Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder is a condition where the affected person has a low sex drive that is separate from an episode of depression. People who are in an episode of depression commonly report lack of interest in sex, as well as less time spent fantasizing about it, but that doesn’t mean that they meet the criteria for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder.

Facts About Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

  • For some patients, Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder is a lifelong condition. For others, symptoms start at a certain point in time.
  • The disorder may be global, which means the affected person has little sexual interest at all. It can also be specific to lack of desire for a specific partner.
  • The disorder presents itself in approximately 20 percent of women and 10 percent of men.
  • Diagnosing the disorder is made based on information provided by the patient. In making this determination, the doctor or therapist must consider the individual’s age and general health in addition to the lack of interest in sexual activity and fantasy.
  • The lack of interest in sex must be causing distress to the patient or interfering in his or her personal relationships.
  • In its most extreme form, a patient with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder may not only be turned off at the idea of sexual intimacy, but he or she may express feelings of disgust or revulsion at the idea of sexual contact with another person.
  • Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder may be linked to childhood sexual abuse or sexual trauma, such as rape.
  • An individual whose first experience of intercourse was painful may not be interested in exploring intimacy again, which would account for the lack of interest in having a sexual relationship.

Treatment of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

Females who have been diagnosed with the disorder may benefit from Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). This treatment option can be used in conjunction with or independently of psychotherapy, depending on the underlying cause of the disorder. Lack of sexual desire can have a physical and psychological aspect, and both of them need to be addressed in treatment.

Hormones for a woman living with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder can be in the form of a pill, cream or patch. Another option is a suppository that is inserted into the vagina to relieve dryness.

Testosterone replacement therapy may be used to treat both men and women living with this condition. This treatment approach is considered controversial, since testosterone has not been approved for use by women in the United States or Canada. If a woman’s doctor recommends this form of treatment, the medication must be specially prepared by a compounding pharmacist.

Receiving treatment from a professional with experience treating sexual disorders can help an individual who is concerned about Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. Help and support is also available from a treatment center specializing in sexual disorders. By addressing the underlying cause of the disorder, the individual can move forward to develop a mutually-satisfying sexual relationship with a partner.

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