For women, passing midlife can deal a blow to their sex drive, however two new studies have offered hope to women who want to get their sexual mojo back.
An important step toward developing a successful and safe treatment for women after natural or surgical menopause is to find out how much testosterone is really needed to bring desire back.
One of these studies looked for that, as well as how much it took to produce other testosterone-related effects, such as increases in lean body mass, in women who had undergone hysterectomy. The other study tested a nonhormonal therapy, flibanserin, which did not meet FDA approval before but has since been resubmitted to the agency.
This new study in women who had very low desire and were distressed about it showed some statistically significant differences. The women who took flibanserin (100 mg per day at bedtime) had increases in the number of satisfying sexual encounters (SSEs) and in a standard score of desire that were statistically better than placebo.
Thirty percent of the women experienced side effects, including dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, and headache, but only 8 percent stopped taking the drug because of them.
The testosterone study included women ages 21 to 60 who had undergone hysterectomy. They all had testosterone levels that were lower than the average for healthy young women.
“Keeping hormone levels within the normal range for your gender and age is the safest approach. Hormones affect many systems in the body, and it takes a large and long-term study to identify side effects. One recent well-designed study in men reported that mortality was greater among older men taking testosterone. More is not necessarily better when it comes to hormones,” The North American Menopause Society Executive Director Margery Gass, MD, said.
The studies were published in journal Menopause.