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Sexual Disorders: Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder and Sexual Aversion Disorder

Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, MD · Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jun 07, 2021

Sexual Disorders: Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder and Sexual Aversion Disorder

Sexual disorders affect millions of people worldwide. However, not a lot of people are aware, let alone understand these conditions. In this article, we will be focusing on hypoactive sexual desire disorder and sexual aversion disorder.

Sexual disorders: HSDD and SAD

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) and sexual aversion disorder (SAD) are among the most underdiagnosed types of sexual disorders. A possible explanation for this is that people are afraid to talk about their sex lives with their doctor. They could feel embarrassed, or they don’t feel comfortable sharing such a personal thing with someone else.

It also doesn’t help that the Philippines is a conservative country, and most people aren’t comfortable talking about sex, especially with their physician.

However, sexual disorders don’t simply go away or disappear if we stop talking about them. This is why it is important to be informed and aware of what these conditions are and what effects they can have on a person, and their relationships.

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder

It’s fairly normal for most people to have changing desires when it comes to sex. Some days, you might have a lot of sexual desire, while on other days, you don’t even think about sex or have any sexual thoughts.

But a person with a hypoactive sexual desire disorder or HSDD doesn’t experience any sexual desire whatsoever. This is a big problem, especially for people in relationships. Because all of a sudden, they may find that they don’t have any sexual desire for their partner or anyone else for that matter.

What are the criteria for this disorder?

Diagnosing HSDD can sometimes be difficult, because people can have varying levels of sexual desire. This is especially true for older people, or for women experiencing menopause since their sexual desire normally goes down as a person grows older.

What doctors usually do is to ask the person about what they feel their normal levels of sexual desire is. This helps doctors establish a baseline, and gives them an idea if a person just has lower libido, or if they’re indeed suffering from HSDD.

What are the causes?

The causes of HSDD can vary from person to person. Problems such as diabetes, breast cancer, or an imbalance of the chemicals in the brain might be responsible for HSDD. Sometimes, it could also be a side effect of certain medications.

Depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem can also be reasons for a person to have HSDD. In some cases, relationship problems can also be a reason why some people experience HSDD.

Menopausal women are also more prone to HSDD, because of the hormonal changes that their body undergoes.

sexual disorders

What can you do about it?

Treatment for HSDD usually involves therapy or couples counseling. The underlying cause of HSDD also needs to be addressed, and there are different types of medication that are available to help deal with this condition.

What are the Reasons for Losing Sex Drive?

Sexual aversion disorder

Sexual aversion disorder or SAD is similar to HSDD. However, the main difference is that a person with SAD has more of an aversion or fear of sexual contact.

The symptoms of this disorder can sometimes extend to actions that don’t involve sex, but contact. A person with SAD might be averse to holding hands with their partner, or even kissing because it might lead to sexual intercourse.

This is the reason why some believe SAD to be closer to an anxiety disorder rather than a sexual disorder.

What are the criteria for this disorder?

People with SAD typically avoid or shy away from any sexual contact. The thought of having sex might cause them distress and anxiety, and this, in turn, makes it difficult for them to have lasting relationships.

SAD can also progressively get more severe over time, and it can be difficult to treat, especially if a person has had this condition all their life.

What are the causes?

Experts believe that a traumatic experience in the past, such as sexual abuse is one of the main causes of SAD.

It is also possible that having high levels of anxiety might be a factor, but not enough studies have been done about this condition to determine the exact causes.

What can you do about it?

Treatment of SAD can be difficult, but doctors find behavioral therapy to be effective. One important thing about SAD is that it gets more difficult to treat over time, and it’s possible for a person with SAD to not get cured of their condition even after treatment.

Key Takeaways

For proper diagnosis of sexual disorders, consult your doctor. They can properly assess, diagnose, and offer treatment plans to help you manage your condition.

Learn more about Sexual Health here. 


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

Medically reviewed by

Mary Rani Cadiz, MD

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jun 07, 2021

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