The Causes and Prevalence of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: Part I

Melissa Feldhaus-Dahir


Urol Nurs. 2009;29(4):259-260; 263. 

In This Article

Prevalence of HSDD

In 1999, The National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS) assessed sexual functioning among men and women in the U.S. The survey reported that 43% of women experienced some type of sexual dysfunction compared to only 31% of men. In women, the most common complaint was low sexual desire (22%) (Laumann et al, 1999). In 2005, The Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors (GSSAB) found similar results in a larger-scaled international survey of sexual problems among men and women 40 to 80 years of age. The GSSAB found that 26% to 43% of women experienced low sexual desire compared to 13% to 28% of men (Gingell et al., 2005).

In 2006, the Women's International Study of Health and Sexuality (WISHes) assessed the prevalence of HSDD and how it affected quality of life among U.S. women based on their reproductive status and age. The WISHes study found that 24% to 36% of women between 20 and 70 years of age had problems with low sexual desire. In addition, the percentage of younger surgically menopausal women with HSDD 20 to 49 years of age was significantly greater (26%) versus premenopausal women in the same age group (14%) (Barton, Koochaki, Leiblum, Rodenberg, & Rosen, 2006). WISHes concluded that HSDD is prevalent among women of all ages regardless of reproductive status. Younger women who are surgically menopausal are at greatest risk for HSDD, which correlates with a less active sex life and decreased relationship satisfaction.


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