If so, you may be experiencing low libido, a lack of desire for sexual intimacy in any form. Desire is the first part of the sexual response cycle , followed by arousal excitement , orgasm , and resolution the body returns to normal functioning. Men are having less sex than in the past, and some research suggests they are feeling less desire as well. A study published in the May issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that the proportion of men reporting sexual activity within the past four weeks decreased from 81 percent in to 73 percent in , while lack of sexual desire increased from 8 to 13 percent. While low sex drive is not a concern in and of itself barring underlying physical illness , it can cause personal distress or lead to relationship issues for people whose partners want more sex. Men and women may lack sexual desire because of issues in three separate and competing areas, says Kimberly Resnick Anderson , a sex therapist and assistant professor of psychiatry at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. Reclaiming desire can be a complex process. There are a hundred reasons why people have low desire at any time, and you have to look at all of them and how they work together.
How do doctors diagnose HSDD?
Many women will pass off the symptoms of HSDD as the inevitable effects of aging or changes in their body. Unlike other medical conditions, there is no specific test to diagnose HSDD. Yet, there are a few methods used by doctors to diagnose the condition. Start by telling your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor may ask questions about how your low sex drive is impacting your well-being. Your doctor will try to identify an underlying cause for the condition. These causes could be physical, emotional, or a combination. Your doctor may also conduct a pelvic exam to identify any changes that might have affected your sexual desire. A blood test to check for affected hormone levels might be performed, as well.
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What are the symptoms of HSDD?
The essential feature of female HSDD is a deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity that causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty. The evaluation of female HSDD generally requires careful and thoughtful consideration of the patient and the multitude of factors that impact on the various components of adult female sexual desire. Several female reproductive life experiences may uniquely affect sexual desire. These events include menstrual cycles, hormonal contraceptives, postpartum states and lactation, oophorectomy and hysterectomy, and perimenopausal and postmenopausal states. Sexual dysfunctions in women have strong positive associations with low feelings of physical and emotional satisfaction and low feelings of happiness. Thus, female HSDD can greatly impact on quality of life. In this article, treatment options are discussed with special attention to significant reproductive life events that may impact on sexual desire in adult women. Depending on the particular phase of reproductive life that a woman is experiencing, different recommendations are made.
But when a woman has a low libido or low sexual desire and is bothered by this lack of interest in sex, she may have a condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder HSDD. This distress is an important component. After all, some women with what is considered a low libido may not have any distress or problems with a partner as a result. HSDD is treatable and can be manageable, so the first step if you are concerned about a lack of interest in sex is to talk to a healthcare provider to see what options are available. The first four questions are:. Medications may be evaluated as contributing factors, and underlying medical conditions may be addressed. One treatment involves taking a once-daily pill while the other is a self-administered shot taken as needed. A healthcare provider can explain the treatment options and help you decide which would be best for you.