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Living with libido loco? For a growing of women, declining hormones, job stress, relationship issues, and other problems are taking their toll in the bedroom. Loss of sexual desire, known in medical terms as hypoactive sexual desire disorder HSDDis the most common form of sexual dysfunction among women of all ages. A recent study showed that nearly one-third of women aged 18 to 59 suffer from a lost interest in sex, and it's not all in their he. Unlike men's main sexual complaint, erectile dysfunction, women's biggest sexual problem is caused by a combination of both mental and physical factors, which aren't likely to be cured by merely popping a pill.
But the introduction of anti-impotence treatments in the last few years has spurred more research into the causes of sexual dysfunction among both men and women, and effective therapies are available to help put the lust back into women's lives. Contrary to popular belief, experts say frequency of sexual intercourse has nothing to do with sexual desire or satisfaction. But when women experience a Old married wants sex decrease in interest in sex that is having an effect on their life and is causing distress, then it's considered a problem of low sexual desire or HSDD.
Kingsberg says that sexual desire is more than just an issue of low libido or sex drive. She says sexual drive is the biological component of desire, which is reflected as spontaneous sexual interest including sexual thoughts, erotic fantasies, and daydreams. Kingsberg, who is an associate professor of reproductive biology at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine says, "It's about your body aling that it wants to be sexual.
Whether or not there is any intention to act on it, we all have a certain level of drive. That sexual drive declines naturally with age based on physiological factors. But sexual desire also encompasses interpersonal and psychological factors that create a willingness to be sexual. Therefore, all of these aspects of sexual desire must be examined in order to determine the root of the problem. Because a loss of sexual desire in women is caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors, it usually requires more than one treatment approach to fix the problem.
They're not just complaining of one plumbing problem, says Shifren. Once the factors causing low sexual desire have been determined, potential treatment options may include:. In addition, several therapies involving testosterone pills or skin patches specifically deed to treat female sexual problems are currently being studied in hopes of FDA approval in the near future. For example, Shrifen is involved in research using a testosterone skin patch to treat low sexual desire in women.
Initial studies have shown that the patch ificantly improved both sexual desire and satisfaction compared with placebo among postmenopausal women who had their ovaries removed. She says a phase III clinical trial of the testosterone patch involving several thousand women worldwide is currently wrapping up, and should be published soon.
For the first time, this study looks at the effect of the testosterone patches in naturally menopausal women as well as those who have undergone surgical or early menopause caused by chemotherapy or removal of their ovaries. When evaluating treatments for sexual problems, experts say it's important to recognize that there is an especially large placebo effect, which is based upon the user's expectations of the treatment.
That's why drugs must be tested against a placebo sugar pill in order to scientifically measure their effect. It also helps explain why many supplements claim to be effective in treating sexual problems, such as low sexual desire. Because expectations play such a large role in sexual desire, over-the-counter products may claim that they're effective, but it's likely just a placebo effect. Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, president of the Society for Women's Health Research says more women report sexual problems than men, but research and treatment for women's sexual problems still lags behind.
But experts say research into women's sexual function is slowly catching up in the post-Viagra era.
She says that until recently, the only studies on women's sexual issues were very small, often short-term, and rarely well deed. From the WebMD Archives. What Is Low Sexual Desire? Common causes for a loss of sexual desire and drive in women include: Interpersonal relationship issues.
Partner performance problems, lack of emotional satisfaction with the relationship, the birth ofand becoming a caregiver for a loved one can decrease sexual desire. Sociocultural influences. Job stress, peer pressureand media images of sexuality can negatively influence sexual desire.
Low testosterone. Testosterone affects sexual drive in both men and women. Testosterone levels peak in women's mids and then steadily decline until menopause, when they drop dramatically. Medical problems : Mental illnesses such as depression, or medical conditions, such as endometriosis, fibroids, and thyroid disordersimpact a woman's sexual drive both mentally and physically.
Medications : Certain antidepressants including the new generation of SSRIsblood pressure lowering drugs, and oral contraceptives can lower sexual drive in many ways, such as decreasing available testosterone levels or affecting blood flow.
Blood levels of androgens fall continuously in women as they age. Putting the Desire Back in Women's Sex Lives Because a loss of sexual desire in women is caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors, it usually requires more than one treatment approach to fix the problem. Sexual dysfunction usually affects both parties in a relationship and should be discussed together or individually with a mental health professional.
Changing medications or altering the dose.
If the problem is caused by medications, a change of prescription or alternative therapies may be recommended. If an oral contraceptive is suspected as the culprit in lowering testosterone levels, a different formulation or nonhormonal birth control methods may be prescribed. Addressing underlying medical conditions. Medical problems contributing to low sexual desire may require surgical treatment, such as the removal of painful fibroids or medication.
Vaginal estrogens. In postmenopausal women, vaginal dryness may be treated with vaginal estrogen creams. Testosterone therapy.
Although no hormone or drug has been approved by the FDA to treat sexual problems in womenmany gynecologists recommend off-label uses of testosterone therapy for women with low sexual desire to restore testosterone to normal pre-menopausal levels. No Miracle Love Potion No. Could I have CAD? Missing Teeth?Old married wants sex
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I Asked a Bunch of Women Over 50 About Their Sex Lives