Given this time of heightened anxiety, we know that many women are finding it difficult to focus on their sex lives. We are all under quite a bit of stress trying to multitask within the home, take care of our children, and work from home. So, if sex is the LAST thing on your mind right now, that is ok. However, we do know that sex and intimacy are super important in relationships, and may be now more so than ever as we are isolated from the outside world. Some of us are spending more time with our partners than ever before. The relevance of this is really underscored by reports coming out of China showing that divorce rates went way up in the wake of the coronavirus.
Pandemic aside, low sex drive or “low libido” is a very common complaint in women of all ages. As you can imagine, libido may be even further diminished now by the current all-consuming pandemic. Therefore, I’d like to bring our focus today to our understanding of low desire and try to hone in on some ways we can improve it right now.
With that, let’s get to some of the science around libido. We need to identify the problem in order to fix it, right?
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is the actual diagnosis associated with low libido. It is defined as: “low sexual desire that causes marked distress and is not due to another co-existing medical or psychiatric condition, problems within the relationship or other medication.” Often times this is due to decreased circulating hormones (think testosterone) or neurochemical changes in the brain (think dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine). Other reasons for low libido are secondary, and may include pain (because NO one wants to do something that hurts), or weakened orgasms (because why do something that doesn’t feel good?). It is also very important to identify and modify medications that may be impacting your libido, such as antidepressants and oral contraceptives.
If this sounds like you, don’t despair. There are now some great treatment options available to treat HSDD. Addyi™ and Vyleesi™ are both FDA approved and can help normalize the brain chemicals that are often out of whack in HSDD. For women who may have declining levels of testosterone (the hormone of desire), we often use testosterone replacement therapy to help bring them back to healthy, physiological levels for women.
The truth is though, treating HSDD is an art as well as a science. Behavioral modifications are often also a part of the treatment plan for women with HSDD, and a really great sex therapist can help facilitate this. If you’re curious about your level of desire, take our quiz.
Here are Maze, we specialize in treating all aspects of HSDD. Contact us for a free phone consultation to see if we can help. You partners will thank you!