What ICD-10 Code Is Used for Fetishism?

Healthcare providers diagnosing both physical and psychological afflictions have to go through a specific diagnostic process with their patients and clients. Whether you’re a treatment provider, someone being diagnosed, or a friend or family member, you might go online to look up information about specific conditions. However, the amount of information available can be truly overwhelming, and the symptoms of many different conditions can overlap. Once a treatment provider makes a specific diagnosis, an ICD-10 code associated with the condition enters medical records. You can use this to look up a lot more information about the diagnosis in question, and fetishism is one of many different conditions that have ICD-10 codes.

ICD-10 Medical Codes

ICD stands for the International Classification of Diseases, and these code lists are a form of medical shorthand. This system covers diseases, symptoms, signs, circumstances, abnormalities, and external causes. Health insurance providers expect consistent codes for both conditions and the treatments assigned to them, and they might not pay if the codes aren’t listed correctly. If you’re trying to pay medical bills or help someone figure them out, then you should know how to look up these codes. These also matter significantly in situations ranging from Medicare to workers’ compensation scenarios.

What Are ICD-10 Medical Codes?

ICD codes are used as a standardized form of information communication throughout the healthcare and health insurance fields. ICD-10 is the most recent edition, and it’s the 10th version established so far. There are over 70,000 codes, and the sheer volume of these codes reflects how precise the definitions are. These codes frequently appear on the bills and paperwork that patients might see, but that’s not always true. Healthcare providers rely on these codes for accurate diagnosis and treatment of patients or clients, and anyone being treated might need to look these codes up to sort out billing issues or payment preapproval for treatment coverage.

Why Are They Used?

If you’re wondering why ICD-10-CM codes are used, then you should know that there are three different but equally valid reasons:

  • These codes are used for billing matters because insurance providers cover some conditions but not others, and coverage levels might vary even among covered conditions.
  • Healthcare professionals rely on these codes to make sure that they communicate accurate diagnoses with one another so that patients and clients receive consistent and appropriate treatment.
  • Statisticians and researchers use these codes on a broader scale to track diseases in terms of prevalence and severity across population groups from local communities all the way up to a global level.

Disease Management

Given the comprehensive list, there’s practically an ICD code for every disease anyone gets diagnosed with. This can be lifesaving information in a hospital setting, but it might not always be immediately apparent to patients. When a healthcare provider meets you for the first time, they’re likely to ask many questions about any chronic conditions you have. It might not seem like they’re focusing on why you’re visiting, but there might be connections that your physician is looking for or seeing. 

Insurance Reimbursement

Very few people can afford medical care without sufficient health insurance, but providers have to know where their money is being spent. When a healthcare provider bills insurance companies to get reimbursed, the services are categorized with common procedural technology codes, also known as CPT codes. These get matched to ICD codes, but payment might be denied if the codes misalign. Health insurers don’t want to pay for unrelated testing that has no bearing on the condition in question. For instance, if you visit your doctor complaining about a rash, your insurance will unlikely reimburse your doctor or an ER for X-rays. That kind of imaging probably doesn’t provide any relevant information about a rash.

Alternate Uses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is just one of many organizations that rely on ICD codes to track various pieces of information. Health statistics and specific causes of death help government and industry leaders decide how resources are allocated to different conditions and efforts. This collection of data helps organizations gather details on both known chronic illnesses and new ones that are showing up. For instance, one of the new codes added to ICD-10 involved tracking vaping-related illnesses. The codes are also useful for clinical trials that recruit and track subjects. Sometimes, these codes are even input on death certificates.

Fetish Conditions

Given the tens of thousands of different ICD-10 codes in the comprehensive list, it should come as no surprise that the condition of fetishism is assigned one. There’s also a code for transvestic fetishism that’s a closely related condition.

