Send to

Choose Destination
Mayo Clin Proc. 2017 Jan;92(1):114-128. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.09.018. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH) Expert Consensus Panel Review.

Author information

Department of Sexual Medicine, Alvarado Hospital, San Diego, CA. Electronic address:
Institute for Sexual Medicine, San Diego, CA.
Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
Maryland Center for Sexual Health, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.
Sexological Clinic, Psychiatric Center Copenhagen, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY.
Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology, Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Montréal, QC, Canada.
George Washington University, Washington, DC.
Division of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH.
Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin.
Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, and the Neuroscience Education Institute, San Diego.
Department of Psychology and Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
Women's Health Research Program, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia.


The objective of the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health expert consensus panel was to develop a concise, clinically relevant, evidence-based review of the epidemiology, physiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), a sexual dysfunction affecting approximately 10% of adult women. Etiologic factors include conditions or drugs that decrease brain dopamine, melanocortin, oxytocin, and norepinephrine levels and augment brain serotonin, endocannabinoid, prolactin, and opioid levels. Symptoms include lack or loss of motivation to participate in sexual activity due to absent or decreased spontaneous desire, sexual desire in response to erotic cues or stimulation, or ability to maintain desire or interest through sexual activity for at least 6 months, with accompanying distress. Treatment follows a biopsychosocial model and is guided by history and assessment of symptoms. Sex therapy has been the standard treatment, although there is a paucity of studies assessing efficacy, except for mindfulness-based cognitive behavior therapy. Bupropion and buspirone may be considered off-label treatments for HSDD, despite limited safety and efficacy data. Menopausal women with HSDD may benefit from off-label testosterone treatment, as evidenced by multiple clinical trials reporting some efficacy and short-term safety. Currently, flibanserin is the only Food and Drug Administration-approved medication to treat premenopausal women with generalized acquired HSDD. Based on existing data, we hypothesize that all these therapies alter central inhibitory and excitatory pathways. In conclusion, HSDD significantly affects quality of life in women and can effectively be managed by health care providers with appropriate assessments and individualized treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center