New Hope for Women with Low Libido

Merely Me Health Guide
  • Have you ever wondered if there is a version of Viagra out there for women?  Wonder no more as clinical trials look promising for a new drug to help women who have what is known as "Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder."

    What is Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder?

    The DSM-IV-TR, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition, text revision defines this disorder as: "The absence or deficiency of sexual interest and/or desire."  The American Foundation for Urological Disease (AFUD) specify the symptoms of this disorder to include the following:  "Absence of sexual fantasies, thoughts, and/or desire for, or receptivity to, sexual activity, which causes personal distress."  Although both men and women can have hypoactive sexual desire disorder, it affects more women than men.  There is some research which suggests that sexual desire in women may dissipate as they grow older and especially after menopause.

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    One of the problems for doctors in helping individuals who have this disorder is that many women are reluctant to discuss this issue with anyone and especially their doctor or therapist.  Add to this, some women are not particularly in "distress" over their lack of sexual desire.  Libido is a complex issue as it can be affected by so many things including our physical and emotional states.  The current treatments for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder include antidepressants such as Wellbutrin, hormonal therapy such as androgen replacement therapy (which can have negative side effects), cognitive behavioral therapy, or even herbal therapies such as the use of Ginkgo biloba or Ginseng which reportedly increase blood flow.

    The statistics about prevalence of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) within the U.S. female population vary depending upon the type of measurement used and the age of the woman.  Some studies show that that between 9 percent to 26 percent of American women have HSDD.

    Low Female Libido?  We get it!  Now tell us about this Female Viagra.

    I saved the best for last.  In recent clinical trials a drug called "Flibanserin" was given to women who have HSDD with promising results.  According to this news source researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine concluded that: "... treatment with 100 milligrams of flibanserin once a day was associated with significant improvements versus placebo in the number of satisfying sexual events (SSE) reported, sexual desire (as measured by eDiary and FSFI desire domain), a reduction in distress associated with sexual dysfunction (as measured by FSDS-R and its Item 13), and sexual functioning as measured by FSFI."

    Flibanserin was originally marketed as an anti-depressant but they found it ineffective for the treatment of depression but then found that it did increase libido in the female population who took the drug.  Right now this drug is not available to anyone except those who are involved in the clinical trials.  The public must wait for FDA approval before it is available to the general population for the purpose of treating HSDD.

  • This new drug just may have the potential to give hope to women who are in distress that their diminished libido is affecting their enjoyment of sexual relations with their partner.  Only time will tell if this medication will be an effective treatment for HSDD.

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    If you want more information about Flibanserin you may vist the Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals web site, the manufacturer of flibanserin.

    Simon, J.A.(2009, July) Opportunities in intervention for HSDD. The Journal of Family Practice (Vol 58 No. 7).

    Viagra for Women?  Drug Developed as Antidepressant Effective as Treating Low Libido (2009, November) Retrieved from Newswise

Published On: December 28, 2009