What is hypoactive sexual desire disorder?

What is hypoactive sexual desire disorder?

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Profiles of man and woman looking at each other lying down.

“The disorder of hypoactive sexual desire is the expression that, from the medical field, is used to describe problems related to low interest towards erotic activity in general: poor motivation towards erotic relationships, absence of sexual thoughts or fantasies or very little frequency of these, etc. ”, says Ana Belén Carmona Rubio, sexologist and psychologist at .and professor in the Master in Sexology at the Camilo José Cela University (UCJC). Without speaking of specific figures, he says that hypoactive sexual desire is the most common reason for consultation in women, and increasingly a demand in men.

“Sexology professionals, we prefer to talk about ‘dissatisfactions’ rather than ‘disorders’, because the word disorder refers more to illness or abnormality, and many dissatisfactions or difficulties related to desire are not as such a dysfunction, but are the logical consequence of a series of conditions ”, clarifies Carmona.

And he goes on to say: “Sexologists do not usually use the expression disorder to describe the problems for which patients or consultants seek our help. It is true that, from the medical manuals, some criteria are established, but in my opinion, whenever a couple or a person go to a sexologist’s consultation, it is because they are dissatisfied with their erotic life and need help , regardless of what they happen to coincide more or less with the description of the manual ”.

Many women -and some men too-, who are in long relationships, begin to desire sexually once intimacy and caresses have begun with their partner, and not before. For Carmona, “it has traditionally been considered to take the initiative as an indicator that you have desire, so that in the context of heterosexual couples, many men consider that their partners have no desire simply because they do not take the initiative. The truth is that although many women have been considered with desire problems, in many cases what failed was more intimacy or seduction (which is not a personal matter but relational, of the couple), that desire, which under optimal conditions it was activated ”. There is evidence of this model of female desire, proposed by sexologist Rosemary Basson in 2001.

Possible causes of hypoactive sexual desire

Dissatisfactions related to erotic desire can affect anyone and at any age or stage of their life. “They tend to be more frequent when maintaining a long-term relationship, and infrequent when experiencing the initial phase of a relationship or crush. At this stage, it is when in general people are more desiring and there is usually a lot of adjustment in the wishes of the two members of the couple, ”says the sexologist.

Erotic desire is related to many factors, so there are several aspects that can influence the decrease in erotic desire. Thus, Carmona cites the following:

  • Relationship problems
  • Intimacy of poor quality.
  • Unsatisfactory or pleasant relationships.
  • Erotic relations poor in caresses and very finalists.
  • Problems reaching orgasm or arousal.
  • Painful intercourse

Lack of attraction to the couple.

Of course, stresses the expert, “you have to evaluate each case in detail to know what factors may be influencing, because the same intervention is not always performed.”

Vaginal dryness: cause and consequence

Vaginal dryness can be one of the consequences of hypoactive sexual desire, and also one of its causes, as well as a feedback factor. Carmona explains it in the following way: “Many women who suffer relationships with painful intercourse, if these are maintained over time, end up having little erotic desire, which is normal because it usually does not feel like it hurts. On the other hand, when there is little desire it is lubricated with greater difficulty. Desire has a lot to do with satisfaction ; if there is no satisfaction, there is no desire. ”

Approach to hypoactive sexual desire

According to Carmona, the best option for a dissatisfied couple on this issue is sexual therapy. In a Sexology consultation, the intervention is not always the same, because it relies on an initial evaluation to know the reasons why the desire is low or has decreased. But in general, “it is always or almost always addressed as a couple, because it often has to do with the game or the intimacy that the couple has, or the satisfaction or pleasure obtained in relationships, and in this the two intervene”, indicates the expert.

In the United States there are already two approved drugs for the lack of sexual desire in women. The first to receive approval was flibanserin, known as the pink pill. The second medication, which the US drug agency FDA has approved in early July, is bremelanotide, which is administered by subcutaneous puncture in the abdomen or thigh. Both are non-hormonal treatments, which act in the central nervous system.