Research Describes Baseline Characteristics of Women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

   An examination of the baseline characteristics of women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) suggests that decreased sexual desire may become bothersome for women in otherwise happy relationships and good physical health.

   In a study presented at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ 59th Annual Clinical Meeting in Washington, D.C., Raymond C. Rosen, PhD, and colleagues at New England Research Institutes, Watertown, Massachusetts, described a longitudinal registry study, the HSDD Registry for Women, conducted at 34 American sites.

   A cross-sectional analysis was performed of baseline data from 1571 women (1085 premenopausal, 486 postmenopausal) recruited from public postings or from new/existing clinic patients over an 18-month period (2008-2010). HSDD was confirmed using a validated diagnostic instrument, with data on clinical characteristics obtained by clinician’s medical history review. Participants completed self-administered questionnaires.

   Following data analysis, the investigators found that the average age of women enrolled in the HSDD Registry was 42.9 years. Three-quarters of participants reported that their problem was moderate-to-severe, and two-thirds felt bothered by it frequently or always.  Clinicians noted current depression for 18.8% of premenopausal and 28.0% of postmenopausal women. Current SSRI use was self-reported by 31.0% of premenopausal and 38.3% of postmenopausal women. Almost all participants (94.8%) were currently in relationships, in which most (66.1%) reported being happy or very happy. Many women perceived that “stress or fatigue” (61.7%) or “dissatisfaction with my physical appearance” (44.3%) contributed to desire problems; 67.3% of postmenopausal women noted menopausal symptoms as contributors.

   Dr. Rosen and colleagues noted especially that HSDD was bothersome among women stressed/fatigued or dissatisfied with their physical appearance.