The discovery of the “blue pill” in the early nineteen nineties has transformed the sex lives of aging men with erectile dysfunction, however not much is known about treatment options for women with low sex drive or libido, commonly diagnosed as female sexual dysfunction (FSD). Erectile dysfunction in men is more physical in nature, where men with desire are unable to attain an erection, but in women it is more of an absence of sexual desire, a condition now called, hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD)
Testosterone given to women in the right strengths and administered in various dosage forms, like creams, gels, vaginal suppositories, lozenges, injections, or pellets, have been very effective at reinstating the desire for sex.
In a large analysis of 46 studies reporting of testosterone therapy in 8,840 women, a research team found that treatment had positive effects on desire, pleasure, and reduced anxiety about sex.
Both men and women naturally produce testosterone, which declines with age in both sexes, contributing to dwindling sexual urges. It is not surprising then that the effects of testosterone replacement in women mimic those in men.
Testosterone replacement therapy also has the added benefit of improving cognitive abilities, mood, bone, and muscle strength which tends to wane as women age.
The debate about Testosterone Supplements for Women
Although it’s common for men to take testosterone to treat low libido, giving women testosterone is somewhat controversial. Doctors are hesitant to prescribe it for women because there are no clear guidelines on how to dose testosterone for women.
Doctors may prescribe a medication called Estratest in postmenopausal women. This medicine has testosterone as one of two ingredients in it. However, this testosterone is a synthetic form and may not be as effective in treating low testosterone. Other treatment options include injections, but the injection dosage strength is too high for administration in women as they were designed for men. Pellets are another option, but they require surgical implantation and lots of women report side effects of excess testosterone. It is not easy to correct pellet induce excess testosterone because of the surgical implementation.
Signs of excess testosterone in women include:
- facial hair
- fluid retention
- masculine physical characteristics, including male-pattern baldness and deepened voice.
Customized prescription creams, gels, vaginal inserts, and lozenges/ troches compounded at a reputable compounding pharmacy are the best treatment options for testosterone replacement therapy in women with low sexual desire. Individualized dosing of testosterone in women should always start with the testing of blood level of the hormone to establish a baseline and periodic follow-up to ensure that the testosterone is not too high.
At Towne Lake Family Pharmacy, we pride ourselves for having compounded quality testosterone preparations for women with great results for over 10 years now. We also make special libido creams that have ingredients that relax muscles and increase blood flow to the sexual organ of women like what the blue pill does for men.
Call to speak to our compounding experts with questions about treatment options for low libido.
Bancroft J., Loftus J., Long J.S. (2003) Distress about sex: A national survey of women in heterosexual relationships. Arch Sex Behav 32: 193–211 [PubMed]
Arlt W. (2006) Androgen therapy in women. Eur J Endocrinol 154: 1–11 [PubMed]
Barton D.L., Wender D.B., Sloan J.A., Dalton R.J., Balcueva E.P., Atherton P.J., et al. (2007) Randomized controlled trial to evaluate transdermal testosterone in female cancer survivors with decreased libido: North Central Cancer Treatment Group Protocol N02C3. J Natl Cancer Inst 99: 672–679 [PubMed]
Braunstein G., Sundwall D.A., Katz M., Shifren J.L., Buster J.E., Simon J.A., et al. (2005) Safety and efficacy of a testosterone patch for the treatment of hypoactive sexual disorder in surgically menopausal women: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 165: 1582–1589 [PubMed]