Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) is defined as persistent, recurring problems with sexual response or desire that causes distress and negatively affects one’s relationship with her partner. FSD can manifest in various forms, including little to no sexual desire, inability to orgasm, painful intercourse and other issues. There are treatments available for FSD, so it is important to obtain a proper diagnosis to gain access to these treatment options.
It can be difficult to measure your sexual desire. Sex drive varies from one person to the next, and an individual’s own sex drive may change from time to time. This is all normal. However, if lack of sexual desire is causing you distress, it may be worthwhile to evaluate the nature of the problem, seek a diagnosis and investigate treatments.
Both physiological and psychological disorders can play a role in sexual desire, arousal and orgasm. It is important to identify the underlying causes of sexual dysfunction. For example, stress, anxiety, depression or lack of sleep can all lead to a drop in sex drive. Low sex drive could simply be your body’s way of telling you that you need some extra sleep or that your stress level is too high. If this is the case, having patience until the stressful event has passed may be all you need. Treating the underlying issue first before seeking medical treatment is often worthwhile.
If underlying psychological issues are not to blame, a diagnosis of FSD by a gynecologist can lead to further treatment options. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), defined as “low or no sexual interest to the point of distress in otherwise healthy people,” is a medical condition that requires treatment. Potential treatments may include:
• Testosterone – although the FDA has not yet approved a testosterone supplement for women, doctors can prescribe this treatment off-label and may recommend a low-dose version.
• Topical creams – creams or gels that aid arousal and increase blood flow to the vaginal area may help enhance sexual desire.
• Exercise – studies have shown that exercise is linked to sexual desire and satisfaction, even more so than testosterone levels.