In July 2015, the FDA approved Flibanserin (Addyi), a drug targeted for women who suffer from low sexual desire. For many years men have had multiple prescription medications to treat erectile dysfunction. Who hasn’t seen commercials for Viagra? Viagra was first approved in 1990 for treatment of male impotence. And since then, there have been nine other medications to follow suit. Here it is 2016 and the first drug for female sexual dysfunction has just been approved. In large part, the reason why pharmaceutical companies haven’t been able to invent a drug for women is because the cause(s) of low sexual desire in women has multiple causes.
Low sexual desire in medical terminology is described as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder or Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Desire Disorder. It is defined as a persistent lack of interest in sex that causes personal distress. In 1999, The National Health and Social Life Survey found that 43% of women experienced some type of sexual dysfunction compared to only 31% of men. The causes of low sexual desire in women is multifactorial. The causes may be secondary (but not limited) to the following:
- Physical causes such as vaginal dryness.
- Medical illnesses such as diabetes, thyroid dysfunction or medication side-effects.
- Psychological causes such as depression. Also, psychological trauma from a sexual assault.
- Hormonal changes that can occur with peri-menopause and menopause.
- Troubled Relationships such as an abusive relationship.
Action steps to take if you suffer from Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder:
- Talk to your doctor. Your doctor can identify potential treatable illnesses or disorders such as diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, medication side-effects or hormonal imbalances.
- If you experienced sexual abuse or a sexual assault you should seek professional counseling to help you heal from the psychological trauma.
- If you are depressed or anxious, seek professional counseling.
If you are interested in learning more about Flibanserin (Addyi) visit the FDA at FDA/Female Sexual Desire Disorder