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Are you experiencing a loss of sexual desire, but not sure how, why, or even when it started happening? Is this realization distressing?

If you answered “YES” to these questions, take a look at this; Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is defined in some sources as having little or no interest in sexual activities including sexual fantasies or thoughts.  This can be ongoing or recurrent. Other factors such as age, health issues, and the circumstances of your life can also play a part.

This can be frustrating and/or embarrassing, but you are not alone! It is truly unclear how many women are currently dealing with the same issues you are, but there is some documentation that has recorded that some 43% have reported similar symptoms.  The good news is there is hope on the horizon. Pharmaceutical companies are hard at work to find a medication that will target the symptoms of HSDD.

Who to Talk To

You may be nervous, embarrassed or scared to speak with your health care professional, but communicating your symptoms is a necessary step to take.  There is a big misconception out there that sexual health and well-being is not an important part of your overall health which may be why so many people choose not to discuss it with their doctors.  This is not true! Your sexual health is important to your overall health and your quality of life.  The person you see for women’s health issues could be the place to start. This may be a gynecologist, or midwife. If you see a family practitioner for all of your health care needs, and feel the most comfortable with them, start there.   

What Your Doctor Will Do

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The main symptom of HSDD is a loss of interest in sex, associated with distress. Your doctor will do a brief screening for female sexual dysfunction. That information will dictate what action he/she takes next. A complete medical history including a sexual history will take place as well. You may be asked some in depth questions about your sexual behavior and personal life. These questions aren't meant to intrude upon your privacy. The information you provide is necessary to help identify a possible cause of your symptoms, and help the health care provider know the best plan of care for you. Information you share is confidential, so don't be afraid to be honest.  Your doctor will usually do a complete physical exam to evaluate physical symptoms, and may refer you to a counselor to determine emotional factors. There are also scales (questionnaires) that can help to confirm a diagnosis. A commonly used one is the Profile of Female Sexual Function, however there are others too. 

How Your Doctor Will Treat You

Treatment often depends on underlying causes, which may be physical, emotional or both.  It can sometimes become complicated as many feel that there are neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, nor epinephrine) and/or hormones that are responsible for the symptoms. In fact, that is a driving factor for the current pharmaceutical companies that are developing new treatments.  Adjusting levels of these substances on a chemical level may be what is needed to increase your sexual desire.  At this time, the FDA has yet to approve a pharmaceutical treatment for HSDD, even though there are are companies who are developing medications to treat it.   Sprout Pharmaceuticals is currently working on obtaining FDA approval for a drug that treats HSDD, however there is controversy surrounding that proposed treatment as well, so approval has been delayed. 

How to Make the Most of Treatment

Once you and your doctor have agreed on a treatment plan, give it time to work. Treatment for HSDD is very individual, and you may need to try different types or combinations of treatments. Despite the percentage of women reporting sexual dysfunction, research into male erectile dysfunction far outweighs HSDD research. The activist group Even the Score is hoping to create general awareness and obtain gender equality for access to treatment for sexual dysfunction in females.

At Chase Medical Research, we are presently enrolling  women to participate in trials for new HSDD treatments. Research medications and treatments are provided at no cost, and there is often compensation for time and travel. To see if you qualify for a clinical trial, click the button below.

 

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