Human beings, by nature, are sexual beings. And sexual desire arises in women as well as in men, albeit with reduced intensity. The American journalist, Mignon McLaughlin, said,
“Desire is in men a hunger, in women only an appetite.”
According to Phyllis Greenberger, founder and first CEO of the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) in Washington, DC, more women report sexual problems than men. Still, research and treatment for female sexual disorders receive less priority.
“For example, from 1990 to 1999, nearly 5,000 studies were published on male sexual function, but there were only 2,000 women’s studies.”
However, suppose a woman has low sexual desire and is persistently indifferent to sex, resulting in her becoming distressed or having problems with her partner. In that case, she could be suffering from a condition known medically as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (“HSDD”). It is different from the normal fluctuations in sexual desire.
According to SWHR, about one in ten women experiences HSDD, making it one of the most prevalent sexual disorders among women of all ages. As found in a recent study, 33% of women from ages 18 to 59 suffer a loss of interest in sex, and it is not just their imagination. Although it is expected, HSDD is one of the most complex disorders to address, as the desire for sex is a complex interaction of several things.
Studies have indicated several common causes for women’s loss of sexual desire and low sex drive. There are physical causes, hormonal changes, psychological causes, and relationship issues that have a bearing on intimacy and the desire for sex. Sex psychologist Sheryl Kingsberg, Ph.D., explains that the sex drive, reflected as spontaneous sexual interest, including sexual thoughts, erotic fantasies, and daydreams, is the biological component of desire.
She says that the sex drive is:
“about your body signaling that it wants to be sexual. Whether or not there is any intention to act on it, we all have a certain level of drive.”
However, with several vital factors affecting sexual desire, it is necessary to study each case thoroughly to zero in on the root cause of HSDD. A critical reason for HSDD in females is the loss or a significant drop in Androgens, a group of hormones in both males and females thatt affect their sex drive.
The main androgens are testosterone and androstenedione, and in women, they are produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat cells. Androgens are vital to human reproduction, particularly testosterone. They peak in women in their mid-20s, then steadily decline until menopause, when Androgen levels dip dramatically.
Although testosterone was used to treat various gynecological disorders since 1930, the relationship between testosterone and sexual desire in women was not discovered until 1940, when gynecologist Dr. Alfred Alexander Loeser first reported it, subsequently confirmed in 1942, by Dr. Robert Benjamin Greenblatt, a Canadian physician specializing in endocrinology.
Many years later, Professor Lorraine Dennerstein, an Australian psychiatrist at the University of Melbourne, Australia, correlated sexual behavior and low Androgen production in aging women and concluded that falling Androgen production coincides with decreased sex drive and fantasies.
Thus, Androgen therapy in women became the principal treatment for HSDD. Dr. Jan Shifren, a gynecologist in Boston, Massachusetts, explains that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has not approved any testosterone product for women due to uncertain efficacy and long-term safety. However, some women request compounding pharmacies to create new formulations of testosterone creams or gels.
Others take reduced doses of products designed for men and risk-taking too much testosterone. “There’s no good, consistent way to prescribe testosterone for women,” she said.
On the other hand, Dr. Alan Malabanan, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, says of testosterone,
“I know many women use it, and there are some preliminary data that show that it improves libido.”
But he also warns about possible adverse effects at a higher dosage.
“Overall if women are really thinking about this, they have to weigh the side effects against the potential for gain.”
Indeed, Testosterone has several concerning side effects, including acne, deepening of the voice, growth of hair on the face and chest, lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, and male-pattern baldness. Although unproven, there is also concern that testosterone therapy could lead to breast cancer and heart disease. In contrast, women who have or have had breast or uterine cancer, high cholesterol, or heart or liver disease are not recommended this therapy.
Women trying to become pregnant are asked to avoid testosterone therapy because its use during pregnancy risks a female fetus developing male traits. An extensive study is currently evaluating a new testosterone gel for women for these risks. However, attending to sexual disorders is complicated.
“Taking a pill is easy. Changing your lifestyle is hard,” – Says Dr. Shifren.
A recent article in the Oxford Academic Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism records the Global Position Statement for testosterone therapy for treating women with HSDD. The position is endorsed by the International Menopause Society, The Endocrine Society, The European Menopause and Andropause Society, The International Society for Sexual Medicine,
The International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, The North American Menopause Society, The Federacion Latinoamericana de Sociedades de Climaterio y Menopausia, The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, The International Society of Endocrinology, The Endocrine Society of Australia, and The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The international panel concluded the only evidence-based indication for testosterone therapy for women is for the treatment of HSDD, with available data supporting a moderate therapeutic effect. The consensus seems to be that testosterone therapy may be considered if other strategies fail, with possible risks and benefits discussed by the doctor and patient before embarking on a plan.
As Dr. Shifren says,
“Low desire is very common and does not necessarily need medical treatment.”
One thing is true, bio-pellets, Anavar, and Testosterone Cypionate are all reported to make females incredibly horny, according to the bodybuilding forums and reports on other sites. Although this is by no means scientific, the words of many happy couples seem to demonstrate this is more than an old wives’ tale.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.