Female Viagra Doesn’t Improve Sexual Desire

From LiveScience.com by Jessica Ward Jones

After much review and public controversy, the FDA met this week and determined that flibanserin, a new medication that was hoped to be an effective treatment for female sexual arousal disorder, did not significantly improve symptoms of the disorder, and ruled against approving the medication.

Female sexual arousal disorder, also known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder, (HSDD) is a relatively new diagnosis. It was historically known as frigidity, and more attention was given to the concept of the lack of sexual desire or arousal as a biological disorder potentially treatable with pharmaceuticals. When Sildenifil (Viagra) appeared on the market with enormous publicity and profit for the pharmaceutical industry, a lack of desire in women came under consideration as a potentially treatable disease.

HSDD is often defined by a persistent lack of desire or a lack of sexual fantasies. Women with HSDD rarely initiate sex or seek sexual satisfaction. It is thought that as many as 10 percent of American women may suffer from HSDD.

Possible causes may include stress, relationship problems, anger, or a lack of intimacy with sex partners. There are also known medical causes including side effects of certain medications including some antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and birth control pills. Menopause may also decrease sexual arousal and stimulation, as well as depression.

Several potential treatments have been evaluated in the past. Low-dose testosterone showed some promise in women who have had a hysterectomy and oophorectomy (surgical removal of both the uterus and ovaries.) Several other potential medications have been evaluated but showed minimal benefit. Trials with a clitoral vacuum pump have been less successful than hoped for.

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