Hypoactive sexual desire disorder – Here’s what you need to know

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is a condition limited to females in which they experience a low libido. It is now also commonly known as female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD). While it is normal and even healthy for a woman’s sexual desire to fluctuate, if a lowered sex drive lasts for six months or more and is starting to affect the relationship or self-esteem, it is advised that professional help be sought. Some women tend to brush this off as a symptom of aging, but it is important to recognize this condition and take actions to establish a healthy sexual drive for a healthy body.

What are the symptoms to look for?

  • Little to no interest in sexual activity
  • Few or no sexual thoughts or fantasies
  • Displeasure from sex
  • Lack of pleasurable sensations through genital stimulation
  • No desire to initiate sex

A lot of women assume that they experience this due to exhaustion or aging. While these could seem like generic symptoms, if they last for more than six months, it is a sign of HSDD and needs professional attention.

What causes this condition?
There could be several factors that could cause HSDD. Let us explore some physical causes:

  • If they are experiencing pain during sex and cannot orgasm, this may reduce their desire to want sex.
  • Some diseases like arthritis, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and neurological diseases could lead to a low sex drive.
  • Certain medications, especially antidepressants, can lead to a lower libido. 
  • Smoking decreases the blood flow in the body resulting in little to no arousal. Too much alcohol also affects the sex drive negatively.
  • Breast surgery or any surgery related to genital tract can have a negative effect.
  • Fatigue from illness can result in no interest in sex. 

Psychological causes:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Stress due to work, finance, or social security
  • Distorted body image
  • Questioning self-esteem
  • Any history of physical or sexual abuse

Hormonal causes:

  • Menopause
    During this phase of transition in women, the estrogen levels drop to a low count which makes women experience a low sexual drive. This drop also affects the vaginal tissues which become dry making the sex painful for them.
  • Post-pregnancy
    Many women experience postpartum depression. The hormonal changes during pregnancy, post-delivery, and the added responsibility of breast-feeding can be taxing for a mother. There are also body image issues after having carried a baby for so many months which dampens the sex drive.

Apart from this, there could also be some causes due to an unhealthy relationship where the woman is not attracted to their partner, or there are conflicts and unresolved issues. Some relationships have poor communication skills when it comes to expressing sexual desire.

There may be more than one cause for this condition, and to be sure you must consult a doctor and get professional diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the cause, the doctor can then prescribe either medications or ask you to discontinue certain medications that may have HSDD as a side-effect. If it caused due to some other illness, then treatments to resolve the condition will be started by the doctor. All in all, it is to be noted that this condition is not something to be ashamed of and that help is available when needed. Stay aware of the symptoms and reach out when necessary. 

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