Hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women Essay
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women
Female hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a condition which affects the sexual desire and performance of females. The loss of sexual desire, for men or woman, may not be a welcome experience. For some women loss of sexual desire can present serious problems and therefore it is important to advance understanding of the possible causes of HSDD in order to develop effective solutions and treatment options. Description of Female HSDD Corona et al (2005) identify sexual motivation, sexual desire and libido as terms representative of the desire to engage in sexual activities.
The makeup of the body makes it possible for humans, once all is in proper working order, to respond to internal and external sexual stimuli by feeling the urge and/or seeking to engage in sexual activities. The processes at work in creating sexual desire are quite complex. According to Corona et al (2005) the way a person responds to sexual stimulus is usually affected by biological, emotional, cognitive, neurological and physiological factors. The loss of sexual desire can prove to be a very depressing condition.
The Wall Street Journal, in an empirical study, highlighted the close correlation between sex and happiness, suggesting that an unsatisfying and unhealthy sex life contributes to decreased happiness (as cited in Warnock, 2005, p. 45). Among women there are a range of sexual disorders that may arise as a result of various biological, environment, individual or physiological factors. General sexual disorders in women are termed female sexual dysfunction (FSD), the most prominent of which is hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) female HSDD refers to the persistent or recurrent lack or absence of fantasies about or the desire to take part in sexual activities (as cited in Clayton et al, 2006, p. 116). This absence of sexual interest is considered a disorder when it proves to be problematic for the patient and their relationship or self concept. This clarification is extremely important since the mere absence of sexual desire is not considered dysfunctional if it is not perceived as such.
Corona et al (2005) highlight, therefore, that “HSD is not always perceived as problematic” (p. 47). In fact some individuals may have little or no objection to the loss of sexual desire for any personal or ethical reason. On the other hand where continued sexual functioning is of considerable importance then the loss of sexual desire would pose serious issues. Another clarification that must be emphasized is that the condition must be recurrent and persistent, that is, it must be sustained over time, before it can be categorized as HSDD (Nappi, Wawra & Schmitt, 2006, p. 320).
It is only since the early 1980s that sexual disorders were given much attention and this may be as a result of the ethical issues that traditionally surrounded public discussions on sex and sexuality. It was only at this time that the American Psychiatric Association began including ‘inhibited sexual desire’ as a diagnostic category for disease (Corona et al, 2005). In females HSDD is usually demonstrated in a lack of arousal or problems with orgasm (Warnock, 2002, p. 747). Similarly it is not strange for HSDD to be presented along with or as a result of other sexual disorders.
Clayton et al (2006) reports that about 40% of patients that develop HSDD also develop secondary sexual disorders such as arousal or orgasm disorders (p. 116). What becomes evident also is that the distress caused by the absence of sexual desire in women can be considerable and overwhelming and may result in the development of unrelated psychological conditions as a result of the distress that the condition may cause. According to Hurlbert et al (2005) women who present with HSDD tend to be more easily disposed to higher rates of psychological distress including depression, than other healthy females (p.25).
Even though the presence of HSDD does not automatically presume depression, these women are at a greater risk. This is why proper and effective diagnosis and treatment should be provided promptly to sufficiently ease the condition to a satisfactory level. Prevalence Generally problems of sexual desire have been noted to be the most widespread sexual issues that clinicians have to deal with on a daily basis (Hurlbert et al, 2005, p. 16). Hurlbert et al (2005) points out that HSDD is the most prevalent sexual dysfunction that comes to the attention of physicians when dealing with couples (p.15).
Estimates of the prevalence of HSDD are not very specific because of the very touchy nature of sexual dysfunction. Corona et al (2005) gives a rough estimate that the overall prevalence of HSDD in the general U. S. population for men is somewhere between 0% and 16% while for women this rate is between 1% and 46% (p. 48). It is quite evident that the disorder either affects considerably more women than men or that more women than men are willing to approach their physicians about sexual problems.
Corona et al (2005) attempts to explain this variation by suggesting that sexual motivation is usually higher among men and therefore women are more likely to be at risk of developing HSDD. Whatever the factors that contribute to HSDD affecting women more unequally than men, it is important to consider the possible factors that may put a woman at risk of HSDD. Determining the causes or aggravators of HSDD is an important step in diagnosis and later treatment of the disorder.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 April 2017
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