Given that much of the research on sexual dysfunction focuses on the male partner, low sex drive in women is not as well understood. However, it’s more common than you might think. Urology specialists have termed this condition hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). More research is needed in this area to definitively determine exactly what causes low libido in women. However, there are currently two primary schools of thought: The vascular theory and the hormonal theory.
Urology specialists already know that in men, circulatory problems can contribute to sexual dysfunction because of the inhibition of blood flow to the penis. The vascular theory of female HSDD applies this concept to women. It’s thought that women may suffer from low sex drive because reduced blood flow to the pelvic region may prevent sexual arousal, promote vaginal dryness and discomfort, and reduce the sensitivity of the clitoris. Growing older, being under severe or chronic stress, or having certain medical conditions such as diabetes and atherosclerosis might contribute to inhibited blood flow to the pelvic region. To address this problem, urologists may recommend topical applications to dilate the blood vessels, increase blood flow, and improve sensitivity and arousal.
Other urologists believe that hormonal imbalance may be primarily responsible for HSDD. As women grow older, their levels of estrogen and testosterone begin to decline. Much like men who are trying hormone replacement therapy, women might consider synthetic hormones to counteract the changes associated with aging.
It is quite possible that other issues may contribute to HSDD, perhaps in addition to hormonal or vascular problems. Female sexual dysfunction may be attributed to a prior injury that has caused nerve damage, such as a spinal cord injury. Similarly, women who have previously undergone surgery in the pelvic region may have sustained nerve damage. Other possible risk factors may include excessive bicycle riding, drug use, smoking, and vaginal atrophy.
At the Women’s Institute for Sexual Health (WISH), women will find sensitive and compassionate sexual health care in Nashville. The urology team at Urology Associates P.C. offers the latest FDA approved treatment for low libido in women, Addyi (flibanserin). Call us today at 888-656-0667 to arrange a private, one-on-one consultation with a urologist.