Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) is a common sexual dysfunction. It happens among women of all ages. In simpler terms, it is a persistent lack or absence of sexual fantasies and desire. Thus, this often results in distress. Sexual desire is important for our well-being. Yet, sometimes sexual desire can decrease. Likewise, when this happens, it can cause problems in relationships. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) is a condition that affects one in ten women. It’s not talked about enough. Moreover, it often goes untreated. 

HSSD can have a significant impact on your quality of life, relationships, and well being. However, despite its prevalence, HSDD is still poorly understood. You may feel embarrassed to discuss it with your healthcare provider. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments available for this sexual dysfunction.

Breaking the Silence & Understanding HSDD

Discussing sexual concerns can be uncomfortable. Yet, it’s important to realize that these discussions are normal. As doctors, we have these conversations about sexual health every day. We want you to feel comfortable doing the same. HSDD can cause distress and problems with relationships. Remember, HSDD doesn’t mean you’re not interested in your partner. It’s a medical condition that affects your well-being.

Causes of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

The exact cause of HSDD is still unknown. However, experts believe that it may be due to:

  • A combination of physical, psychological, and social factors.
  • Hormonal changes during menopause. This can lead to a decline in estrogen levels, which may cause a decrease in sexual desire.
  • Certain medications, like antidepressants and birth control pills, can also affect libido. Lastly, hypothyroidism, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses can impact sexual function, too.

Psychological factors such as the following can play a role:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Relationship issues
  • Social factors
    • Cultural influences
    • Body image
    • Self-esteem

Symptoms

The primary symptom of HSDD is a lack or absence of sexual fantasies and desire. This lack of desire can cause distress. Thus, negatively impacting your self-esteem and relationships. Other symptoms of HSDD include:

  • Avoidance of sexual activity
  • Difficulty becoming aroused
  • Fewer orgasms

Taking the First Step

If you suspect you may be experiencing HSDD, it’s crucial to reach out to your healthcare provider. They can give you guidance and support. Initiating a conversation about your sexual health can feel daunting. But it is a vital step toward finding a solution!

Treatments for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

The treatment for HSDD depends on the underlying cause and the severity of symptoms. Treatments could include the following:

  • Hormonal replacement therapy and Testosterone therapy. These can help improve sexual desire in women with low levels of these hormones.
  • Behavioral therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help address psychological factors.
  • Couples therapy can be beneficial. This can help address relationship issues that may be impacting sexual desire.
  • Medications, such as flibanserin (Addyi) and bremelanotide (Vyleesi). The FDA approves these. These medications increase neurotransmitters in the brain involved in sexual arousal and desire. However, these medications may have side effects. Lastly, they may not be suitable for everyone.

First, it is always important to talk with your healthcare provider before starting treatment. What’s more, discuss your medical history with your healthcare provider Vylessi (bremelanotide injection) is a prescription medicine for HSDD in women. Equally important, is that Vylessi is not for enhancing sexual performance. It is to address the underlying causes of HSDD. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of Vylessi. Finally, like any medication, you must consider possible side effects. These may include an increase in blood pressure, a decrease in heart rate, and severe nausea.

Do not use Vylessi if you have uncontrolled hypertension or known heart disease. Lastly, using effective birth control methods during treatment with Vylessi is crucial.

You are not alone

HSDD affects many women, but unfortunately, it often goes unaddressed. It is time to break the silence surrounding this condition. Consequently, we need to promote open discussions about sexual health. As healthcare providers, we support you in navigating these conversations. Similarly, if you suspect you may be experiencing HSDD, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. They can help you explore various treatment options. Let’s join forces to empower women. It is time to take charge and manage our sexual health and well-being. With proper treatment, many women can regain their sexual desire and improve their sexual function. Moreover, remember you are not alone; there is no need to suffer in silence.

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