How Many Women Have Hsdd?

In basic terms, hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is a persistent lack of sexual desire in women that causes distress. But HSDD is actually quite complex.

The following terms are used to describe HSDD:

So how many women have hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD)? The answer may depend on the way it’s evaluated. Large studies suggest that between 10% and 15% of women are affected by low libido with distress. But research published in 2012 found at prevalence rate of 7.4%.

Why was this study different? Unlike previous studies, the researchers used in-person interviews by trained professionals – in addition to questionnaires – to learn more about women’s overall health and their approaches toward getting help for HSDD.

This study also focused on generalized, acquired HSDD.

The researchers collected data from 701 women who were patients at 20 different primary care centers or OB/GYN clinics in the United States. While the general prevalence rate of HSDD was 7.4%, the condition was less common in minority women and postmenopausal women.  

Prevalence rates started to increase as women approached menopause. HSDD was more frequent for women in perimenopause, the years before menopause. During this time, women still menstruate, but their bodies start producing less estrogen, and many start having menopausal symptoms, like erratic periods and hot flashes. Most women go through perimenopause in their 40s.

HSDD prevalence was also higher in women who had just completed menopause. At this time, their ovaries stop releasing eggs altogether. The average age of menopause is 51.

Just over half of the women with HSDD talked to their doctor about it, however.

No matter how HSDD is assessed, women should know that there are treatments available. A complete medical checkup is a great place to start, as there might be an underlying health condition causing low desire. Hormonal therapies, sex therapy, and counseling can all help. The drug flibanserin (Addyi) is another possibility.

Want to learn more about HSDD? The links below can answer many of your questions, but don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider, too.

Overview – HSDD

Causes – HSDD

Diagnosing HSDD

Decreased Sexual Desire Screener

Treating HSDD

What Should I Know About Addyi?

Understanding HSDD

HSDD Infographic

HSDD and Relationships

Talking About HSDD (for partners)

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

“The Menopause Years”

(May 2015)

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