Decreased Sexual Desire

Decreased Sexual Desire

Decreased sexual desire is defined as persistent deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies or thoughts and/or lack of desire or receptivity to sexual activity. This condition is called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) if it causes distress to the women who suffers. If the condition has always existed, it is considered primary loss of libido and if it has started after a period of normal sexual desire it is considered a secondary condition.

The most important question that we ask women when they present with low sexual desire is:  “Does your current level of libido cause you distress?”. Patients in which the sexual desire does not cause them distress, oftentimes have nonphysiologic causes or non-hormone causes including life stressors, relationship difficulties, or problems with self-esteem. In patients whom distress is admitted, we work to distinguish between pressure brought on by their partner or feelings that are native to themselves.

Causes of Decreased Sexual Desire

Patients with decreased sexual desire may have other sexual complaints including: sexual pain; loss of orgasm; lack of lubrication or difficulties with sexual arousal.

We will work to understand if the other problems cause the loss of libido, or are a result or simply occur in conjunction. Hormonal causes are commonly implicated with loss of sexual desire, which can impact not just postmenopausal women but also premenopausal women who are pregnant or recently gave birth and are nursing, or women on oral contraceptives.

Psychological factors that include prior sexual abuse or a repressive sexual partner can induce sexual aversion; and questions about these potential causes are asked during the initial evaluation.

Treatment of Low Sexual Desire

Improvement of sexual desire will focus largely on the underlying cause and we will often use medications to enhance libido at the neurochemical level or hormones that may work all throughout the body in women found to likely benefit from such treatment.  In addition to medications and hormone therapy, some patients will benefit from visits with our sex therapist either alone or with their partner.

Many patients with low sexual desire will have sexual pain and we find that the sexual pain must be managed well first prior to making any progress with sexual desire.

Patients who have partners with sexual problems that may be contributing to their low sexual desire will also be encouraged to have their partner seen and treated.

The lack of sexual desire is not a simple black and white issue and sexual desire may change over time or with life stressors. Not all patients that do not have as high of a sexual desire as their partners have a problem, but those that are distressed by their lack of sexual desire will always benefit from an evaluation.

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Round Rock Location

970 Hester's Crossing Road
Suite 101
Round Rock,TX 78681

Phone 512-238-0762
Fax 512-341-7370


Lakeline Location

12505 Hymeadow Drive
Suite 2C
Austin, TX 78750

Phone 512-238-0762
Fax 512-341-7370 


South Austin Location

4534 Westgate Blvd
Suite 108
Austin, TX 78745

Phone 512-238-0762
Fax 512-341-7370