A recent survey of over 31,000 women in the United States showed that one in every eight women experience a low sexual drive that caused them emotional distress. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as "the persistent lack (or absence) of sexual fantasies or desire for any form of sexual activity marked by distress or interpersonal difficulty and not better accounted for by another disorder (except another sexual dysfunction), direct physiological effects of a substance (including medications) or a general medical condition. This condition is largely under-diagnosed in the United States.
Sometimes low sexual drive can be caused by problems in the relationship or personal stress. In these cases, therapy (either couple or individual) may be able to help in both understanding the stress and learning ways to cope with it.
There are also some medical reasons that can cause low sexual desire:
Some medications, such as antidepressants or blood pressure medication can cause low sexual desire. Your doctor may be able to suggest medications that do not have sexual side effects.
According to an article, “Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder” on Discovery Health, 12% of all women will experience symptoms of clinical depression at one time or another during their life. Low sexual desire is one symptom of depression. Talk with your doctor about this and other symptoms of depression you may be experiencing. Your physician will be able to recommend treatments for you. Some medications for depression can cause low sexual desire so be sure to discuss this aspect of depression.
The fluctuating hormone levels caused by the onset of menopause can cause low libido and decreased sexual desire. Talk with your doctor about treatments to help you.
Based on your medical history and health, your doctor may test your testosterone levels and recommend testosterone treatment.
Some women also have had success using Viagra to help increase arousal.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.