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Treating Hypersexuality with Anti-Androgens

Tuesday 18 August 2020
Androcur

Table of Contents


I. What Is Hypersexuality?

II. Causes of Hypersexuality

a. Risk Factors for Hypersexuality

III. Symptoms of Hypersexuality

IV. Treating Hypersexuality

a. Diagnosis

b. Anti-Androgen Medications


What is Hypersexuality?

Hypersexuality is the increased need or pressure for sexual gratification. It also is known as compulsive sexual behavior, manic sexuality, hypersexuality disorder, or sexual addiction. People with the disorder may have a preoccupation with sexual actions that continue despite the following:

  • Significant negative life consequences that are the direct result of sexual thoughts or actions
  • Legal problems, career issues or physical concerns related to sexual behavior
  • Attempts to self-correct undesired sexual behavior
  • Making promises to change sexual behavior [1]

Hypersexuality is an umbrella term for an addiction to several sexual behaviors. People that have hypersexuality may be preoccupied with any sort of sexual gratification. This includes masturbation, pornography, cybersex, exhibitionism, voyeurism, extra-marital affairs, or sex with multiple partners. [2]

Participating in the above activities does not itself establish hypersexuality. Hypersexuality is a process addiction. Common process addictions include gambling or spending habits. These are different from substance addictions such as alcoholism or drug addiction. [1] People that have this addiction are addicted to the neurochemical highs produced by their intense fantasies rather than the enjoyment of the act itself. People that have hypersexuality usually spend far longer pursuing sexual acts and behavior than actually gratifying their sexual desires. [1]

a handcuffed hand holding a rose

Hypersexuality can affect both men and women, regardless of sexual orientation. However, it is thought to be more common in males. Like other addictions, people that have a sexual addiction need more intensive sexual stimulation in order to achieve the same levels of satisfaction and relief as time goes on. [3]

Keep reading to learn more about hypersexuality, including the causes, symptoms, and treatments such as Androcur.

Causes of Hypersexuality

The exact causes of hypersexuality are not known. However, researchers believe that the disorder may be a result of changes in the brain. One of these possible changes is to the brain’s neural circuits. High levels of neurotransmitters in the brain may also result in hypersexuality. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These chemicals help to regulate a person’s mood.

These changes may be caused by other conditions, including epilepsy and dementia. Additionally, some medications may increase the risk of sexual addiction, such as Parkinson’s disease medication. [3]

As technology advances, it is now easier than it has ever been to access sexual content and information. Additionally, people can easily find a more intensive niche and specific imagery than ever before. It is thought that this easily accessible content is increasing the risk of compulsive sexual behavior. [3]

a. Risk Factors for Hypersexuality

It is not known what exactly causes compulsive sexual behavior. Although there are risk factors that can increase the risk of developing hypersexuality.

Hypersexuality may be a disorder in itself or a symptom of other mental health disorders. People with other mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety, may have a higher risk of hypersexuality. People are also more likely to develop hypersexuality if they have any of the following:

  • A history of physical or sexual abuse
  • Alcohol or drug abuse problems
  • Gambling addictions
  • A family history of addiction
  • Family conflicts [3]

Dice and gambling chips

Symptoms of Hypersexuality

Not all people that have hypersexuality display the same symptoms. However, this addiction does have several common symptoms. Hypersexuality often worsens over time. [3] It is, therefore, crucial to seek help and treatment when you first recognize a potential problem. Signs that you may have compulsive sexual behavior include:

  • Continually engaging in sexual behaviors that have severe consequences
  • Frequent and intense sexual fantasies
  • Time-consuming or uncontrollable sexual urges
  • Using sexual behavior to escape other problems such as stress or anxiety
  • Feeling tension release after a certain sexual behavior
  • Trouble maintaining a healthy and stable relationship [3]

Treating Hypersexuality

a. Diagnosis

Sexual behavior is private and personal. As such, people with hypersexuality may be embarrassed or find it difficult to discuss this with their doctors. It is important to remember that mental health professionals are trained to be discreet and understanding. Additionally, everything you say will be kept confidential.

Before diagnosing a person as having hypersexuality, professionals will initially rule out mental health conditions where hypersexuality may be a symptom. This includes bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and adult attention deficit disorder (ADD).

A man sitting on a couch holding his head

b. Anti-Androgen Medications

Testosterone levels do not directly affect the frequency or intensity of sexual thoughts and not all men have the same levels of testosterone. No matter a man’s testosterone level, lowering testosterone levels by between 30 and 40 percent has a significant effect on their sexual arousal. [4]

Androgens, including testosterone and androstenedione, are hormones that affect male traits. Levels of androgens can affect characteristics, including facial hair and muscle development. [5]

Anti-androgen medications, including Androcur (cyproterone acetate), can be used to treat hypersexuality in men. The effects of Androcur are reversible once treatment ends so it should be taken as part of a treatment program. When taking Androcur or other anti-androgens to treat hypersexuality, you may be required to sign an agreement before treatment begins. [6]

Cyproterone is a progestin hormone that does not lower testosterone levels but works by reducing the effectiveness of testosterone. Cyproterone binds itself to androgen receptors. This blocks testosterone and other androgens from binding to proteins, which slows down and stops their effectiveness.

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.