HSDD, or Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, is a condition characterised by a persistent or recurrent lack of sexual desire or interest in sexual activity that causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty. It is considered a sexual dysfunction and HSDD in women is more common than in men. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) is different from a low sex drive. A low sex drive is transient and may come and go in phases. Additionally, it will not cause any distress or difficulty. It is important for women experiencing Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) to seek help from a healthcare professional, as it can have a significant impact on their quality of life and relationships.
Difference Between HSDD & Low Sex Drive
HSDD, or Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, and low sex drive are both terms used to describe a lack of interest in sexual activity, but there are some key differences between the two.
|HSDD is a specific diagnosis made by a healthcare professional and it is considered a sexual aversion disorder that requires treatment.|
|It is defined as a persistent or recurrent lack of sexual desire or interest because of a clinically significant underlying condition.|
|HSDD can have a negative impact on a person’s overall quality of life and interpersonal relationships.|
|LOW SEX DRIVE|
|Low sex drive may be a normal variation in sexual desire disorder and may not require treatment.|
|A temporary lack of interest in sexual activity, it can be caused by various factors like hormonal imbalances, certain medications, relationship problems, psychological issues, medical conditions, ageing, and stress.|
|Low sex drive may not cause any distress or difficulty in life and relationships|
10 Causes & Factors That Put You At Risk For HSDD
It’s important to note that HSDD can have multiple causes and it is not always one specific factor that leads to the disorder. In some cases, it may be a combination of several causes or risk factors. Consult with a healthcare professional can help to identify the underlying causes and to find the best treatment options.
1. Hormonal Imbalances: Hormonal changes that occur during menopause, pregnancy or breastfeeding can decrease sexual desire in women.
2. Medications: Certain medications, such as antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and birth control pills, can affect sexual desire.
3. Relationship Problems: A lack of trust or communication in a relationship can lead to a decrease in sexual desire.
4. Psychological Issues: Depression, anxiety, stress, and trauma can also affect sexual desire and lead to a decreased interest in sexual activity.
5. Medical Conditions: Diabetes, heart disease, and chronic pain can affect physical or psychological well-being and lead to a decreased interest in sexual activity.
6. Age: HSDD is more common in women over the age of 40.
7. Smoking: Women who smoke have a higher risk of developing HSDD than non-smokers.
8. Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a decreased interest in sexual activity.
9. Poor Body Image: Women who are dissatisfied with their physical appearance have a higher risk of developing HSDD
10. Lack Of Physical Activity: Women who are physically inactive have a higher risk of developing HSDD.
5 Common Signs & Symptoms Of HSDD In Women
Some hypoactive sexual disorder symptoms in women include:
1. Persistent Lack Of Sexual Interest Or Desire
This can include a lack of interest in sexual activity, a lack of sexual thoughts or fantasies, and a lack of sexual excitement or pleasure.
HSDD can cause significant distress and negatively impact a woman’s overall quality of life.
3. Relationship Problems
HSDD can lead to problems in relationships, such as a lack of intimacy or communication.
4. Avoiding Sexual Activity
Women with HSDD may avoid sexual activity or may be unresponsive to their partner’s advances.
5. Decreased Sexual Function
HSDD can also lead to decreased sexual function, such as difficulty becoming aroused or reaching orgasm.
It’s important to note that these symptoms are indicative but not always a definitive sign of HSDD, and you should consult with a healthcare professional to determine the true underlying cause and find the best treatment options. Other conditions, such as depression or anxiety, can also cause a lack of sexual desire and it is important to rule out any underlying medical or psychological conditions before making a diagnosis of HSDD.
How Is HSDD Diagnosed?
HSDD, or Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, is diagnosed by a healthcare professional, typically a mental health professional or a sexual health specialist. The healthcare professional will take a detailed sexual and medical history, perform a physical examination, and may order laboratory tests to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
During the assessment, the healthcare professional will ask questions about the patient’s sexual history, including their level of sexual desire, their sexual activity, and any problems they may be experiencing. They may also ask about any other symptoms the patient may be experiencing, such as depression or anxiety. The healthcare professional will also ask about any medications the patient is taking, as certain medications can affect sexual desire.
A physical examination will be performed to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the patient’s symptoms. Laboratory tests may also be ordered to rule out any underlying medical conditions, such as hormonal imbalances or diabetes.
The diagnosis of HSDD is made when the patient’s lack of sexual desire causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty and is not due to any other medical or psychological condition, substance use, or relationship problems. It’s important to note that HSDD is a multidimensional disorder, which means it can have various causes and a healthcare professional will work with the patient to identify the underlying causes and to find the best treatment options.
How To Treat HSDD
There are several treatment options for HSDD, or Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, including:
1. Psychological Counselling
This can help address any underlying psychological issues that may be contributing to HSDD, such as depression or anxiety.
2. Sex Therapy
This can help couples improve communication and intimacy, and can also help individuals explore their sexual desires and interests.
3. Hormonal Therapy
Hormonal imbalances, such as those that occur during menopause, can decrease sexual desire in women. Hormonal therapy, such as testosterone therapy, can help address these imbalances.
Medications, such as flibanserin (Addyi), have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of HSDD in premenopausal women.
The most effective course of treatment will depend on the individual and the underlying causes of their HSDD, so don’t compare your case with others and let the healthcare professional customise a treatment plan to address your specific problems.
In conclusion, it is important for women experiencing HSDD to seek help from a healthcare professional, as it can have a significant impact on their quality of life. With the right treatment, patients can improve their sexual function and overall well-being.
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