HSDD in Women: Symptoms and Treatment for Low Sex Drive

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Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder affects 10% of US women. Here’s what to do when it strikes.

Many women experience HSDD, or Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, at some point in their lives.

The good news? There are treatments available to ignite your passion and enhance your sexual desire.

In today’s post, we’ll explore symptoms and treatment options for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) in women. These include:

  • medical treatments
  • psychological counseling
  • home remedies

Before we delve into these libido enhancing options, let’s cover some basics.

What is HSDD?

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Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, commonly known as HSDD, is a medical term used to describe persistent or recurrent low sexual desire that causes distress.

It’s essential to recognize that HSDD is not a personal failing or a result of low effort. It is a medical condition that can affect women of all ages and backgrounds.

If you’re hoping to learn about the symptoms and available treatments for HSDD, you’re in the right place.

The information ahead will help you understand this condition and determine the right course of action for you.

HSDD Symptoms

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The symptoms of HSDD can vary from person to person. Some common signs include:

  • a lack of sexual thoughts or fantasies
  • reduced desire for sexual activity
  • a sense of distress or dissatisfaction related to this decline

It’s important to note that these symptoms must persist for a significant period, causing distress or affecting your relationships, before a diagnosis of HSDD can be made.

Treatment for HSDD in Women

HSDD treatment options for women include medical treatments, counseling, and home remedies

HSDD Medications for Women

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There are a few HSDD medications available today. The most popular ones are Addyi and Vyleesi.

Addyi (aka flibanserin)

Addyi is an FDA-approved medication specifically designed to treat HSDD in premenopausal women. It works by targeting neurotransmitters in the brain to increase sexual desire.

Addyi needs to be taken daily, and it may take a few weeks to experience its full effects. Side effects include hives, swelling, drowsiness, and dizziness.

As with any medication, it’s crucial to discuss potential side effects and interactions with your healthcare provider.

Vyleesi (aka bremelanotide)

Vyleesi is another FDA-approved medication for HSDD, available as a self-administered injection. It activates melanocortin receptors, which play a role in sexual desire.

Unlike Addyi, Vyleesi is used on an as-needed basis and has shown positive results in improving sexual desire in clinical trials. Its side effects include nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness.

It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if Vyleesi is a suitable option for you.

Hormone therapy for HSDD

Hormone therapy, or HRT, may be an option for women experiencing HSDD due to hormonal imbalances, such as low testosterone or estrogen levels.

HRT is a common intervention for low libido after menopause. The treatment restores hormone levels to where they were before menopause.

Many women seek to increase testosterone or estrogen to improve libido. However, the benefits of testosterone and estrogen on sexual desire taper off once a person has regained typical hormone levels.

Your healthcare provider can assess your hormone levels and prescribe appropriate HRT if needed to improve sexual desire.

HSDD Counseling and Psychotherapy

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Depending on your situation, counseling or sex therapy may help with HSDD.

Individual counseling

Individual counseling sessions with a qualified therapist can provide a safe space to explore the psychological and emotional factors contributing to low sexual desire.

A therapist can help you navigate underlying issues, such as:

One or more of these may be impacting your sexual desire.

Couples counseling

Couples counseling can be beneficial when HSDD affects your intimate relationship.

This allows you and your partner to:

  • communicate openly
  • address concerns
  • find ways to reconnect emotionally and physically

A trained therapist guides you through communication techniques and can offer strategies to enhance intimacy and desire.

Sex therapy

Sex therapy focuses specifically on sexual issues and can be a valuable resource for women with HSDD.

A sex therapist can help you explore and understand your sexual desires, preferences, and any barriers that may be inhibiting your sexual satisfaction.

They can also provide guidance on techniques, exercises, and strategies to enhance your sexual experience and desire.

HSDD Treatment: Home Remedies

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Many women are able to treat HSDD on their own at home.

While some hail libido supplements as a natural solution, research suggests that their results are a placebo effect. What’s more, lack of regulation in the supplement industry has led to wisespread contamination of products.

For self-care options backed by research, look into pelvic exercises, masturbation, sensate focus, and sensual activation.

Kegels and progressive muscle relaxation

Kegel exercises and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) can strengthen pelvic floor muscles and increase blood flow to the genital area.

These exercises improve sexual sensations and enhance desire. Look for online resources, apps, or consult a healthcare professional to learn more about them and incorporate them into your routine.

Solo sex

Self-pleasure and masturbation are valuable tools for understanding your desires and reconnecting with your sexuality.

Solo sex allows you to explore what feels pleasurable and increase sexual desire and self-confidence.

Sensate focus

Sensate focus is sex therapy exercise commonly used to reconnect with sensual experiences and increase arousal.

This exercise involves gradually exploring and focusing on touch and sensations without the pressure of sexual performance.

Engaging in sensate focus exercises with a partner can be a powerful way to build intimacy and desire.

Sensual activation

For many women, HSDD occurs due to sensual disconnection. This is common when life circumstances have changed or new relationship energy has worn off.

Fortunately, it is possible to reconnect with and activate your sensuality.

To activate your sensuality, take the Sensual Sources Quiz. You’ll discover your Sensual Source and get a personalized analysis with exercises to try at home.

With guided pleasure practices and erotic embodiment exercises, you can ignite sexual desire from the comfort of your home.

Beat HSDD Naturally

Experiencing low sexual desire can be distressing, but you have options for treatment and support. Medication, counseling, and home remedies are available to increase your sex drive.

Each woman’s journey is unique. It may take time to find the right combination of treatments for you.

Have you found your Sensual Source?

Take the 6-question quiz for your free Sensual Analysis:

(Having trouble with the quiz? Click here.)

Once you’ve discovered your Sensual Source, you can activate it with a simple daily pleasure practic routine. Make time to embody your unique sensuality each day and watch it expand.

Sexual energy feeds on sensuality. The more empowered your Sensual Source, the more you’ll move from sensually activated to erotically ignited.

Published by Shannon Burton

Erotic Ignition Coach by day, poet and flash fiction author by night, I occasionally manage to get out of the house and enjoy New Orleans as it's meant to be.

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