Sexual arousal and lubrication problems in women with clinically diagnosed hypoactive sexual desire disorder: preliminary findings from the hypoactive sexual desire disorder registry for women

J Sex Marital Ther. 2012;38(1):41-62. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2011.569642.


Sexual desire and arousal difficulties are often correlated in women. However, no studies have examined characteristics of women with clinically diagnosed hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) that increase the likelihood of co-occurring arousal difficulties. The authors examined combined HSDD and arousal/ lubrication problems using baseline cross-sectional data from the HSDD Registry for Women. Their analyses were restricted to women who could be classified with certainty as having arousal or lubrication difficulties by the Female Sexual Function Index (requiring sexually activity in the past 4 weeks). Results showed that among 426 premenopausal women with HSDD, 50.2% had arousal problems, 42.5% lubrication problems, 39.0% combination, and 46.2% neither. Among 174 postmenopausal women, prevalence percentages were 58.0% arousal, 56.9% lubrication, 49.4% combined, and 34.5% neither. The strongest predictor of combined arousal/lubrication problems was self-reported severity of HSDD. Among premenopausal women, race/ethnicity, depression, and lower relationship happiness were also associated with combined arousal/lubrication problems. Among postmenopausal women, surgical menopause and use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were positively associated with arousal problems. Arousal and lubrication problems were present in approximately half of this subsample of HSDD Registry participants, with distinctions in prevalence and predictors by menopausal status and type of arousal difficulty (arousal vs. lubrication).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Libido*
  • Lubrication
  • Menopause*
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vaginal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Vaginal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Vaginal Diseases / psychology