you’re entitled to through the VA, get in touch with us at Woods and Woods, LLC. We fight for disabled veterans nationwide, getting you the compensation you deserve. Start applying for your benefits with help from the veteran’s firm today.