Although Viagra has for years now made headlines as being the cure to suppressed male sexual performance, there hasn’t been anything quite like it available for women. That may soon change though as the FDA Advisory committee voted 16-1 to recommend the drug flibanserin to the FDA. Although the FDA’s decision is still pending, it usually takes the recommendation of its advisory committee.
The drug could be helpful in treating Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) in women. According the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, HSDD is the recurrent and/or persistent lack of desire to have or reciprocate sexual activity.
HSDD affects a surprising 5-13% of women, making it the most prevalent sexual disorder among women. Most women who suffer from HSDD are premenopausal, between the ages of 40 and 60. Currently there is little that gynecologists can offer to patients suffering from HSDD.
The new drug would work by sending chemical signals to a woman’s brain to stimulate sexual desire. But whether the treatment will be as effective for women as Viagra is for men is another question. In drug trials, women taking flibanserin only had up to one more satisfying sexual event than women who were taking a placebo. That’s not extremely convincing data, but may be enough for some women to feel like they have a “normal” sex drive.
Many women and women’s groups demand that women have the right to try a drug that may end up contributing positively to their sex life, just like men have. Advocates argue that some gynecologists currently prescribe other drugs for off -label use to treat HSDD, a practice that is neither helpful nor safe.
At Gainesville’s All About Women, our expert gynecologists know that female sexuality is complicated. A woman faces many changes over the course of her life that can affect her sexual desire and response, including: hormonal shifts, life stress, and health problems. That’s why it’s important for you to always receive your annual well woman checkup. In addition to helping to catch preventative diseases and mental health issues, this visit with your gynecologist also gives you a time to share any concerns you have about your sexual desire.
Your provider can help you make an individualized plan based on your needs to help you achieve a healthy sex life, regardless of age. Keep reading our blog to learn more about maintaining your quality of life as you age, or contact us today to schedule an appointment.