Sex: it’s one of the most natural things in the world and yet, it’s become a taboo topic that’s often only talked about behind closed doors. This should come as no surprise, but at Pelvic Pain Doc, we believe we should all be able to talk about sex openly, honestly and freely. After all, everyone is doing it and it’s literally the reason we’re all here!
When we do talk about sex, though, it’s often only about the good stuff: intimacy, connection, pleasure, and starting a family. Unfortunately, people are a lot less open about their sex challenges, such as decreased libido. But as distressing or frustrating as low sex drive may be, it’s a normal part of the highs and lows of life. Due to changing hormones, medications, stress or pelvic pain, it’s totally natural for our desire for sex to fluctuate throughout our lives.
Suffering from decreased libido? Don’t worry. By working with a pelvic pain specialist, you can learn how to increase your libido and reclaim your sex life! Here, Dr. Sonia Bahlani answers all your questions about low sex drive, including:
- The definition of hypoactive sexual desire disorder
- What causes decreased libido
- How to boost your sex drive
What is Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder?
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) refers to a lack of desire for sexual intimacy in any form — from desire and arousal to orgasm and resolution. This condition can affect both men and women and includes a lack of interest in masturbation.
These symptoms of low sex drive are normal and on their own do not indicate that a patient has hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Libido for men and women naturally fluctuates over the years, so a dip in sex drive here and there isn’t cause for concern. However, if your lack of interest in and arousal by sex is causing you personal distress, you may have a hypoactive sexual desire disorder.
What Causes Decreased Sex Drive?
If your libido has taken a sudden nosedive, you’re probably wondering, “Why is my sex drive so low?” Loss of libido can happen for a number of reasons, some that are just part of life and others that can be a sign of an underlying condition. Here are some common causes of low sex drive and HSDD.
Physical causes: pain during sex, inability to reach orgasm, fatigue
Medical causes: cancer, arthritis, diabetes, neurological disorders; surgery on the breasts or genital tract; medications (including certain antidepressants)
Hormonal causes: due to menstrual cycle, pregnancy/breastfeeding, oral contraceptive use, menopause or hysterectomy
Psychological/Neurological causes: anxiety, depression, stress, body image disorders, low self-esteem; physical or sexual abuse, and relationship issues; alterations in certain neurotransmitters due to a multitude of factors
Lifestyle causes: diet; alcohol, tobacco and drug use
Diagnosing hypoactive sexual desire disorder isn’t as easy as identifying that you’ve lost your sex drive. For some people, a lack of interest in sex doesn’t cause them any concern. For others, it can be an extremely stressful experience. At Pelvic Pain Doc, we take a patient’s entire history, lifestyle and emotional state into account before diagnosing and treating HSDD.
How to Increase Libido
If you’re experiencing low libido or symptoms of hypoactive sexual desire disorder, it’s easy to feel like there’s something wrong with you. First and foremost, we want to reassure you that this is not your fault. It’s also not all in your head and recovery is possible with a combination of treatment options.
Before we can treat HSDD, we first need to understand the root cause of your low sex drive. Once we have the complete picture, we can create a holistic treatment plan. Treatment for hypoactive sexual desire disorder may include:
Sex therapy and counseling: For couples struggling with intimacy, relationship counseling and sex education can help to overcome feelings of decreased sexual desire. Counseling can also help with stress management, which can improve symptoms of HSDD.
Hormone therapy: For low sex drive caused by hormonal changes, hormone therapy can help to balance the hormones and restore libido.
Medications: If your HSDD is caused by medications such as antidepressants or birth control pills, your doctor can work with you to explore your options and find alternative solutions.
Lifestyle changes: Reducing alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, eating better and exercising can all contribute to a better sex drive (not to mention better health overall!)
If your sex drive has decreased and it’s causing you stress, we’re here to help. You deserve to learn how to increase your libido and enjoy your sex life to the fullest! If you think you might have a hypoactive sexual desire disorder, contact Pelvic Pain Doc to book a consultation today.