Expert, Compassionate Care for Women with Decreased Sexual Desire
Although a woman’s level of sexual desire naturally fluctuates over the course of her life, persistent low libido - often referred to as hypoactive sexual desire disorder - is a treatable medical condition. There can be many reasons for a decreased sex drive, including physical, emotional, biochemical and lifestyle factors. The good news is, most can be managed and resolved, allowing a woman to enjoy intimacy and sexual health throughout her lifetime.
A Personalized Consultation in a Safe, Comfortable Environment
When it comes to your sex drive, there is no such thing as “normal” or “abnormal.” Interest in sexual activity is a highly personal characteristic and varies greatly from woman to woman. However, if a sudden or gradual change in your ability to enjoy sex is causing you distress or negatively affecting your relationship and quality of life, it might be time to talk to our team of female sexual health professionals. We can help.
Our first step will always be to get to know you as a person. During your initial consultation we will provide a safe, confidential environment in which you can share details about the following aspects of your life:
- Your relationship status. Relationship problems are often a major reason for a decreased sex drive. Problems may include feeling disconnected from your partner; poor communication; ongoing or unresolved conflicts; and/or trust issues. And, if you have just entered into a new relationship or recently ended one, that may also be a factor to be considered.
- Your medical history. There are many seemingly unrelated medical conditions that can affect your libido, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and behavioral health conditions. Sexual problems may be related to the disease itself, or the medications you are taking to treat the disease. In particular, certain drugs taken for mood disorders are known to lower the sex drive.
- Past or pending surgeries. Surgeries related to your breasts or genitals may affect your body image and lower your desire to engage in sexual relations.
- Major life changes. If you have recently experienced a life-changing event, this may be having a physical or psychological effect on your ability to enjoy sex. Events may include pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, serious illness or death in the family, job loss and/or a change in your financial situation. A decreased sex drive is a normal, but usually temporary, side effect of major life changes such as these.
- Lifestyle. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and recreational drug use can all have a detrimental effect on your sex drive. In addition, unhealthy eating habits that lead to excess weight and/or obesity can affect your body-image and lower your desire or willingness to engage in sexual relations.
- Your sexual history. Women who have experienced sexual or physical abuse in the past often have psychological barriers that make it difficult for them to resume or maintain a healthy sex life. Physical conditions such as pain during sex or an inability to reach orgasm can also severely limit your desire and ability to enjoy sex.
After our in-depth, initial consultation with you, our clinicians may also perform a physical exam that includes bloodwork and a pelvic exam to check for signs of physical changes or structural problems that may be contributing to your low sexual desire. Together, the consultation, physical exam and lab tests will provide us with a comprehensive picture of your unique situation and allow us to develop a treatment plan designed just for you.
Customized Treatment Plans for Women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
Because there are so many different factors that can contribute to low libido in women, there isn’t one clearly defined course of treatment. Instead, our team will develop a customized plan of treatment just for you. Your plan may include:
Medication Review. Certain medications, including antidepressants, can have sexual side effects such as low libido. Sometimes, switching to a different type or dose can help revive a lagging sex drive.
Hormone Therapy. Vaginal dryness and inflammation are common reasons for sexual discomfort among menopausal and post-menopausal women. These symptoms along with thinning of the vaginal wall tissues occur when your body makes less estrogen - a natural consequence of aging or hysterectomy. Certain hormone medications can help relieve these symptoms and make sex more comfortable.
Medications to Boost Libido. Often referred to as “Viagra for Women,” there are certain FDA approved medications that can enhance sexual desire in women who have not gone through menopause.
Management of Chronic Medical Conditions. Certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes can affect your overall sense of well-being, cause anxiety and contribute to a lowered sex drive when not well managed. Our team will work with you and your primary care physician to manage these conditions and improve your general health.
Counseling. If we believe emotional and/or relationship factors are contributing to your low libido, we may recommend that you talk to highly specialized psychologist and sex therapists on our team. Individual or couples talk therapy can often help to address sexual concerns and increase feelings of intimacy and desire.
Lifestyle Modifications. Making some simple, lifestyle changes can often lead to improvements in both your overall health and your sex drive. Goals may include getting more exercise; finding ways to manage stress levels; and eliminating unhealthy habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake and recreational drug use.