Male Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

Male hypoactive sexual desire disorder is an alteration that is related to various factors. We explain what it’s symptoms, causes, diagnosis and possible treatment are.

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder in men is an alteration characterized by the fact that the affected person stops feeling sexual needs.

In situations that would have previously raised his libido, the male hardly experiences arousal. The problem becomes apparent when the difficulties occur repeatedly and whether or not they are in a relationship.

We tell you what are some of the physical and psychological factors that occur in these cases. Of course, the consultation with the specialist will be the first step if the symptoms persist.

Concept and classification of male hypoactive sexual desire disorder

As we have pointed out, this alteration is based on a decrease or even absolute loss of libido on the part of the man. In this scenario, hypoactive sexual desire takes one of two forms:

  • Primary, which takes place if the man is not attracted to his partner, but to other people.
  • Secondary, in which the affected person does not experience any type of sexual desire, neither for the sentimental partner or for anyone.

As for what the evolution of the disorder is, it can develop in different ways:

As a one-off event, in the event that the male has had a normalized sexual desire earlier in his life, or as a chronic condition if he has never felt arousal in natural terms.

Symptoms of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in men

Symptoms of male hypoactive sexual desire disorder include decreased or absent sexual thoughts, decreased interest in initiating sexual activity, and lack of receptivity to a partner’s advances in sexual activity. These symptoms are persistent, last more than 6 months, and cause personal distress or problems in romantic relationships.

The important distinction in male hypoactive sexual desire disorder is that it causes personal problems or relationship distress. Some people experience lower sexual desire than others, but if a person is not bothered by their lack of sexual desire, then it is not a problem and would not be considered hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder differs from asexuality in that it is a lack of desire, not a lack of attraction.

People with Hypoactive sexual desire disorder have few or no sexual thoughts or fantasies, don’t respond to a partner’s sexual advances, lose sexual desire while having sex, or simply avoid sex.

Causes of male hypoactive sexual desire disorder

Male Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

Male hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a complicated disorder with several possible causes. Sometimes several underlying conditions contribute to hypoactive sexual desire disorder at the same time. There can be physical causes, hormonal fluctuations, and psychological causes.

Physical and biological causes

Many diseases such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease can weaken a person’s sexual desire. Similarly, many medications, such as those taken for depression or high blood pressure, can lower libido.Women may experience a decreased sex drive during menopause or pregnancy, when levels of estrogen and testosterone, a hormone that increases libido, drop substantially. Men can experience low testosterone due to aging or illness, which causes decreased sexual desire.

Psychological and emotional causes

Various psychological and emotional factors can affect a person’s sex drive. Anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, a history of abuse, or general stress can affect someone’s interest in sexual activity.

Relationship problems can also be a factor. Low sexual desire may be present if partners do not communicate well, have unresolved conflicts, have experienced distrust, or have had an unsatisfactory sex life over a period of time.

There are several causes that can lead to hypoactive sexual desire in men:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Problems with your partner
  • Problems with your body image
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Hormonal deficiencies
  • Certain endocrine-type pathologies
  • Having experienced sexual abuse or trauma in the past
  • Low levels of sex hormones
  • Medical problems such as cancer, diabetes, heart problems,
  • Multiple sclerosis or bladder problems
  • Medicines such as antidepressants, blood pressure medicines,
  • Chemotherapy and feminizing hormone therapy
  • Menopause
  • Recent pregnancy, childbirth, or lactation (breastfeeding)

However, given this variety of conditions and the usual coexistence between them, it is often difficult to separate those whose origin is rather organic from those others that represent above all psychosocial aspects.

Whatever happens, to the extent that it is possible to identify the different factors that intervene, the way to approach the problem will also be more precise. Let us now look at these categories of variables separately.

Diagnosis of hypoactive sexual desire in men

Male hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a decreased or absent sexual desire that causes personal distress. Personal distress is central to the diagnosis. Sexual desire varies from person to person. What may seem “normal” to one person may not be to another. If a person isn’t bothered by her level of desire, they probably don’t have hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder has different classifications. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is classified as generalized or situational. In generalized cases, a woman lacks desire in most sexual circumstances. When hypoactive sexual desire disorder is situational, it only occurs at certain times (for example, if there is a lot of stress, after childbirth, conflict with the partner).

Male hypoactive sexual desire disorder can also be classified as acquired or lifelong. Acquired hypoactive sexual desire disorder occurs after a person has been functioning normally for some time and then experiences a decline. Lifelong hypoactive sexual desire disorder has no known onset,

The main symptom of male hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a lack of interest in sex. But, because everyone is different, there is no official threshold or diagnostic test that indicates whether a person has hypoactive sexual desire disorder or not.

Rather, the diagnosis depends on how distressed a person is about their low sex drive and whether it is causing other problems. If a person expresses concerns about low libido, doctors will usually try to identify the underlying causes.

Often, starting by looking for related physical causes, a complete medical workup is done, including a medical history, screening tests, and a physical exam.

Unfortunately, male hypoactive sexual desire disorder is underdiagnosed and undertreated. Many health professionals do not mention the subject of sex. Some professionals are afraid of offending their patients or may not feel confident in their abilities to handle sexual health issues. Also, people just don’t know about hypoactive sexual desire disorder and that it is a treatable condition.

Treatments for male hypoactive sexual desire disorder

There are many ways to treat male hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Just as a combination of factors can cause the disorder, a combination of treatments can be beneficial.

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes may be necessary to combat low libido. Stress management, self-care, diet, and exercise can help address certain causes of hypoactive sexual desire disorder, including fatigue, body image concerns, life stress, and weight gain.


Counseling (eg, sex therapy) can help treat the psychological causes of male hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Specialists use psychotherapy to treat psychological conditions or relationship concerns that may be affecting a person’s desire for sexual activity.

Hormonal therapies

Estrogen therapy may be helpful in treating hypoactive sexual desire disorder in some women. Estrogen is a sex hormone that affects libido, among other functions. This type of therapy, called systemic estrogen therapy, helps the brain make the necessary chemical connections to increase desire.

Testosterone is a hormone that affects sexual desire in both men and women. Testosterone therapy is not currently approved by the FDA for women in the United States. Some studies have shown that women may experience side effects such as additional hair growth or loss, acne, liver problems, and clitoral enlargement due to testosterone therapy.


When experiencing male hypoactive sexual desire disorder, it is important to consider medications known to decrease libido (eg, hormonal contraceptives and antidepressants), as well as medication options to increase sexual desire (hormonal therapies, flibanserin and bremelanotide).

Talk to your health care professional about medication options to control the symptoms of male hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

Dr. Ashwani Kumar is highly skilled and experienced in treating major and minor general medicine diseases.