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Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder Treatment Overview

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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • See your primary care provider to get a diagnosis and treatment. It’s important to rule out any underlying conditions that may be contributing to hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). You may be referred to a specialist.
  • Your treatment will be based on the cause of the condition. It may include supplements, medication, individual and couples therapy, and lifestyle changes.
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All treatments for hypoactive sexual desire disorder
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When to see a healthcare provider

See a healthcare provider if you have symptoms of hypoactive sexual desire disorder. It can be a very upsetting and frustrating condition, so it’s important to get the right care. You may learn about other medical conditions you have that could be causing HSDD.

Getting diagnosed

  • Your primary care provider or ob/gyn can diagnose HSDD based on your symptoms, medical history, a physical and gynecological exam, and screenings like the Female Sexual Distress Scale. They may also discuss any medications you take that could be contributing to HSSD.
  • Your provider may order blood tests to check your hormone levels and rule out health conditions that affect sexual desire, like thyroid problems and diabetes.

What to expect from your doctor visit

There are a few types of medications that may be prescribed for HSDD.

  • Flibanserin (Addyi) is approved for premenopausal women with HSDD. It increases the brain hormones involved in sexual excitement and decreases hormones that can lower sex drive.
  • Bremelanotide (Vyleesi) is also approved for HSDD in premenopausal women. Vyleesi is an injection you give yourself at least 45 minutes before having sex.
  • Hormones like androgens or testosterone are sometimes prescribed to perimenopausal or postmenopausal women.
  • The antidepressant bupropion (Wellbutrin) may be prescribed if you’re taking antidepressants that are interfering with sexual desire (like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). It acts similarly to flibanserin.

Other HSDD treatments may include:

  • Treating underlying medical issues or changing the type or dose of your medications
  • Individual or couples counseling
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy for any pelvic floor dysfunction that may be contributing to HSDD. Pelvic floor dysfunction is when you cannot relax and coordinate the muscle of the pelvis.

Types of providers for HSDD

  • A primary care provider can usually diagnose HSDD and suggest lifestyle changes. They can also make sure you are getting the right treatment for other medical issues and discuss any possible side effects from medication that could be causing low libido.
  • An ob/gyn can diagnose and treat HSDD. There are some ob/gyns that specialize in sexual disorders.
  • A couples therapist can help improve your relationship with your spouse.
  • A therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist can help if HSDD is related to conditions like anxiety or depression.
  • Seeing a sex therapist may be recommended if HSDD is caused by sexual abuse, trauma, or shame.
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