Assessing the Burden of Illness Associated with Acquired Generalized Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of women's health (2002)








female sexual dysfunction; hypoactive sexual desire disorder; mental health; premenopausal; quality of life


Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), which affects ∼10% of women in the United States, is defined as the persistent or recurrent deficiency/absence of sexual desire accompanied by personal distress. Although HSDD impacts patient quality of life and interpersonal relationships, the disorder often goes unaddressed or untreated. Recent studies of the burden of illness in women with HSDD, especially premenopausal women, are limited. A 45-minute web-based survey was designed to investigate the experience of women seeking treatment for HSDD and the impact of this disorder on several psychosocial aspects of women's lives. Women were recruited from an online panel of patients who participated in research studies for compensation. Validated questionnaires assessed sexual function (Female Sexual Function Index) and health-related quality of life (12-Item Short Form Survey [SF-12]), including mental and physical component scores. A total of 530 women, aged ≥18 years, diagnosed with acquired generalized HSDD were included in the study. Premenopausal women indicated greater overall HSDD symptom burden compared with postmenopausal women. Patients with HSDD reported lower SF-12 scores compared with the general population. A multivariable regression analysis demonstrated that psychosocial factors influencing the burden of HSDD, including interference with their relationship with their partner (β = -0.18;  < 0.005), mental and emotional well-being (β = -0.23;  < 0.005), and household and personal activities (β = -0.23;  = 0.02), negatively affected SF-12 mental component scores. HSDD symptom burden was found to be negatively and statistically significantly associated with patients' mental health; the impact was greater among premenopausal women compared with postmenopausal women.


Obstetrics and Gynecology