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HSDD 101: what it is, what it isn’t

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Woman wonders what HSDD is…and what it isn’t.

If you’re hearing the term “hypoactive sexual desire disorder” (HSDD) for the first time, you’re in good company. HSDD has been known to the medical community for decades, but for a lot of us, the condition has been pretty much under the radar. Not to worry—you can get some HSDD basics right here.

 HSDD is a real medical condition
Defined as ongoing low sexual desire that women find frustrating, HSDD has been a recognized condition for decades. It’s believed to be the result of an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain that are responsible for regulating sexual desire.

 HSDD is not “just in your head”
Even so, a study of almost 4,000 women showed that many didn’t seek help for low sexual desire because they were afraid that they wouldn’t be taken seriously.

And while it’s natural for a woman’s sexual desire to rise and fall over the years, that’s not the same thing as HSDD. And a woman doesn’t have HSDD just because she’s unhappy with her partner, either. In fact, many women who have HSDD feel guilty and worry that they’re not being as good of a partner as they once were.

It’s estimated that ~1 in 10 women in the US has HSDD.

 HSDD is common
HSDD is the most common female sexual dysfunction, affecting millions of women, some as young as 20. It’s estimated that 1 in 10 women in the US has HSDD. To put that in perspective, that’s about the same percentage of US women who have diabetes.

 HSDD is not something to hide
It certainly shouldn’t be, when you consider how many women are affected by it. If you have low sexual desire that frustrates you, whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with HSDD, you don’t have to keep it a secret. Especially not here. unblush is a community. We get what you’re going through. And we want to help you take steps to get your sexual desire back.


Connect with the unblush community.


Woman asks what is HSDD? unblush explains hypoactive sexual desire disorder 101.

 HSDD is often undiagnosed
Millions of women suffer with HSDD in silence, some of them for years. Why? Because even though open communication is an important step to diagnosing HSDD, many women don’t bring up their low sexual desire with their healthcare providers, often because they’re too embarrassed.

 HSDD is not something to avoid asking about
Low sexual desire might not be the easiest topic to address during a medical checkup. But if it’s making you feel “less feminine,” unhappy with your body — or negatively affecting you in any way — it’s important to bring that up. Think of it this way: the first step to treating HSDD is knowing it’s HSDD. That means having an honest and direct conversation about low sexual desire with your healthcare provider. Let us help.


Get a guide for talking to your doctor


Remember that we mentioned that frustration is part of the diagnosis for HSDD? Well, it’s a big part. If the loss of sexual desire isn’t frustrating, it isn’t HSDD.

Women with HSDD have reported feeling ashamed because of it, and worried that they’re letting their partner down.

HSDD can also have a substantial negative impact on a woman’s health and quality of life. It can make women avoid intimacy, leading to self-esteem issues and stress in relationships.

Millions of women with HSDD suffer in silence, some of them for years.

 HSDD is not something you have to face alone
Yes, the loss of sexual desire is frustrating for so many women. But figuring out what to do about it doesn’t have to be. And you don’t have to confront HSDD by yourself. It can help to have someone to talk to, even before you broach the subject with your healthcare provider. Maybe your partner or women who’ve experienced HSDD themselves can share what they’ve learned. unblush is a community of those women. It bears repeating: we’re here for you.


Discuss this topic now


 HSDD is treatable
Even though we’ve known about HSDD for quite a while, there are medical treatments for HSDD that didn’t exist until fairly recently. If you have HSDD, you don’t have to be one of the millions of women we told you about above—the ones who suffer in silence. You can tell your healthcare provider that you want to explore the HSDD treatment options available to you.

HSDD is not something you just have to live with
Nope. Uh-uh. No way.

HSDD is not “part of getting older.” Or because you’ve been working too hard. You don’t have to just accept it. Not when there are resources right here that you can tap into. And a community of women to reach out to. Now is the time to unblush, push back against HSDD, and take back your desire for sex.

Learn about a treatment option for HSDD

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  • what is hsdd?

    It’s a treatable medical condition also called hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Women with HSDD have decreased sexual desire that they find frustrating. HSDD can lower your self esteem and strain your relationship. If that’s what you’re feeling, don’t feel alone or embarrassed—unblush.

  • Resources

    Medical conversations for HSDD and low female sex drive
    Conversation Starter

    Get step-by-step help talking to your healthcare provider.

    HSDD screening questionnaire
    Symptom Checker

    Answer a few questions to find out if you have symptoms associated with HSDD.

    How to talk about female libido issues
    Talking to Your Partner

    It’s not easy, but it’s so important. These tips can help you have an open, honest conversation.

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