Can Pink Viagra Increase Female Sexual Desire?

Can Pink Viagra Increase Female Sexual Desire?

Can Pink Viagra Increase Female Sexual Desire?

Decreased female sexual desire is experienced by one in three women and is the most common female sexual disorder. There is no known “cure” for low libido in women.

Dr. Keesha Ewers of The Functional Sexology Institute states the potential FDA approval of flibanserin, or what is being touted as “pink Viagra,” sets women and the treatment of decreased female sexual desire back several decades.

Diminished libido in women has many root causes and addressing libido as a singular symptom with a singular medication is dangerous, warns Dr. Ewers.

The experimental drug, being proposed for female libido enhancement, has not demonstrated an increase in sexual desire in clinical trials. Its side effect profile has prompted the FDA scientific advisory committee to rule against the approval of flibanserin twice.


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What are these side effects? Adriane Fugh-Berman MD of PharmedOut, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Georgetown University Medical Center reports the following side effects gathered from studies done on flibanserin:

“One in five subjects (21%) in clinical trials experienced CNS depression (somnolence, sedation, fatigue). Accidental injuries associated with CNS depression occurred more than twice as often in flibanserin-treated patients as placebo-treated patients.

“Flibanserin interacts dangerously with alcohol. In an alcohol interaction study performed at the request of the FDA, flibanserin alone was more sedating than the equivalent of four alcoholic drinks.

“Although the drug is meant only for use in women, the manufacturers performed the alcohol interaction study in 23 men and only two women. Four of the 25 subjects experienced symptomatic hypotension.

“Accidental injuries associated with central nervous system depression occurred more than twice as often in flibanserin-treated women as in the placebo group and 16% suffered from symptomatic low blood pressure.”

In addition, flibanserin interactions with drugs commonly used by premenopausal women, like birth-control pills and anti-fungals, lead to even higher rates of sudden unconsciousness, low blood pressure and dizziness.

Decreased female sexual desire is experienced by one in three women and is the most common female sexual disorder. There is no known “cure” for low libido in women. Could this be because the medical community has been asking the wrong questions?

Dr. Gina Ogden, author of The Return of Desire and Expanding the Practice of Sex Therapy, has the following to say:

“The pharmaceutical search for a pink Viagra is doomed, because there is no simple physiological route to sexual desire. Women’s sexual response is interactive. It involves more than just physical sensation, lubrication, and other signs that can be counted and measured. It involves what women feel and think, and what sex means in their lives.”

When asked for a comment, Dr. Leonore Tiefer, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine, responded with “defeating flibanserin has become an important agenda for women health activists.”

Dr. Keesha Ewers

Dr. Keesha Ewers

What can women with low libido do to find help?

Functional Sexology, a science that integrates functional medicine, sexology, and psychotherapy treats women at the root cause level. From this framework of medical care, a woman with low libido has her entire hormonal system (thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, and ovaries) assessed. Many medications, surgeries and illnesses cause low libido.

Emotional and mental causes for low libido are not commonly assessed for in a typical office visit. Relationship conflict can cause low libido and low libido can cause relationship conflict. Depression and anxiety can causes low libido and low libido can cause depression and anxiety.

There is no pill, no hormone, and no one-size-fits-all solution to such a complex and multi-dimensional experience as sexual desire.

Dr. Keesha Ewers is the founder and chief medical officer of The Functional Sexology Institute.

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