Hypoactive Sexual Desire- or I’ve Got a Headache!

He: “Are you in the mood?”

She: “Naw, I’ve got a headache!”

If you are a female and you experience these feelings about loss of desire for sexual intimacy, you may have hypoactive sexual desire (HSD).  In other words, you’re rarely in the mood; you neither initiate sex nor seek stimulation. Hypoactive sexual desire is the most common form of female sexual dissatisfaction and occurs when there is a persistent lack of desire or absence of sexual fantasies.

Lack of desire often occurs as a result of problems with your partner.  Communications problems, anger, a lack of trust, a lack of connection and a lack of intimacy can all adversely affect a woman’s sexual response and interest.  If this sounds like you, counseling and therapy with your partner is probably your No. 1 treatment option to overcome HSD.

In addition to psychological causes there are medical causes of HSD.
Many commonly prescribed drugs, such as antihypertensives, antidepressants and birth control pills, interfere with sex drive, arousal and orgasm by affecting the balance of sexual hormones and the transmission of chemical messengers. Antidepressants, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), combat depression by increasing the production of serotonin in the brain. Although serotonin may decrease depression, it also dampens sexual desire.

The onset of menopause, either surgically produced by removing the ovaries or naturally as a consequence of aging, is characterized by a gradual decline of the hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Reduced testosterone levels can lead to a decline in libido. Ironically, the conventional hormone replacement regime of estrogen given to relieve menopausal symptoms can make matters worse, because estrogen increases a protein (called steroid hormone-binding globulin) in the blood that binds to testosterone, causing testosterone to become less available to the body.

Depression is also associated with HSD. A common symptom of depression is diminished sex drive, which, in turn, can exacerbate depression. Studies indicate that 12 percent of all women will experience clinical depression at some point in their lives. One of the side effects of the popular antidepressants Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft is loss of libido. Even with a lower-grade form of depression that is not easily recognized because you can function with it. A woman with depression may feel isolated and overwhelmed and withdraw from sex and social activities.

Overcoming HSD
If you’re suffering from loss of libido and think there is a medical basis for your problem, here are some solutions to consider:

Talk to your doctor about testosterone, especially if you have had your ovaries removed, are taking estrogen or under severe stress. Get your testosterone level evaluated and if it is below 20 nanograms per deciliter, consider starting testosterone therapy. Testosterone is central to a woman’s sexual function that no amount of sexual stimulation can make up for its absence.  Using testosterone to treat FSD has not been approved by the FDA, so you’ll need to find a physician open to prescribing it to treat lack of sexual desire. If you are already on hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor to add testosterone to your regimen.

Switch to medications known to have less effect on sexual function or lower dosages. The antidepressants Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil, of which women are major consumers, cause loss of libido in as many as 60 percent of patients. I suggest asking your doctor to change to an antidepressant that has less sexual side effects like Celexa, Wellbutrin, BuSpar, Serzone or Effexor.

Viagra, the little blue pill used to treat erectile dysfunction in men, may help jump-start your sex life as long as you have the desire to engage in sex and have been stimulated enough for it to take effect,. It’s especially helpful if your lack of desire is related to hysterectomy or menopause. Doctors aren’t exactly sure how Viagra helps rekindle lust but it helps women achieve arousal, which is the phase that comes after desire, by increasing blood flow to the vagina, clitoris and labia.

For more information contact your physician or find a physician who has experience treating HSD.  I also recommend the best-selling book For Women Only by Jennifer and Laura Berman.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: