Is women's sexual desire dependent on a pill?

Mary Jo Rapini

The medical community as well as women's groups and mental health providers are engaged in discussion about a new libido drug for women, which has gone through rigorous testing and still has not been approved. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) keeps us safe and no one wants to challenge their caution with a new medication, nor can anyone in the profession of women's health care or marriage research deny the fact that there is no drug to help women regain their sexual libido. When you compare that to the fact that the FDA has approved more than 26 medications for men you begin wondering if women's sexual desire isn't taken less seriously than men's. Who are these libido enhanced men supposed to have sex with, and isn't it as important for women to enjoy sex as it is for men?

In truth it is complicated. Women's sexuality research is young compared to men, and women's bodies are more complicated and less understood. At this time physicians use lower dosage medications they typically prescribe for their male patients to help women suffering from low libido. But women aren't half a man, they have different needs and sexual desire is less visual for women and less understood.

The medication that is up for review once again and hopefully will be approved by the FDA on February 14, 2016, is called Flibanserin. It takes a totally different approach to low libido because women are different than men. It doesn't increase blood flow to the genitals, but instead it works on the brain. The drug changes brain chemicals and increases excitement in the brain as well as decreasing serotonin which can lower sex drive. The FDA has rejected the medication for this very reason. They are concerned what changing these brain chemicals will do with long term use. These chemical changes could influence effectiveness for people on anti-depressants and that is a huge consideration because many people use these medications.

The bottom line is, when tested Flibanserin helped increase desire by 53% and lowered distress by 29%, and that's a significant effect, which can help save marriages as well as promote sexual health.

If you are one of those women who struggle with low libido, there are things you should consider and try in your personal life as well as your couple life.

1. You should make an appointment with an Urologist because you may be a candidate for treatment that can be safely monitored and help you feel desire again. Testosterone is made in the woman's body throughout her lifetime, however, if you don't have enough, you can struggle with low desire and sexual pain.

2. Anger and resentment are the biggest libido killers. If you are angry at your partner then no matter what medication you take you will not feel desire toward them.

3. A lack of sex isn't healthy, but it won't break up a relationship unless there is a lack of intimacy as well. Try these to boost your intimacy, and make your sexual goal more about connecting than achieving orgasm.

  • Do things with your partner. Cook together, garden together, go dancing or go parking and get in the back seat. Touching, kissing and hugging are important.
  • Massage each other. Touching all areas of the body is sensual and many times can restore sexual libido.
  • Take a warm bubble bath together. The average sex act takes 7min. and a bath takes 20 minutes. Make love making about taking time and loving.

Sexual health is an indicator of overall health. If you struggle with low libido and you don't get help from your doctor, advocate for yourself and continue your search until you find the help you need. Sex is a normal, healthy way of connecting intimately with another. It is good for your body, mind and soul. Don't feel embarrassed. Feel empowered to take care of your physical and emotional health. Sex is a part of both.