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What is Low Sex Drive?

Low sex drive, medically known as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSSD), is a condition where you may notice a drop in the urge to have sex or engage in any sort of sexual activity. It is something that everyone may go through at some point in their life. However, if this prolongs, you may be suffering from HSSD and you need treatment for the same. According to statistics, about 15 percent of men and 30 percent of women go through this at some point of time but never pay much heed to it.

What Causes Low Sex Drive?

The factors that contribute to low sex drive may differ in men and women.

Causes In Men

Erectile dysfunction

Alcohol and or smoking

Diabetes

Hypothyroidism

Low levels of testosterone

Obesity

Drugs dealing with depression, blood pressure, etc.

Stress and anxiety related disorders

Lost spark in marriage

Causes In Women

Childbirth

Pregnancy

Diabetes

Birth-control pills

Drugs, smoking, alcohol

Hysterectomy

Hypothyroidism

Drugs for depression, blood pressure and pain

Stress and anxiety


Traumatic incidents in childhood, such as child abuse

Symptoms of Low Libido

Low sex drive happens over a period of time. If it happens over a few days, then it is nothing of great concern. However, if the symptoms persist over a span of few weeks then you may consider treatment. If you notice the following symptoms, then it may be low sex drive:

Sex has become less frequent

Your partner points out your disinterest in sexual activities

You feel too lazy to initiate sex

If you have stopped enjoying sex altogether

Sex is less dynamic and more mechanical

There is change in your pattern of desiring sex

Aversion to sex

No arousal even after sufficient stimulation

How To Treat it with Homeopathy?

Homeopathy helps to treat the underlying disease which may be responsible for low sex drive. There are number of cases in which low sex drive may be present without any other disease in the background. Homeopathy offers promising results in improving low sex drive. It helps in following ways:

Treating the underlying cause

Treatment of Erectile dysfunction

Reducing stress and improving your stress coping system

Replacing your antidepressant and anti-anxiety medicines, whenever possible

Enhancing your moods and stimulating your sex drive

Homeopathy is strongly recommended in the cases of Low sex drive or Loss of Libido. The homeopathy drugs that can be prescribed to you for boosting your libido are:

Lycopodium clavatum

Ashwagandha

Argentum nitricum or silver nitrate

Turnera diffusa or Damiana

Perimenopause is a tough phase of a woman’s life. While most of us keep talking about the challenges – physiological and psychological — a woman has to face during menopause little is spoken about the perimenopause phase. This phase is the transitional phase for a woman, the phase between pre-menopause and menopause. This particular phase is denoted with a variety of problem that becomes difficult to deal with – abnormal menstrual periods, hormonal fluctuations, insomnia, hot flashes, lack of sexual desire etc. Studies suggest that this is a phase when a woman can go through depression too owing to the hormonal imbalances. This kind of depression is termed as perimenopausal depression and it can make the existing symptoms of depression go worse.

In fact, a study published in Archives of General Psychiatry noted that perimenopausal women were twice as likely to be diagnosed with the major depressive disorder (MDD) as those who hadn’t yet entered this hormonal transition. They are also four times as likely to develop depressive symptoms as women who hadn’t gone through perimenopause. In fact, in this phase women who had the highest frequency of hot flashes reported having the most significant symptoms of depression.

Women who were at the high risk of developing depression were

Women without children

Women who took antidepressant

Here are some signs and symptoms of perimenopausal depression

There isn’t much of a difference between depression symptoms and that of perimenopausal depression, however, women who face perimenopausal depression experience a severity of these following symptoms

lack of energy and fatigue

slow cognitive function

inattentiveness and inability to concentrate

general lack of interest

feel of worthless, hopeless or helpless

extreme mood swings

irritability

crying for no reason or tearfulness

heightened anxiety

profound despair

insomnia along with hot flashes or night sweats

Why does it happen?

Perimenopausal depression is a trigger of hormonal fluctuations. When estrogen levels fluctuate, the mood-boosting hormones serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain are affected.
Serotonin, norepinephrine along with dopamine helps to keep your mood upbeat and make you feel happy. They also help to lower anxiety levels. But when estrogen levels fluctuate these neurotransmitters don’t work effectively this result in mood swings and depression. It is better to speak to an expert and seek help if the symptoms are getting the better of you. Many women are capable of overcoming these symptoms on their own but if you need help don’t hesitate to look around.

Depression in early pregnancy more than doubles the risk of gestational diabetes, which, in turn, increases risk of postpartum depression six weeks after giving birth, says a study.Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes occurring only in pregnancy and, if untreated, may cause serious health problems for mother and infant.

"Our data suggest that depression and gestational diabetes may occur together," said study first author Stefanie Hinkle from US National Institutes of Health's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

"Until we learn more, physicians may want to consider observing pregnant women with depressive symptoms for signs of gestational diabetes. They also may want to monitor women who have had gestational diabetes for signs of postpartum depression," Hinkle noted.

Although obesity is known to increase the risk for gestational diabetes, the likelihood of gestational diabetes was higher for non-obese women reporting depression than for obese women with depression, the study found.
The researchers analysed pregnancy records from the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies-Singleton Cohort, which tracked the progress of thousands of pregnancies, to understand the patterns of fetal growth.

The study enrolled 2,334 non-obese and 468 obese women in weeks eight to 13 of pregnancy.

