Get Your Questions About HSDD Answered

Plenty of people find it hard to imagine that they might eventually lose their interest in sexual intercourse. Yet, many women and men deal with sexual disorders like Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder during their lives. This is especially true as they get older and their bodies experience mental and physical changes and stresses that can affect their ability to feel or even want sexual pleasure. HSDD specifically involves reduced sexual desire experienced for more than six months. Some people don't even mind the loss, but then feel distress after seeing their partners struggle with fear that they caused the problem through inattentive behavior. Others believe that they have something wrong with them and the distress makes the entire situation worse. By reading this FAQ about HSDD, you will be able to better understand the disorder and how you can get the help that you need:

The Five Important Questions

1. Why do doctors use different terms?

A. Some doctors are merely slow to adopt new terms after using older ones like Inhibited Sexual Desire and Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. That said, with the publication of the DSM-5 manual, psychiatric experts attempted to better label and define the standard symptoms of this condition as seen with the majority of women and men. After the book's release, the new terms, Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD) and Male Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (MHSDD), made many physicians and patients uncomfortable. The sexually charged term "sexual arousal" for females when compared to the milder term "sexual desire" for males implies a higher level of dysfunction in women and echoes old, sexist terms, such as "frigid," that imply that certain women are emotionally cold and incapable of having fun. 

2. What is wrong with me?

A. Many people believe that HSDD is only caused by mental health problems. They incorrectly believe that there is something wrong with the minds of those who have HSDD. Although HSDD does have a mental component, since people stop feeling sexual desire and arousal, mental health problems are not always the main source of symptoms. Physical neurological damage, hormonal changes, conditions that cause low blood flow, pain caused by certain conditions and even nutrient deficiencies can make a person lose their interest. Certain medications, including antidepressants, and emotional and/or physical fatigue can decrease sexual interest as well.

3. How can stress cause HSDD?

A. When a person experiences mental and physical overload or burnout, the stress can cause them to shut down and stop them from thinking about anything outside of their worries. For example, a person who is in a bad relationship or financially insecure might suffer from sleep disruption while their mind races and dwells on their stress. This laser focus on something bad coupled with lack of sleep can make a person lose their desire for intercourse. Stress can also cause them to eat poorly, which then results in crucial nutrient deficiencies.

4. Will I need to go through expensive tests?

A. The type and number of tests necessary for your doctor to diagnose the underlying cause or causes of your condition depends entirely on your specific symptoms and situation. Most health insurance companies cover the common tests that doctors use to determine the reason that a patient has HSDD, such as a mental health evaluation, blood tests to check for hormone problems or nutrient deficiencies and scans to evaluate blood flow. You might only need to pay co-pays. Always check with your family doctor and insurance provider.

5. How is HSDD treated?

A. The treatments your doctors choose depend on the underlying reasons that you lack sexual desire. Even if your HSDD isn't primarily caused by a mental health issue, your doctor or a specialist might still recommend counseling to help you cope with any distress you feel about your condition. They might need to give you hormone replacement therapy. They might recommend surgery or a medication to correct a circulation problem. You might even need to have skull-based surgery to remove a brain tumor.

Disclaimer: The articles on this website are not meant to encourage the self-management of any health or wellness issue. Nor are they meant to encourage any one type of medical treatment. Treatment or advice used by a reader may have varying results, as each individual is different. Any article reader with a health-related question, is encouraged to seek a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider. The articles on this website should not be used to disregard any medical or health-related advice, nor should they be the root cause for delay in seeing a doctor or a certified health provider.

The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.

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