Biology: The Chemistry of Desire

Everyone knows what lust feels like. Scientists are now starting to understand how it happens

Eight years ago, after she had a hysterectomy at age 42, Roslyn Washington was left with an unexpected side effect. Her doctors, who had recommended removing her ovaries as well as her uterus because of fibroid tumors and an ovarian cyst, had warned her about a lengthy recovery period. But, she says, "I was not aware of the fact that there would be a decrease in my sexual life." That's something of an understatement. Washington, an office manager from Silver Spring, Md., who is married and has a teenage daughter, says that after the surgery she felt no sexual desire whatsoever....

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