• Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder;
  • Female;
  • Sexual Dysfunction;
  • Premenopausal


Introduction.  Little is known about the clinical presentation of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women or their perceptions of sexual problems.

Aim.  Describe characteristics of premenopausal women with clinically diagnosed acquired, generalized HSDD, and investigate factors perceived to contribute to desire problems.

Methods.  Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from premenopausal women with clinically diagnosed and confirmed HSDD enrolled during the first year of the HSDD Registry for Women (N = 400).

Main Outcome Measures.  Relationship, demographic, and clinical characteristics were assessed by clinician's medical history review and self-administered questionnaire. Sexual desire function was measured by the validated Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI).

Results.  Over 85% of women cited multiple factors that contributed to ongoing decreased desire (mean 2.9 ± 2.3 factors, range 0–12). Most commonly cited contributing factors were “stress or fatigue” (60.0%), “dissatisfaction with my physical appearance” (40.8%), and other sexual difficulties (e.g., inability to reach orgasm) (33.5%). Exploratory analyses of the FSFI score confirmed that self-image (P = 0.002) and other sexual problems (P < 0.001) were significantly associated with decreased desire. Almost all (96%) participants were currently in a partner relationship. Antidepressant medication was currently used by 18.0% of women, hormonal contraceptives by 28.5%, and hormonal medications (for noncontraceptive reasons) by 7.3%. Physical functioning was consistent with general population norms (SF-36 mean ± standard deviation, 53.3 ± 7.6 vs. norm of 50 ± 10), while overall mental functioning was slightly lower (SF-36, 44.7 ± 10.6).

Conclusions.  Within this sample of premenopausal women with clinically diagnosed HSDD, decreased sexual desire was associated with multiple factors, including poor self-image and stress or fatigue. Clinicians presented with premenopausal women expressing sexual desire problems should assess patients' perceptions of their condition to develop a comprehensive, patient-oriented management plan. Therapy may need to address issues with low self-esteem and mood and offer practical coping mechanisms for stress and fatigue. Maserejian NN, Shifren JL, Parish SJ, Braunstein GD, Gerstenberger EP, and Rosen RC. The presentation of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in premenopausal women. J Sex Med 2010;7:3439–3448.