Women and hypoactive sexual desire disorder

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Women and hypoactive sexual desire disorder

Just because a woman lacks interest in sex does not mean she is sexually dysfunctional. However, it could indicate the most common form of sexual dysfunction among women of all ages called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) or loss of libido.  HSDD refers to a woman’s chronic or ongoing lack of interest in sex, to the point that it causes her personal distress or problems in her relationships. Studies have found that almost one-third of women aged 18 to 59 find themselves lacking interest in sex; the Mayo Clinic notes that as many as 40% of women have HSDD at some point in their life while 5% to 15% of women have the problem continuously. 

Women are complex creatures and the female sexual response is an even tougher one to figure out.  It’s normal for women to lose interest in sex from time to time. A woman’s libido can fluctuate throughout her life and there are many factors involved affecting a woman’s response towards sex which include physical, mental, and interpersonal factors.   Pinpointing an exact cause for loss of libido in women is tough because of the multitude of components contributing to this dilemma.  Whether the cause is arousal problems, painful intercourse, a medical condition such as diabetes or thyroid disease, or inability to achieve an orgasm, it is important to unlock what is the underlying problem for a low sex drive.

Maintaining a fulfilling and healthy sex life can and does wax and wane throughout a woman’s life.  From day to day, a woman’s desire for sex is strongly influenced by several things - an overextended work schedule, stress, fatigue, a poor body image, physical ailments, hormonal changes, anxiety, and depression.  Loss of desire is particularly common in the years before and after menopause – there’s a lot going on for women during this time.  From taking care of children, possibly grandchildren and elderly parents needing more attention, and then add in changing hormones, it’s a mix made to plummet sexual desire.   

When lack of libido begins creating problems between her and her partner, resurrecting, reviving, and rediscovering her desire for sex is necessary to help her enjoy a pleasurable sex life once again.

How to revive sex drive in women

There are several steps a woman can take to awaken her libido.  Here are ones she can consider:

·      Get a thorough physical examination – This should be at the top of the list for a woman to start with in figuring out why her sex drive has fizzled. It could be attributed to a medical or psychological condition that can be treated.  Until a woman sees her doctor for a physical, she may not uncover what is the problem.

·      Check medication use – Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can have an impact on sexual desire.  The risk of sexual side effects is increased if a woman is taking several medications.  Antidepressants and hormonal medications such as Lupron and Zoladex may reduce sexual libido.  If a woman is taking such medications, she needs to discuss with her doctor about possibly switching to another medication or changing the dosage.

·      Stop smoking It is known that smoking can contribute to erectile dysfunction in men and in women it can also affect sexual functioning negatively.

·      Avoid sexual enhancement supplements – The last thing a woman should resort to is any sort of supplement purporting to stimulate sex drive or increase libido.  Often sold in health food stores and on the Internet, none of these supplements are proven effective or safe.  There is also the possibility they will interact with other medications and can be unsafe for anyone with a health condition.

·      Use a lubricant for vaginal dryness – If the issue stems from vaginal dryness, over-the-counter lubricants such as K-Y Jelly or Vagisil can help with no side effects. Also consult with a gynecologist on their suggestions for restoring lubrication.

·      Consider testosterone therapy after menopause – Testosterone is not just for men.  The ovaries and the adrenal gland in women secrete a small amount of this hormone which plays in a role in female sexuality.  Testosterone therapy is not for every woman and all woman should thoroughly research it discussing with her physician whether it could be an option for a lagging libido.

·      Keep doing Kegels – Kegel exercises should be done daily by all women for toning the entire pelvic floor and for making sex more pleasurable.  The repeated tightening and releasing of the pelvic floor muscles provide many benefits for improving a woman’s sexual health and pleasure by:

·      Relaxing the vagina muscles allowing the vagina to be more open which helps with women who experience pain during sexual intercourse.

·      Increases sexual arousal

·      Improves a woman ability to reach orgasm

·      Improves  blood circulation to the vagina

·      Increases vaginal tone and lubrication

·      Seek help if the problem is due to psychological issues – Individual or couples counseling along with sex therapy can be a tremendous help for any woman whose sexual hang-ups are due to this.  It is best to find a therapist who specializes in sexual problems who can relate to what a woman is going through to give her the best advice.