Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: Causes & Treatment

Submitted by Nic on May 31, 2012
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder can be described as a sexual dysfunction, which is characterized by the lack of sexual desire and fantasies. People with this problem have no desire for engaging in any sexual activities. However, you are only suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder if the recurrent and persistent lack of sexual desire causes you to experience personal distress.


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Hypoactive sexual desire disorder can be divided into different subtypes:
  • General Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: You do not have sexual fantasies and experience a general lack of sexual desire, regardless of who your partner is
  • Situational Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: You do have sexual desires, but not for your current partner
  • Acquired Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: You may notice a sudden decline of sexual desire after years of normal sexual functioning
  • Life-long Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: You have always had no or low sexual desire
This disorder is a lot more common in women than it is in men. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder usually affects around 12% of the female population and 5% of the male population. Do remember that a low sex drive does not mean that you are suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

If the lack of interest in sex is causing you to experience distress, personal problems and interpersonal difficulties, you may be diagnosed with this sexual dysfunction.

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder Causes

It is difficult to point out the exact causes of hypoactive sexual desire disorder. However, some of the factors that could increase your risks of getting this sexual dysfunction include:

  • Hormones: Women undergo severe hormonal fluctuations, especially when they reach menopause. Hormonal changes could occur in younger women too, affecting their sexual desire adversely. Many may also notice a reduction in their sex drive, because of low testosterone levels.
  • Use of certain medication: There are some drugs that can interfere with your sexual abilities, causing you to experience distress. Medication that can reduce sexual desires includes morphine, chemotherapy drugs, psychoactive drugs and codeine.
  • Emotional concerns: Many people simply lose their desire to have sex, mainly because they believe that they cannot satisfy their partners. Other emotional issues like excess stress, low self-esteem and depression could also lead to a decline in sex drive
  • Surgery: Women may feel very conscious having sex, after going through an operation, performed around the breast area or the genital tract.

You may also notice a decline in your sex drive as you age, or develop certain health conditions, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, arthritis and heart diseases.

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder Treatment

Fortunately, you do not have to live with the personal distress that your lack of sexual desire is causing you. Many couples have resolved their hypoactive sexual desire disorder concerns just by having a frank conversation with one another.

If the lack of sexual desire continues to have a negative impact on your life, you may want to seek professional help and consult a doctor. Some of the treatment options that your doctor may recommend include:

  • Going through individual or couple sex therapy
  • Undergoing hormone therapy
  • Making changes to your existing medication
  • Treating the underlying medical condition that is causing the problem

However, never use a hormonal patch or make any changes to your medicines without first checking with a doctor.

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