What is Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)?

If you have low sexual desire and associated distress, it may be hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), which is the most common form of sexual dysfunction in women.1

Symptoms of HSDD

You experience low sexual desire no matter the type of sexual activity.

Your lower sexual desire or lower interest in sex is bothering you.

Your level of sexual desire or interest in sex has decreased.

You were satisfied in the past with your level of sexual desire or interest in sex, but no longer are.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 women suffer from distressing low sexual desire.1

The key components of HSDD, including low sexual desire and related distress, can negatively impact personal attitudes, such as body image and self confidence, an can lead to interpersonal difficulties, such as feeling less connected to a partner.2

Studies have demonstrated the significant burden of living with HSDD 2,3

of women feel they
are letting their
partner down
of women
of women
feel less

Your Brain Can Affect Your Desire

Healthy Female Brain

Female Brain with HSDD

The basis of HSDD

Lack of sexual desire can have a biological basis. Multiple studies show the brain controls desire differently in women with a healthy sexual desire than in women with HSDD. Note the difference in the two images. Brain scans show markedly less activity in areas of the brain that are important in sexual response for women who suffer with HSDD 4,5,6

While these studies have revealed there is a biological connection to HSDD, a medical provider can diagnose with a few simple questions.7

Think you have HSDD?


1. Shifren JL, Monz BU, Russo PA, et al. Sexual problems and distress in United States women: prevalence and correlates. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;112(5):970-8. 2. Kingsberg SA. Attitudinal survey of women living with low sexual desire. J Women’s Health. 2014;23(10):817-23. 3. Leiblum SR, Koochaki PE, Rodenberg CA, Barton IP, Rosen RC. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder in postmenopausal women: US results from the Women’s International Study of Health and Sexuality (WISHeS). Menopause. 2006;13(1):46‐56. 4. Arnow BA, Millheiser L, Garrett A, et al. Women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder compared to normal females: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Neuroscience. 2009; 158:484-502. 5. Goldstein I, Kim NN, Clayton AH, et al. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder. International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) expert consensus panel review. Mayo Clin Proc. 2017;92(1):114-128. 6. Holstege G, Weijmar- Schultz W. How combined serotonin-1A receptor agonist and 2A- receptor antagonist can heal hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). Poster presented at Neuroscience 2014 the Society for Neuroscience 2014 Annual Meeting (SfN); November 15-19, 2014; Washington, DC. 7. Clayton AH, Goldfischer ER, Goldstein I, DeRogatis L, Lewis‐D’Agostino DJ, and Pyke R. Validation of the Decreased Sexual Desire Screener (DSDS): A brief diagnostic instrument for generalized acquired female Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). J Sex Med 2009;6:730–738.