Table of Contents:
- What is lack of sexual desire?
- Medical tests
- What are the causes of lack of sexual desire?
- Can it be prevented?
- Medical specialist
What is lack of sexual desire?
Lack of sexual desire is the low level of interest in having sexual relations where the affected person does not respond to the will or desire for sexual activity of his or her partner. According to experts, lack of sexual desire is usually accompanied by physical or psychological problems, being common a sexual dysfunction. It is something that can affect both sexes, but is more common in women, who come to feel a great sense of guilt. While in women it affects between 22% and 51%, in men it affects between 10% and 15%. There are several types of lack of sexual desire:
- Primary lack of sexual desire. It affects, above all, women who have never had a sufficient sexual desire. It is translated as the null capacity to have sexual fantasies or scarce behaviors with sexual purpose. It manifests itself during adolescence but becomes worse in adulthood.
- Secondary lack of sexual desire. It occurs in people who have enjoyed a normal sexual desire but who, over time, lose interest in it.
- Generalized lack of sexual desire. The affected person has no desire for his or her partner or anyone else.
- Situational lack of sexual desire. The affected person has no sexual desire for his or her partner but does have sexual desire for other people.
The lack of sexual desire is influenced by organic and psychological causes.
Prognosis of the disease
Lack of sexual desire can be serious in the sense that it can seriously undermine a couple’s relationship. Normally, both partners feel a duty to want to “fulfill” their partner sexually. When this does not happen in either of the parties, the relationship deteriorates, since communication between them also decreases.
Symptoms of lack of sexual desire
People with a lack of sexual desire often make excuses to avoid sexual relations with their partner. Thus, they almost never go to sleep at the same time as their partner and always have excuses or things to do, such as watching a very interesting television program, finishing some urgent work, cleaning up the kitchen, etc. Sometimes it is this “running away” that generates a great feeling of guilt, feeling that they do not respond to a commitment, which generates more nerves as the sexual encounter is delayed.
The patient suffering from lack of sexual desire tends to unconsciously sabotage the relationship, putting inconveniences. This is not helped by today’s society, where we have an overload of stimuli, work and tasks in a limited time: family, friends, work, social relations, travel, leisure, household chores, etc. All this makes the person leave sex in the last place of priorities.
Medical tests for lack of sexual desire
Problems of lack of sexual desire require sexological attention, which will include the study of predisposing factors, related to the patient’s erotic history and sexual education, as well as others more related to the bond with the mother and father, or fear of emotional commitment. Pleasure pathways and other factors related to decreased libido (medications, certain diseases, etc.) will also be studied.
What are the causes of lack of sexual desire?
Lack of sexual desire may be influenced by several causes, which may be either organic or psychological. Among them, the following stand out:
- Hormonal alterations or endocrine problems.
- Being subjected to treatment with specific medications.
- Chronic diseases.
- Metabolic diseases.
Psychological factors include:
- Sexual dysfunctions: erectile dysfunction, vaginismus or anorgasmia.
- Problems in the couple.
- Stress and anxiety.
- Mood disorders.
- Fatigue and tiredness.
- Personal fears of not satisfying the partner.
- Monotony in the relationship.
- Having an unsatisfactory sex life.
Can it be prevented?
Lack of sexual desire cannot be prevented. It is a condition that you never know for sure when it may appear. It is influenced by the causes mentioned above, so keeping track of these factors can help.
Treatments for lack of sexual desire
The first thing that should be carried out in the lack of sexual desire is a study of the cause that is generating it. Subsequently, the pleasure pathways should be addressed. There are neuronal pathways that are related to sexual desire and pleasure. For everything to work well, the transition from desire to pleasure must be full of pleasant stimuli for both parties, in the same way that the sexual encounter must be. People with a lack of sexual desire do not feel these reactions along the way. This is considered treatable when the absence of sexual desire is persistent and occurs for more than 6 months, as it should not be confused with something temporary or punctual.
If the lack of sexual desire is temporary, it should not worry the patient too much, but positive reinforcements will be useful, and to dedicate some time to pampering and taking care of oneself. In these reinforcements, eroticism should be favored with appropriate stimuli. In addition, to combat the lack of sexual desire it is essential to want to overcome it. If the patient is willing, desire can be educated and, little by little, ways of wanting to have sexual encounters can be discovered. Couples therapy and sex therapy can be helpful. In these cases the patient will be helped by specialists in sexology, as well as by specialists in psychology who are experts in these fields.
In other cases, testosterone treatment has been recommended, relating this typically male hormone to the fact of maintaining female sexual desire and response, especially when the lack of sexual desire coincides with menopause. Hence, some specialists recommend treatment with testosterone patches, prolonging the sexual life of women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder. On the other hand, other specialists do not fully agree with this therapy, due to the fact that it causes side effects: alterations in cholesterol levels, voice changes, appearance of acne, increased presence of hair on the face and other parts of the body… However, these effects occur if the dose is not adequate, so the specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics must establish the most effective dose, having done previous studies to restore the natural hormonal balance.
The treatment of sexual problems must take into account all available resources and, for this, a personalized diagnosis is essential to benefit from the most appropriate treatment.
Which specialist treats you?
There are many specialists who can help the patient in the treatment of lack of sexual desire, since the approach can be quite multidisciplinary. Thus, they will be mainly specialists in Andrology, but also in Gynecology and Obstetrics, Internal Medicine, Psychology, Psychiatry, Sexology and Urology.