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Low libido and the use of hormones to treat its effects

Review on November 12, 2009

loss of libido herb

A loss of libido is a common symptom of menopausal women and recent studies have shown that this symptom can be treated through hormone based treatments. The loss of libido or sexual drive is a common occurrence of women entering a mature stage of life.

It is a direct result of changing levels in women's natural hormone levels. Menopausal women suffering from the effects of a low libido often turn to artificial means of replacing lost hormones through Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Other hormone deficient women sometimes turn to the natural remedies of phytostrogenic herbs, which have been found capable of restoring lost hormones by infusing the body with plant-like hormones. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is one of the most well known forms of female sexual function disorder and other methods of treating this condition are constantly being sought after.

The prevalence of a loss of libido has been specifically noted in surgical menopausal women. Research has cited that 30-50% of women who undergo oophorectomy, have decreased libidos after surgery. For bilateral oophorectomy the number of women who experience a loss of libido is 50%. While some patients enjoy some success with estrogen treatment to increase hormone production, for others such a process isn't enough.

loss of libido hormones

 The study however noted that with a transdermal testosterone patch, positive effects were clear. A 300 µg/d dosage increased sexual function amongst women who had recently undergone oophorectomy. Such results were consistent in a variety of efficacy end points (the measuring system used in testing). The credibility of such testing is supported by the use of 3 validated instruments scientifically developed specifically to analyze menopausal women living with the effects of a low libido. Hormone therapy in a patch form brings with it certain benefits. This includes an allowance of continuous administration of a drug in a delivery method that doesn't require the drug to pass through the body's first-pass intestinal and hepatic metabolism.

Testing showed that the introduction of hormones in a patch form provided stable test results in halting the signs of a woman's reduced libido. Such testing yielded testosterone results which were median free and bioavailable. Testosterone patches are a growing alternative used to treat women suffering from the effects of a low libido.

Sources:
  • 'Safety and Efficacy of a Testosterone Patch for the Treatment of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder in Surgically Menopausal Women: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial' Glenn D. Braunstein, MD; Dale A. Sundwall, MD; Molly Katz, MD; Jan L. Shifren, MD; John E. Buster, MD; James A. Simon, MD; Gloria Bachman, MD; Oscar A. Aguirre, MD; Johna D. Lucas, MD; Cynthia Rodenberg, PhD; Akshay Buch, PhD; Nelson B. Watts, MD, Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:1582-1589.