Depression in premenopausal women with HSDD: baseline findings from the HSDD Registry for Women

Anita H Clayton, Nancy N Maserejian, Megan K Connor, Liyuan Huang, Julia R Heiman, Raymond C Rosen
Psychosomatic Medicine 2012, 74 (3): 305-11

OBJECTIVE: Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is a multifactorial disorder that is affected by, and may affect, mental health. Data are from the HSDD Registry for Women, a large multicenter observational study of US women with clinically diagnosed generalized, acquired HSDD. We analyzed complete baseline data from 1088 premenopausal women.

METHODS: Validated measures of sexual function and distress, physical and mental health, and depression symptoms were obtained from participant and clinician questionnaires. Depression was defined as having a current diagnosis, symptoms (by Patient Health Questionnaire), or use of antidepressant (AD) medication.

RESULTS: Thirty-four percent met criteria for current depression, of whom 56% took AD medication. Depressed women were less happy with their relationship, had greater difficulty forming or maintaining relationships, and decreased partnered sex compared with nondepressed HSDD patients. Sexual function was significantly lower in women with current depression (p < .001) versus nondepressed women. Among AD users, those with inadequately treated depression had increased severity of HSDD (p = .02) and reduced sexual desire (p = .04) compared with women in remission. Otherwise, AD use was not associated with sexual function differences among women with HSDD and diagnosed depression.

CONCLUSIONS: About one third of premenopausal women with HSDD presented with current symptoms or a diagnosis of depression. Women with HSDD and depression reported poorer relationships and sexual function compared with women with HSDD and no depression. AD use was associated with sexual dysfunction only among women with unresolved symptoms of depression, and conversely, current symptoms of depression were associated with more severe HSDD among AD users.

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