What Is Female Sexual Arousal Disorder?
Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD) is a condition that is characterized by persistent, recurrent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm, or pain. FSAD is one of several conditions that fall under the umbrella term sexual dysfunction. Many women experience sexual dysfunction at some point in their lives, and some have difficulty throughout their lives. With specific regard to FSAD, some of the most common symptoms women experience are:
- Lack of sexual desire
- Less initiation of sexual activity
- Decreased sexual excitement or pleasure during sex
- Lack of genital or nongenital sensations during sex
- Inability to orgasm
Many things, both psychological and physical, can cause FSAD. Some of the most common emotional and mental health conditions that can cause FSAD are:
Veterans in particular are at greater risk of developing FSAD than the general population because of the trauma they experience in service, which often results from combat or military sexual trauma (MST). Among female veterans seeking treatment at VA healthcare facilities, nearly 24 percent report a history of MST. In a recent review study, that group of female veterans displayed negative sexual consequences at a more severe degree than women who had suffered civilian sexual assault. Many researchers believe that one explanation for this phenomenon is that in cases of MST, unlike in most situations of civilian sexual assault, survivors are often required to continue working with their abuser. This could compound the stress caused by an assault and make women more susceptible to developing FSAD or other related conditions.
How The VA Rates FSAD
For VA purposes, FSAD is only a physical condition. It can only be diagnosed as a result of physiological findings/damage to the gynecological system. Mental health professionals cannot render a diagnosis for FSAD as it is not a condition found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fifth version (DSM-5) for mental disorders. When a mental health evaluation suggests that a veteran may have FSAD, other medical evidence must confirm the diagnosis.
If a diagnosis is given for FSAD, and the affected veteran is able to prove service connection for her condition, the VA will move forward with evaluating the condition for schedular disability rating purposes. Under 38 CFR 4.116, diagnostic code (DC) 7632, the VA will award service connection for FSAD as a stand-alone gynecological disability with a zero-percent evaluation.
The only exception to the zero-percent evaluation rule is if the veteran’s sexual organ experienced damage or injury as a result of her service, in which case the VA would evaluate the injury under the appropriate disability rating schedule (DCs 7610-7615).
Veterans with FSAD who only receive a zero-percent rating may qualify for special monthly compensation (SMC) for loss of use of a creative organ. The rating of SMC will be inferred and awarded whenever the VA grants service connection for FSAD.
Get Help With Your FSAD Claim
If you are a veteran with FSAD who is looking for assistance with your VA disability claim, please contact our office today for a free claim evaluation. Our VA disability lawyers are ready to get you the compensation you deserve.