Is Lack of Desire Starting to Feel Like Your New Normal?
I’m attracted to him, but I just don’t have desire. I feel like I’m letting my partner down. I’ll just avoid him. These are just some of the things that go through our heads when we just can’t get in the mood anymore. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) is the technical term for the loss of desire for sex. The overwhelming feeling of not being able to please our partner brings us immense feelings of shame. Often times, we won’t even tell him about it, or feel like we can’t.
More often than not, the anxiety of it all causes stress and distress. It wreaks havoc in our relationships. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that most women aren’t aware or even diagnosed with the condition. That’s because most doctors don’t have discussions with women about their sex lives. And it’s so unfortunate because sexual desire is a vital part of your overall health, and you deserve to have it.
The truth of the matter is that you’re not alone. It’s been reported that HSDD occurs in at least 30% in women. In one study that included 906 men and women, 65% of people were diagnosed with HSDD. This simply means that HSDD is horribly under-reported and the conversation needs to get started. Unfortunately, the burden to start this conversation may be on you. So be strong. Confront it! And speak up now!
The diagnosis of HSDD normally requires your doctor to consider many factors. These may include life experiences, relationships issues, your emotional health, medications you may be taking, your hormone status, and other health issues you may be suffering from. He or she will also take a good look at the symptoms you may experiencing. These may include:
A loss of impulse to participate in sex
Decreased desire or stimulation when given erotic cues
Not being able to maintain desire or interest throughout the sex. Note that for a diagnosis of HSDD, there must be a decrease in desire for at least 6 months
If the relationship is an issue, or you have certain thoughts of what sex should be, visiting a psychologist or sex therapist may be extremely useful. Unfortunately, if everything else is ruled out and you do end up with an HSDD diagnosis, there is not much in terms of affordability or variety. One option can include the use of Flibanserin (Brand: Addyi). Addyi. Addyi, however, can be costly and comes along with a laundry list of side effects (one very serious) and restrictions (like no alcohol).
This is what lead our pharmacist to investigate other more practicable and researched treatment options to help women like you.
Our investigations began with learning more about sexual desire and what controls it. We quickly learned that sexual desire is controlled by a particular part of the brain that has special receptors that receive oxytocin and melanocortin. In the right circumstances, when these hormones do their magic, they can lead sexual excitation. Because of this, oxytocin and melanocortins are often researched for their effects on sexual interest and desire. Another thing that we learned is that oxytocin plays a role in engendering feelings of trust and bonding. In fact, certain interactions like eye gazing or skin to skin contact increase levels of oxytocin the body. Because of this, it is referred to as the “cuddle hormone” or “love hormone”.
What was probably the most surprising to us was learning about oxytocin and orgasm. One study showed that when men and women are given oxytocin, they experience increased levels of orgasm and contentment after sex. Another study showed that women given oxytocin nasal spray helped with their distress as measured by the Female Sexual Distress Scale.
In our experience at Harbor Compounding Pharmacy, both tablets and nasal sprays in men and women have shown us how powerful oxytocin can be. We have had encounter after encounter with our patients whose word of mouth inspired us to learn more about the use of oxytocin for sexual dysfunction.
Another treatment option our pharmacist researched is bremelanotide, or, PT-141. Bremelanotide stimulates the melanocortin receptor in the brain and has been shown to increase sexual arousal and desire.
In one study of 18 women, those who used bremelanotide nasal spray reported higher levels of sexual desire. The women who had sexual intercourse within 24 hours after bremelanotide also reported that they were more satisfied with their level of sexual arousal.
Bremelanotide was also studied in two large clinical trials as a subcutaneous injection (I know what you’re thinking – an injection!?) The study showed that women taking bremelanotide experienced significant increases in sexual desire and significant reductions in distress.
An important note here for you women who want to get your hands on this product. If you suffer from high blood pressure, have heart problems, suffer from kidney or liver disease or plan on becoming pregnant, bremelanotide may not be right for you. You’ll need to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider before you make the decision to try this one.
Let’s break it down here. What should you have taken away from this article?
YOU LEARNED: You are not alone. Low sexual desire is very common in women and is grossly underdiagnosed.
YOU LEARNED: Be Brave and Speak up about your Sexual Desire! You must bring up sexual problems with you doctor, because he or she mostly likely won’t bring it up.
YOU LEARNED: You Have Treatment Options. Our Pharmacists have scoured medical research and formulated truly unique treatment options to help you live your best life.
YOU LEARNED: Our Pharmacists at Harbor Compounding Pharmacy are here to help. Our treatment options are available by prescription only and are customized to you. If you are interested in filling one of the prescription items mentioned above, please reach out to one of our expert pharmacists.
Our pharmacists expertly formulated Oxytocin to be available as either sublingual tablets or as an intranasal spray. Bremelanotide is available as a nasal spray. Harbor Compounding Pharmacy is a licensed, PCAB-accredited compounding pharmacy servicing patients all over California, Nevada, Washington, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Missouri, New York, and Indiana. If you have a prescription for a compounded medication or have any questions, please fill out the form on our site to get the appropriate health solution for you.
To learn more about Female Sexual Dysfunction, and treatment options that may be available for you, please check out our blogs:
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- Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. The Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory. https://labs.la.utexas.edu/mestonlab/?page_id=586
- Montgomery KA. Sexual Desire Disorders. Psych. 2008 Jun; 5(6): 50–55. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695750/
- Warnock J. Female Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Treatment. CNS Drugs. 2002;16(11):745-53. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12383030/
- Segraves KB, Segraves RT. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: Prevalence and Comorbidity in 906 Subjects. J Sex Marital Ther. Spring 1991;17(1):55-8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2072405/
- Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(16)30596-1/fulltext
- Pfaus JG. Pathways of Sexual Desire. J Sex Med. 2009 Jun;6(6):1506-1533. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19453889/?from_term=oxytocin+male+sexual+desire&from_pos=5
- What is Oxytocin? Endocrine Society. https://www.hormone.org/your-health-and-hormones/glands-and-hormones-a-to-z/hormones/oxytocin
- Behnia B, Heinrichs M, Bergmann W, Jung S, Germann J, Schedlowski M, et al. Differential effects of intranasal oxytocin on sexual experiences and partner interactions in couples. Horm Behav. 2014; 65:308-318
- Lidberg L, Sternthal V. A New Approach to the Hormonal Treatment of Impotentia Erectionis. Pharm Neuro. 1977 Jan;10(1):21-5
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