Half of papaya with dripping white liquid on color background

Factors that affect female sexual arousal

By Dr. Muthoni Mwangi
Factors affecting female arousal are unique to everyone. What some women consider enhancers, others may see as inhibitors. Here’s a look at both positive and negative influences on female sexual arousal.

What factors improve arousal?

  • Positive body image can significantly enhance sexual arousal. Women who feel good about their bodies, attire, or hair report higher levels of arousal. A stable, trusted, and supportive partner who is appreciative positively impacts arousal. Trust and stability in a relationship play a crucial role.
  • Good emotional well-being is another major factor. Young women, with normal levels of circulating estrogen and testosterone, often experience higher arousal. Additionally, a lifestyle that includes regular exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy eating habits boosts sexual desire and arousal.

What factors that negatively affect arousal?

  • Emotional and psychological distress, as well as physical and mental health problems, are linked to low sexual desire. During menopause, a woman’s feelings towards her partner and prior sexual experiences can either enhance or hinder arousal. Previous physical or sexual abuse significantly impacts arousal negatively.
  • High-stress levels, fatigue, and the natural aging process, including menopause, can diminish sexual desire. Mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or psychosis, along with their medications, often lead to sexual dysfunction.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth bring extraordinary stress and fatigue, often reducing sexual function. Women undergoing infertility treatments may focus more on conceiving than on sexual intimacy for pleasure. Health issues such as urine leakage, pelvic organ prolapse, endometriosis, fibroids, hypertension, diabetes, and neurological conditions negatively impact sexual function.
  • Family planning can have inconsistent effects on libido. Some hormonal contraceptives may negatively affect libido compared to non-hormonal options like the copper intrauterine device. Nicotine, alcohol, and opiates also have negative effects on libido and arousal.

Many factors that positively impact female arousal are interconnected, such as body image, a stable relationship, and a supportive partner. Conversely, negative factors like fatigue, stress, an unreliable partner, and substance abuse can hinder arousal and desire.

Often, it’s challenging to isolate a single cause for reduced arousal and desire. There is a craze going on about okra water. It is a hydrophilic agent thus it attracts water and makes tissue swell. This mostly applies to the intestines.

For it to have the same effect in the other body parts it needs to be absorbed and when broken down for absorption, it is metabolized to other compounds which may not have the same effect in other body parts. No concrete studies have been done to prove its effect on female arousal and lubrication.

A visit to the gynecologist or sexologist can be a good starting point for addressing female sexual dysfunction. Treatments are tailored to the individual’s or couple’s specific situation. Ultimately, understanding the diverse factors influencing female arousal empowers individuals to navigate their sexual experiences with confidence and seek appropriate support when needed

did you find this useful?

Tell us what you think

LoveMatters Africa

Blush-free facts and stories about love, sex, and relationships