The women responded to questionnaires on symptoms of depression when they enrolled in the study, again between the 16th and 22nd week of pregnancy, and then six weeks after giving birth.

The researchers found that women who had the highest scores for depression in the first and second trimesters -- about 17 percent -- had nearly triple the risk for gestational diabetes when compared to women who had lower depression scores.

Of the women who developed gestational diabetes, nearly 15 percent experienced depressive symptoms after birth, which was more than four times that of women who had not had gestational diabetes, showed the study published online in the journal Diabetologia.

The researchers believe that high blood sugar levels may lead to inflammation, hormonal, and other changes that could lead to symptoms of depression.

Women with a history of depression may have lower survival odds with breast cancer than patients without past mental health problems, research in Denmark suggests.

In the study of more than 45,000 women with early-stage breast malignancies, 13 percent of patients previously treated with antidepressants died within five years of their cancer diagnosis, compared with 11 percent of women who hadn’t ever taken medication for depression.

“We did not find that women with depression were diagnosed at later stages,” said lead study author Dr. Nis Palm Suppli of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen.

Instead, women with depression may be less likely to start or continue recommended treatments based on individual factors including a patient’s age, tumor size, the type of cancer and how far it has spread in the body, Suppli added by email.

Many people develop depression as a result of a cancer diagnosis, but to identify the possible effect of depression on cancer prognosis, rather than the other way around, researchers focused on women with a history of depression before their cancer diagnosis, the study team writes in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
They analyzed data on Danish women diagnosed with breast cancer from 1998 to 2011.
Overall, 6,068 women, or 13 percent, had been treated with antidepressants, and another 744, or 2 percent, had previously been hospitalized for depression.

When women had a history of depression, they were 14 percent more likely to receive breast cancer care that didn’t follow recommended treatment guidelines, the study found.

With depression history, women were also 21 percent more likely to die of any cause during the study and 11 percent more likely to die of breast cancer.

The study doesn’t prove depression causes worse outcomes for women with breast cancer.

Even so, the findings suggest that doctors should take extra care with women who have a history of depression to make sure these patients start all recommended treatments and continue with therapy that can sometimes be needed for several years, Suppli said.

That’s because depression might lead some women to miss treatments or fail to take daily medications as directed. In the worst cases, depression may also lead to suicidal thoughts that make women discontinue cancer therapy.

Previous research also suggests certain antidepressants may make some breast cancer medications less effective when they’re taken at the same time.

One limitation of the study is that researchers lacked some data on depression that might mean some women counted as lacking a history of mental illness might actually have one, the authors note. They also lacked data needed to identify women with undiagnosed or untreated depression or women who received psychotherapy without medication for the condition.

Still, the findings highlight the potential for depression to influence the care women receive, said Dr. Harold Burstein, a researcher at Harvard Medical School in Boston and a breast cancer expert for the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

“It remains unclear why a history of depression might be linked to less favorable outcomes,” Burstein, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

“The concern is that depression might compromise standard care,” Burstein added. “For instance, perhaps women who are depressed are less likely to get mammograms, or to receive timely evaluations and treatment for breast cancer, but this is just speculation.”

The whole phase of pregnancy makes a woman witness various hormonal changes, and along with it different symptoms. Some of the common changes include hair fall, postpartum depression, hot flashes, etc. According to a new study done by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland in the US, pregnant women having lower levels of an anti-anxiety hormone in their second trimester had an increased chance of developing postpartum depression. The study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, a woman with an allopregnanolone hormone level of about 3.75 nanograms per milli-liter had a 33 per cent likelihood of developing the disorder.
While a woman having 7.5 nanograms per milli-liter had a 1.5 per cent chance of developing postpartum depression. For every additional nanogram per milli-liter increase in allopregnanolone, the risk of developing postpartum depression dropped by 63 per cent, the researchers said.

Further, the risk was particularly high in women already diagnosed with mood disorders, such as major depression or bipolar disorder.

"Many earlier studies haven't shown postpartum depression to be tied to actual levels of pregnancy hormones, but rather to an individual's vulnerability to fluctuations in these hormones and they didn't identify any concrete way to tell whether a woman would develop postpartum depression," said Lauren M. Osborne, Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, US.

"Every woman has high levels of certain hormones, including allopregnanolone, at the end of pregnancy, so we decided to look earlier in the pregnancy to see if we could tease apart small differences in hormone levels that might more accurately predict postpartum depression later," Osborne added.

For the study, the team included 60 pregnant women between the ages of 18 and 45, all who had been previously diagnosed with a mood disorder.

Using the blood samples, the researchers measured the blood levels of progesterone and allopregnanolone, a by-product made from the breakdown of progesterone and known for its calming, anti-anxiety effects.

No relationship was found between progesterone levels in the second or third trimesters and the likelihood of developing postpartum depression. However, a link between postpartum depression and diminished levels of allopregnanolone levels in the second trimester was observed.

Dr. Vivek  Sahu
Dr. Vivek Sahu
MD - Homeopathy, 17 yrs, Pune
Dr. Aarti Vyas
Dr. Aarti Vyas
BAMS, Ayurveda Panchakarma, Pune
Dr. Manisha Garud
Dr. Manisha Garud
BDS, Dental Surgeon Dentist, Pune
Dr. Sushant Bagule
Dr. Sushant Bagule
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Dr. Amar S. Shete
Dr. Amar S. Shete
BAMS, Family Physician, Pune
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