F65.0 Fetishism

ICD code F65.0 corresponds to a diagnosis of fetishism, and this mental condition is one where a person might need to utilize a specific nongenital object to attain sexual gratification. These objects might be articles of clothing or body parts not customarily considered sexual in nature. In some cases, more impersonal objects are the focus of a fetish. Most people diagnosed with this condition are men, and the majority of related objects are either female clothing or body parts. Common examples include feet or long hair, shoes, and undergarments. Olfactory sensations commonly play a role in this condition.

F65.1 Transvestic Fetishism

The very next ICD code on the list is F65.1, and it stands for transvestic fetishism. This condition is when someone has an erotic or sexual interest in cross-dressing, but it’s not the same as cross-dressing for other purposes, including entertainment. Two crucial criteria for this condition exist. The first is recurring urges, fantasies, or behavior that involve cross-dressing and intense sexual arousal related to it. Secondly, these feelings result in clinically significant impairment or distress, and that can manifest in school, work, and social life.


Both general and transvestic fetishism are categorized as paraphilic disorders. The ICD code 65.9 is listed for paraphilic disorders, but it’s usually reserved for uncategorized cases. When fetishism or transvestic fetishism are specifically identified, their associated codes are used instead. Paraphilia is abnormal impulses or sexual behaviors that involve recurring urges and fantasies. They might include circumstances, activities, and objects that are not common sources of sexual arousal in many other adults. For instance, an individual diagnosed with paraphilia might need specific circumstances to function sexually, and that can hold true even when the conditions required are a cause of substantial stress. Social, personal, and career complications can happen as a result, and legal repercussions are a potential risk.

Symptoms of Fetishism

Symptoms of fetishism tend to focus on a specific body part or object. An individual diagnosed with fetishistic disorder might only achieve sexual arousal and orgasm if the fetish is being fulfilled, and they might feel incredible stress or shame when they’re unable to achieve arousal with conventional stimuli. This emphasis on nonliving objects or nongenital body parts usually must last at least six months for an official diagnosis. These behaviors, urges, and fantasies are symptomatic when they impair functioning at personal, occupational, and career levels. Fetish objects are not clothing articles utilized in cross-dressing, nor can they be intended for the tactile stimulation of genitals. This disorder can vary in its intensity levels throughout a person’s life.

Causes of Paraphilia

The causes of paraphilia are not always clear. Some researchers think that sexual abuse and other childhood trauma cause it, but other schools of thought claim that certain circumstances or objects turn into sources of sexual arousal after frequent association with sexual activities and the pleasure that derives from them. In many instances, a person diagnosed with paraphilia has trouble creating and maintaining both sexual and personal relationships with other people. Paraphilias can start during the teenage years and remain present into adulthood.

Treatment of Paraphilia

The treatment of paraphilia often involves therapy and counseling, and the goal is to help an individual practice behavioral modifications. Medication might reduce the compulsion of paraphilia overall while decreasing the frequency of unconventional behaviors and fantasies. Hormonal treatment is occasionally effective in those whose sexual behavior is dangerous, and this is achieved by lowering the sex drive of the person being treated. Long-term treatment must happen for the best results, and individuals unwilling to comply with their treatment regimen can hurt their chances of getting better.

Accurate ICD-10 Medical Codes Are Important

Having accurate ICD-10 medical codes is crucial to the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Many professionals in the healthcare field, ranging from providers to consultants, deal with these codes, and they consequently have an improved understanding of many different conditions and patient populations that they might impact. These codes help treatment providers make educated decisions, and patients can use them to learn more about the conditions that they have been diagnosed with. Medical coders read records that include diagnoses, and they convert these diagnoses to ICD-10 codes. As these codes are entered into official documentation, health insurance providers process the data for their needs and tasks, including reimbursement payments and determining coverage levels.

There’s a lot of technical work involved with all this detailed documentation, but ICD-10 medical codes have numerous advantages. This set of codes is more accurate than previous sets of diagnostic codes, and the current categories of disease classification and medical terminology are far more updated. Doctors who deal with complex issues have more support through improved reimbursement models, and enhanced data is available for those studying different diseases and their patterns. When errors are prevented and payment efficiency increases, the healthcare industry is improved overall.

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