People with sexual anorexia avoid, fear or dread sexual intimacy. Sometimes, the condition is also called inhibited sexual desire, sexual avoidance or sexual aversion. It can involve physical problems, such as impotence in men. It often has no physical cause. Both men and women can experience sexual anorexia.


Physical and emotional problems can lead to sexual anorexia.

Physical causes can include : • hormone imbalances
• recent childbirth
• breast-feeding
• medication use
• exhaustion

Common emotional causes include :
• sexual abuse
• rape
• a negative attitude toward sex
• strict religious upbringing about sex
• power struggles with a partner or a loved one
• communication problems


Sexual anorexia can be difficult to diagnose. If you suspect you have it, talk to your doctor or sex specialist can help diagnose your symptoms. Your healthcare provider might order tests to check for underlying health conditions. For example, blood tests can show hormone imbalances. These imbalances may interfere with your libido.


A number of factors can contribute to the development of sexual anorexia. Unlike low libido, sexual anorexia is not caused by hormonal imbalances. Nor should it be confused with asexuality. Instead, sexual anorexia is a psychological phenomenon characterized by depriving oneself of the possibility of a fulfilling intimate life. Depression, anxiety, abuse, relationship problems, body image issues, and inexperience with sex can all contribute to the condition.

Adults who suffer from inhibited sexual desire because of low testosterone or estrogen levels may benefit from medical treatment. This can be especially helpful for men with lack of sexual interest related to erectile dysfunction. Menopausal women with low desire may also benefit from hormone replacement therapy to help boost libido.


If you think you might have sexual anorexia or a fear of intimacy, the first step is to seek treatment from a qualified sex specialist or sexual health professional.

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