A new study has found that premenopausal women who aren't interested in sex and are unhappy about this reality have distinctive blood flow patterns in their brains in response to explicit videos compared to women with normal sexual function.
A study of 16 women - six with normal sexual function and 10 with clear symptoms of dysfunction - showed distinct differences in activation of brain regions involved in making and retrieving memories, and determining how attentive they are to their response to sexual stimuli.
Up to 20 percent of women may have this form of sexual dysfunction, called hypoactive sexual desire disorder, for which there are no proven therapies, Dr. Michael P. Diamond, Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, said.
Researchers hope that a clearer understanding of physiological differences in these women will provide novel therapy targets as well as a method to objectively assess therapies, said Diamond, the study's senior author.
"There are site-specific alterations in blood flow in the brains of individuals with hypoactive sexual disorders versus those with normal sexual function," Diamond said.
"This tells me there is a physiologic means of assessing hypoactive sexual desire and that as we move forward with therapeutics, whether it's counseling or medications, we can look to see whether changes occur in those regions," he said.
The study is published in the journal Fertility and Sterility. (ANI)