By: Michal Tamir
Sexual dysfunction can be a major source of embarrassment, taking an emotional toll on both partners. Fortunately, erectile dysfunction medications have done wonders for the sex lives of millions of Americans over the last decade. And while that’s all well and good, one issue remains: There is very little on the market that addresses the female sex drive, and women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) can go through life with a low interest in sex, difficulty in becoming aroused, and inability to orgasm.
One promising drug that was designed to tackle this problem is LibiGel – a testosterone based cream targeted for postmenstrual women. By applying the cream on the upper arm, it penetrates the blood stream and awakens Lady Libido from her hibernation.
The bad news is that this drug, which is currently in the advanced stages of research and development, has just flunked clinical trials. The dual-objective of the trial was to demonstrate that women who take this drug over a six month period experience enhanced sexual desire and an increase in frequency of sexual encounters. LibiGel failed in both; there was no significant difference between women taking the drug and those who were given the placebo.
The drug wasn’t a complete flop: in fact, it did show a slight improvement in both sexual desire and activity – but so did the placebo, but as far as the FDA is concerned, if a drug doesn’t outperform placebo it’s useless. However, this case highlights the delicate interplay of psychological factors in human sexuality: women with a real problem, who got some “miracle cure” – actually enjoyed a better sex life, even if they didn’t receive any chemicals or hormones that could actually induce change. And while the “placebo factor” is a well-known and documented phenomenon, it could arguably play a bigger role in sexual dysfunction than in, say, treating vision impairment or blood sugar imbalance.
Interested in learning more about this condition? There are over 400 online discussions about female sexual dysfunction featured on Treato. While there’s still no magtic bullet solution, it’s always helpful to see how others are coping.