Since the loss of sexual desire in women is caused by a combination of physical and mental factors, more than one type of treatment is usually required to resolve the problem. “For women it is much more complex. They complain only one problem, says Jan Shifren, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. “So we must be more careful on the modality of treatment applied.” Once the factors causing low sexual desire have been established, possible treatment options may include:
Sexual Therapy And/Or Couple Counseling
“Sex therapy is very effective for couples and individuals, and is always placed on top of the list,” says Shifren. Sexual dysfunction affects both sides in a relationship and should be discussed together or separately with a specialist in psychological problems.
Changing Medications or Doses
If the problem is caused due to administered drugs, the doctor may change the medicine or offer alternative therapies. If it is suspected an oral contraceptive in decreasing secretion of testosterone, the woman can use another formula or a different contraceptive method.
Treatment Of Associated Diseases
There are medical problems which can contribute to decreased sexual desire, requiring medical treatment, eg surgical removal of fibroids and painful medical treatments.
At postmenopausal women, decreased vaginal discharge can be treated with vaginal estrogen cream.
Although no medication or hormone has been approved by the Food and Drug Association to treat sexual problems in women, many gynecologists recommend testosterone therapy for women with low sexual desire to restore the normal level (before menopause) of testosterone. In addition, studies are currently waiting for approval of the Food and Drug Association, a series of testosterone-based therapies in the form of tablets or skin patches designed specifically to treat women’s sexual problems.
For example, Shrifen is involved in a study that includes treatment of low sexual desire in women, the testosterone skin patches. Initial studies have shown that patches significantly improve both sexual desire and satisfaction level compared with placebo among postmenopausal women who were engaged in bilateral anexectomy. She says that a three phase trial is currently running , the testosterone patch, applied to the hundreds of women worldwide and the results will be published soon. For the first time, this study determines the effects of testosterone patches for women at menopause, and those who have undergone surgery or early menopause secondary to chemotherapy or bilateral anexectomies.
There Is No Magic Potion
In evaluating a treatment for sexual disorders, experts say it is important to recognize that there is a significant placebo effect based on patient expectations of treatment. Therefore drugs should be tested with a placebo (a pill with no active ingredient) in order to scientifically measure the effect. This also explains the fact that so many supplements claim to be effective in treating sexual problems such as low sexual desire. Because expectations have such an important a role in sexual desire, some natural products are effective, but is actually just a placebo effect. “It is very important for women to understand that any natural product they use has not been tested for efficacy and safety,” says Shifren.