Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder Explained

The sexual desire of a woman can fluctuate over time, depending upon the highs and lows of her career and personal life, relationships or any other major event that can affect her in a huge way, either psychologically or physically. Other major changes such as pregnancy, illness or menopause can also cause the woman to experience a low sex drive. Women, who are prescribed antidepressants and anti-seizure medicines, can also have low libido. If you have a low sex drive and you are constantly worried about it, then you could probably have HSDD, also known as female sexual interest/arousal disorder.

What Is HSDD?

HSDD stands for hypoactive sexual desire disorder. It is a medical condition in which a woman simply doesn’t want sex anymore. And it’s not as uncommon as one might think. According to the NHS, 3 out of 10 women have a reduced interest in having sexual relationships with a partner. This can make a woman unhappy, depressed and even irritable and it’s a condition that ought to be taken seriously.

What Causes It?

HSDD could be why a woman might abstain from sex or simply avoid it and there are many reasons for that. However, not all of them are physical issues and some of them are psychological too. One of the most common causes of HSDD is depression. Other factors can be anxiety, stress, hormonal transition during menopause, post pregnancy psychological and physical factors, low levels of testosterone and relationship problems.

The Symptoms of HSDD

The most inherent and obvious symptoms of HSDD is the lack of interest in sexual activity or sexual relations with a partner or low libido levels. The patients feel no desire to initiate or participate in sexual activity, to the point that they consider it to be an interference in their daily routine. One thing that must be kept in mind is that a woman can feel no desire to have sex and still not be diagnosed with HSSD in the instance when she is not worried about not having sex and it is not affecting or causing her psychological stress in any way.

If a woman is experiencing a low sex drive, but is not experiencing any of the causes given above, she may not be diagnosed with HSDD. However, if you desire less sex than your partner does, then it can cause desire deficiencies leading to friction between the partners. One thing to remember is that HSDD doesn’t affect everyone the same, and the symptoms and effects vary between women. If a woman has no urge to have sex or engage in self-stimulation or have sexual fantasies or thoughts, then talking to a doctor can help you overcome these symptoms. Sometimes treating HSDD is as simple as changing your antidepressant medicines.

You can find out more about HSDD at www.theonlineclinic.co.uk, although they do not appear to provide treatment. Contacting your NHS GP in the first instance is recommended.

Treatment of HSDD

There are many ways to treat HSDD. The most common are psychotherapy and relationship counselling, which are considered the standard practices for treating woman suffering from HSDD. They mostly target the underlying emotions and reasons for loss of interest in sex and try to focus on your emotional factors, to help get your sex drive back. If HSDD is caused by menopause, then the patient is advised to get help by undergoing a hormone replacement therapy (HRT). There are many cases of HSDD where doctors advise their patients to just take time to assess their emotions, especially when experiencing low libido after pregnancy.

Another treatment for low sex drive is Viagra, or rather the female version of it. Since it hit the shelves in 1998, females have been calling for a female version and it looks like one might be closer to the target than you realise. A new drug, called Addyi, has been approved in the US and is undergoing the testing phase in the UK.

The drug works by equalizing the chemicals in a woman’s brain, by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine (noradrenaline), which increases sexual excitement and desire. It also numbs the serotonin, which can have a negative effect on the libido. Although some patients might experience dizziness and nausea, those are normal side effects.

It is a promising start; however, the testing phase of the drug was slow to begin with, because in its first month of availability, only 227 prescriptions were written. When you compare the number to Viagra’s half a million in the first month, this is a disappointing start for the drug.