Chapter 17 – Female Sexual Interest and Arousal Disorder (FSIAD)

Decreased desire

Decreased desire, previously known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), is common in women and is often difficult to treat. Desire is an element of a sexual relationship that is often discrepant, i.e. one partner has a higher desire than the other, and in the past the couple may have compromised more, however it has now become a problem.

Sexual desire naturally decreases with age and with the length of a relationship.

Pregnancy, lactation and child rearing can also have an impact on both the time and the opportunity for having sex. A woman’s attitude to their body and to sexual intercourse may be affected by their self-esteem, and past or current physical, emotional or sexual abuse can also result in a lack of desire.

If a patient has low desire but enjoys sex once they are engaged in sexual activity then the outcome is more likely to be positive. In dealing with issues of desire it is important to explore any issues within the relationship as well as the patient’s perception of themselves and their attitude to sex.

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