According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), male hypoactive sexual desire disorder (MHSDD) is characterized by an individual’s lack of or low desire for sex, which causes him significant distress. Previously, this disorder was grouped into general hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSSD), which both men and women could be diagnosed with. However, researchers took notice of the marked difference between women and men suffering with HSDD, such that 32% of women experience a loss of sexual interest a majority of the time, while only 15% of the general male population experienced the hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Furthermore, women with the disorder could still be aroused, it just took proper stimulation. So, the fifth edition of the DSM included a separate disorder diagnosis.
Diagnosing Male Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder DSM-5 625.89 (F52.0)
The DSM-5 has outlined the following criteria, which must be met in order for a male hypoactive sexual desire disorder to be diagnosed:
- The individual experiences marked low sexual desire for at least 75% of the time over 6 months or more.
- He reports an obvious delay, infrequency, or lack of orgasm during sexual activity for 6 months or longer.
- He experiences clinically significant distress due to these issues.
- The issue is not better explained by another mental illness or medical condition.
Who Is at Risk of Developing Male Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder?
There are a few risk factors associated with male hypoactive sexual desire disorder, as described in the DSM-5. These include psychological factors, physical factors, biological factors, psychosocial factors, as well as medical procedures, which all may relate to the disorder:
- Psychological factors: Certain mental illnesses can result in an individual’s loss of sexual drive and function, including depression and anxiety.
- Physical factors: Physical factors may also affect sexual desire, such as andropause (or decrease in testosterone, which plays a key role in sexual drive). Therefore, older men may be at a greater risk of developing MHSDD because hormonal levels of testosterone gradually decrease with age.
- Biological factors: These include heavy cigarette smoking, a history with alcoholism, and diseases of the vascular or nervous system.
- Psychosocial factors: Psychosocial factors may play a role in the development of male hypoactive sexual disorder as well, such as early childhood sexual abuse, relationship issues, stress, and exhaustion.
- Medical Procedures: Procedures like prostate removal, pelvic radiation, and certain procedures which affect the spinal cord can also lead to issues with sexual desire.
How Do You Treat HSDD in Men?
There are a few treatment options for those who suffer from male hypoactive sexual desire disorder. However, the DSM-5 states that effectively treating this disorder relies heavily on removing or targeting the underlying issue. For example, if the disorder has emerged due to relationship problems, relationship counseling will prove most effective. The following are other successful treatment methods, again depending on the root of the problem:
- Psychotherapy, which can help change behavior patterns
- Hormonal replacement therapy or hormonal treatments, which can consist of creams, patches, and pills
- A change in medication, such as a reduction in dosage
- Mindfulness, which teaches the individual to always focus on what is happening right now
- Antidepressant drugs, if the individual has depression or anxiety
Are you still unsure about what treatment might be best for your specific sexual drive issue? In this video, Dr. Albaugh, PhD, APRN, CUCNS, of NorthShore University HealthSystem goes into greater depth about possible causes of male hypoactive sexual desire disorder and their corresponding treatment methods.
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