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Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder Treatment and Diagnosis

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder Treatment and Diagnosis

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is a problem that affects millions of people worldwide, especially women. Despite this, HSDD is still an underdiagnosed condition. People who have HSDD might not even be aware of this disorder.

What is hypoactive sexual desire disorder?

It’s not uncommon for people to have varying levels of sexual desire. Some days people feel disinterested in sex, while some days it feels as if sex is the only thing on their mind. However, if a person persistently lacks sexual desire, even if they had it before, they may be suffering from hypoactive sexual disorder.

HSDD can cause problems in a person’s relationships. First, it can be very frustrating to suddenly realize that you have completely lost your sex drive. And second, if a person is in a long-term relationship, such as a marriage, the lack of sex can be hard to deal with.

Women are also more prone to having HSDD compared to men. According to the Society for Women’s Health Research, about one in 10 women have HSDD. This makes it one of the most common forms of sexual disorders.

What causes it?

HSDD can be caused by a number of things, including the following:

Menopause

When a woman experiences menopause, it’s normal to feel a decline in sexual desire or libido. This is due to the fact that a woman’s body goes through a number of hormonal changes during menopause.

Physical illness

Illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and thyroid problems can also trigger HSDD. However, doctors are still unsure of why certain illnesses cause HSDD.

Imbalance of chemicals in the brain

A chemical imbalance can also be a possible reason why a person has HSDD. It is possible that the chemical imbalance affects the person’s sex drive, which in turn leads to HSDD.

Personal and mental health problems

Lastly, certain personal problems can also be a possible cause of HSDD. In particular, women who have had cheating partners can sometimes experience symptoms of HSDD.

Additionally, conditions such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem have been linked to hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

hypoactive sexual desire disorder treatment

Diagnosis

Even if HSDD is a common condition, it tends to be underdiagnosed, like other sexual disorders. The reason behind this is that a lot of people might be shy or afraid to open up to a doctor or counselor about their personal problems.

Another reason is that maybe they’re just not aware that HSDD is a condition, and so do not seek help for their condition. This can be problematic, especially for married folk, since it can cause conflict in their relationship.

This is why seeking professional help from a doctor is important, since they can help diagnose and give you recommendations for treatment. Doctors usually as a series of questions called the Decreased Sexual Desire Screener. This helps them identify if you have HSDD.

Here are the questions:

  1. In the past, was your level of sexual desire/interest good and satisfying to you?
  2. Has there been a decrease in your level of sexual desire/interest?
  3. Are you bothered by your decreased level of sexual desire/interest?
  4. Would you like your level of sexual desire/interest to increase?

If a person answers no, then it would probably not lead to an HSDD diagnosis. If they answer yes, then the doctor will ask further questions in an attempt to diagnose the problem.

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder treatment

In terms of treatment, there are several options available when it comes to HSDD. Here are some of the forms of treatment:

  • Counseling is the usual form of treatment done for HSDD
  • In some cases, sex therapy along with the patient’s partner might be done to address any relationship issues
  • Doctors can also prescribe medication that helps keep the balance of chemicals in the brain on a normal level

If you feel that you might have HSDD, remember, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about it.

Learn more about Sexual Wellness here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, https://labs.la.utexas.edu/mestonlab/hypoactive-sexual-desire-disorder/, Accessed December 22, 2020

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, https://www.ashasexualhealth.org/hypoactive-sexual-desire-disorder/, Accessed December 22, 2020

Sexual Desire Disorders, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695750/, Accessed December 22, 2020

What is hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in women? What causes it? | ISSM, https://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-hsdd/, Accessed December 22, 2020

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder – Mayo Clinic Proceedings, https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(16)30596-1/fulltext, Accessed December 22, 2020

FDA approves new treatment for hypoactive sexual desire disorder in premenopausal women | FDA, https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-treatment-hypoactive-sexual-desire-disorder-premenopausal-women, Accessed December 22, 2020

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: Understanding the Impact on Midlife Women, https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-document-library/hsddkingsberg.pdf?sfvrsn=2, Accessed December 22, 2020

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Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Jan Alwyn Batara
Updated Dec 22, 2020
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