New National Survey Reveals about Half of Women Report Having Lower Sex Drive Than in the Past; “Deal” with It Despite Resulting Strain on Relationships and Impact on Well-Being

American Sexual Health Association Launches ‘Find My Spark’ to
Increase Awareness for Undiscussed Medical Condition – Female Sexual
Dysfunction – and Break the Silence

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Upwards of 40 percent of women experience Female Sexual Dysfunction
(FSD) at some point in their lives, which is defined as persistent
problems with sexual arousal, orgasm, pain, or desire.2-4 To
help educate about FSD and elevate the conversation, the American Sexual
Health Association (ASHA) is partnering with leading experts in women’s
sexual health – with support from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International
Inc. – to launch Find My Spark. This educational campaign aims to
provide facts about FSD, while empowering women to take charge of their
sex lives and talk to their healthcare provider about any troubles they
may be facing.

While the majority of women agree that sex is an important part of their
lives and relationships, nearly 50 percent of premenopausal women age
21-49 admit that their low sexual desire is putting their relationship
at risk, according to results from a new online Harris Poll survey
conducted on behalf of ASHA of 2,501 women.1 Despite the
impact that a healthy sex life can have, results suggest that too many
women are just “dealing” with low sexual desire and are not taking
action to address their health.1

Key National Survey* Findings Include:1

  • 48% of premenopausal women age 21-49 say their sex drive is lower now
    than in the past
  • 93% of women believe that having low sexual desire can put a strain on
    their relationship
  • 46% of women currently in a relationship feel that low sexual desire
    is putting their relationship at risk
  • 81% of women in a relationship admit to having sex with a partner even
    if they are not in the mood
  • 77% of women believe there needs to be more open, honest discussions
    about women’s low sexual desire in the news/media
  • 67% of women are worried that low sexual desire in women isn’t taken
  • Only 14% of women are aware of the availability of treatments for low
    sex drive/desire

Female sexual dysfunction is a true clinical condition. Countless women
come to me in perfectly healthy relationships and are distressed by
their lack of desire, as well as other forms of female sexual
dysfunction impacting their life outside of the bedroom,” said Dr. Leah
S. Millheiser, director of the female sexual medicine program at
Stanford University. “And the unfortunate truth is that there are a
number of women that I don’t get to see, because they suffer in silence.”

There are four types of FSDs; arousal problems, orgasmic problems,
sexual pain disorder and desire problems.4 The most common
type of FSD is known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD),
impacting more than 4 million premenopausal women in the United States.2,5-6

Having a conversation about your sexual health isn’t always easy,
especially for women who have FSD, who are often told that it’s all
in their head
,” said Lynn Barclay, CEO and President of ASHA. “Our
hope is that Find My Spark sheds light on FSD as a true medical
condition, educates women about sexual difficulties and their symptoms,
and encourages meaningful conversations between women, their partners
and their healthcare providers.”

Through Find My Spark (,
women can access resources to learn the facts about FSD. The website
features patient testimonials and an opportunity for women to share
their own stories, while relating to the experiences of others who may
be dealing with a similar struggle. Women can take an interactive quiz
to help identify potential common sexual troubles and review tips to
open up a dialogue with their healthcare provider or therapist.

About the National Survey*

The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of the American
Sexual Health Association with support from Valeant Pharmaceuticals
North America from July 1 -14 2016, and included 2,501 U.S. women age
21-49 who are not experiencing menopause symptoms. Data are weighted
where necessary by age, race/ethnicity, region, education, income, and
propensity to be in line with their actual proportions in the population.

About the Find My Spark Campaign

The American Sexual Health Association – with support from Valeant
Pharmaceuticals International Inc. — launched an educational campaign, Find
My Spark,
to build awareness and educate about Female Sexual
Dysfunction (FSD) and encourage women who have lost their spark to take
charge and begin a conversation with a therapist or healthcare provider
about any sexual difficulties. For more information, visit

About Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD)

Trouble with having sex or enjoying it are sometimes called female
sexual dysfunction, or female sexual difficulty (FSD). It can be
life-long or can develop over time.3 There are four types of
FSDs; arousal problems, orgasmic problems, sexual pain disorder and
desire problems.4 The most common form of FSD is known
hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).5 HSDD is thought to
be related to an imbalance in serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in
the brain, which have been associated with sexual desire response in

About the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)

The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) is a not-for-profit
organization founded in 1914 to promote the sexual health of
individuals, families and communities by advocating sound policies and
practices and educating the public, professionals and policy makers, in
order to foster healthy sexual behaviors and relationships and prevent
adverse health outcomes. ASHA’s educational websites include:,
(for teens and young adults), and
(Spanish language site).

# # #


Harris Poll. American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) and
Valeant Pharmaceuticals. July 2016.


Shifren J, Monz B, Russo, P, et al. Sexual Problems and
Distress in United States Women. Obstetrics & Gynecology.
2008; 112(5):970-978.


Female Sexual Dysfunction. Mayo Clinic. March 2016.


Your Sexual Health FAQ What are the types of sexual problems
that affect women? ACOG.


Kingsberg SA, Clayton AH, Pfaus J. The Female Sexual
Response: Current Models, Neurobiological Underpinnings and Agents
Currently Approved or Under Investigation for the Treatment of
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. CNS Drugs.


U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social
and Economic Supplement, 2013. Internet release date: March 2016.


Bianchi-Demicheli F, Cojan Y, et al. Neural bases of
hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women: an event-related fmri
study. J Sex Med. 2011:8(9):2546-59.



American Sexual Health Association
Fred Wyand, 919-361-
Becky Vonsiatsky, 413-478-2003