Posts Tagged ‘Librido’

Librido: Can Drugs Help A Woman’s Desire?

There has been a lot of media attention recently on the advent of 2 new drugs being tested for female sexual dysfunction: Lybrido and Lybridos. But those aren’t the only two drugs currently being tested. A drug called Flibanserin had been tested and went to the FDA a few years ago, testosterone supplements including Libigel are in the testing stages and another drug called PT 141 had also been in testing phase. And these are just the ones we know about. Additionally, there are drugs currently being used off-label for women.

So I think it’s a conversation worth having. Can a drug help a woman’s desire?

The answer is yes —  and no.

The most important thing to remember is that lots of elements go into “desire.”  Some of it is a question of intrinsic  (or spontaneous) desire levels, some of it has to do with attraction to a particular person, some of it has to do with how easily or hard it is to have good sex, some of it has to do with the ease or quality of orgasms. And that is just the beginning of the list. When you say a woman doesn’t “have desire” you can actually mean a whole variety of things which fall into the “bucket” of low desire.

So the most important starting question to ask is WHY does a woman not want to have sex? And don’t get me wrong. This is usually not such an easy question to answer but unless you get at the reason(s), it’s going to be hard to fix.

  • Does she not want to have sex because she isn’t interested in sex in general or with this particular partner?
  • Does she not care whether or not she has sex or does she really not want to have sex?
  • Does she never want to have sex or is she only not interested in sex when she is stressed or exhausted?
  • Does she really not want to have sex or is it that she actually wants to have sex but the sex itself is disappointing or downright bad?
  • Has she never really wanted to have sex or is the lack of interest a new thing?

These questions are really important to ask because drugs can address some of these issues but not all (at least not yet).

Although the answer is probably more complicated than can be addressed glibly in a blog entry, I’m going to try…

There are drugs that can probably make you want sex more, but that might be helpful only in certain situations where you are neutral or “blah” and not in situations where you are downright negative or turned off. So if you are angry at your partner or turned off by him, drugs probably won’t be the solution. Drugs, again, might be able to help in a small way but probably won’t entirely solve the problem of 3 years of sleep deprivation, crazy stress levels or living with your in-laws (for example).

What drugs can do is make the sex itself easier to have and make it feel better. It can notch up your desire level a bit so that you find yourself thinking about sex or are able to respond positively when your partner approaches you. Basically, drugs can help, but they are not a magic bullet.  They can’t do all the work for you but they can make it easier for YOU to do the work. And the converse is also true. Sometimes it is just too hard to work on other areas of your sex life when your body has completely shut down or is fighting you. Drugs can definitely help with that.

So, in the end, I suppose I am in the camp that says “Yes, drugs can help!” But even more importantly, I’m in the camp that believes that you owe it to yourself to try!

Have the Sex Life You Desire

Daniel Bergner, is a contributor for the New York Times Magazine and author of several books including, The Other Side of Desire, which  I loved.  He just wrote a new book which was released last week,  What do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire. An excerpt from the book just appeared in the New York Times Magazine and we have already gotten quite a few comments from our patients based on this article.

The article explains how there are several drugs in clinical trial aimed at increasing female sexual desire. The drugs mentioned are: Lybrido, Lybridos, Flibanserin and Libigel. These are all medications that I have read about and researched over the last few years.  There is currently no pill available to treat low desire in women.  I  look forward to the day when a safe treatment to improve women’s desire is approved by the FDA.  I love the idea that women’s sexual health is now becoming a priority. However, women (and men) are complex sexual beings and in order to address female sexual desire, I think all aspects of one’s life and body must be considered when trying to come up with a treatment that works.

Bergner explores the possible causes of low desire. He lists: menopause, anti-depressants and monogamy (due to boredom and increased comfort over time). What he does not particularly address is how quickly and easily couples can become disconnected and often this can make ones sex drive drop. When an individual becomes stressed, fatigued, or angry, testosterone drops. All these factors may contribute to low desire in women.  The fact that Bergner has brought this topic in to the main stream is a great thing and I am hopeful that more can be done to help women have the sex lives they desire.

A Pill for Low Libido?

There was a recent article in The New York Times Magazine that has generated some buzz in the field of human sexuality.  The article was written by Daniel Bergner, a contributing writer for the NY Times magazine and is an adaptation from his new book, What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire. 

The article (hence his book) delves into the latest scientific research on the reasons behind the universally accepted notion that the loss of female libido is inevitable.  Mr. Bergner debunks this popular myth (among others):  the loss of female libido is not inevitable.

We agree with Mr. Bergner!

This article also briefly discusses some of the medications (Lybrido, Lybridos, Flibanserin)currently in clinical trials vying for FDA approval.  As of today, there are no FDA approved medications for the treatment of low libido in women or in medical terms HSDD (Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder).  These medications are being dubbed as the “female Viagra”- a medication a woman can take before sex to get her in the mood.

Here at the Medical Center for Female Sexuality, we do know there is a strong link between testosterone and sexual desire.  Many people know this to be true of men but some are surprised this also holds true for women.  When a female patient comes to us complaining of low desire, we analyze her hormones and often times we do see they have low testosterone levels.  We have found that by supplementing their testosterone levels with FDA approved testosterone gel (for men) as well as by providing sexuality counseling we are extremely successful with improving a woman’s libido.  However, this type of treatment can take several months to be effective.

Take a look at this interesting article and let us know your thoughts!  Would you be interested in taking a pill to “jump start” your libido?