Review on November 05, 2009
Among the most widely known and most feared of menopause symptoms is loss of libido. Menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and migraines, though bothersome, may be less psychologically straining as they do not put an immediate strain on a couple's relationship. Women fear their partners may be dissatisfied and ultimately end the relationship due to the lack of sexual activity. To combat this, many menopausal and post menopausal women turn to hormone treatment in an attempt to bring back their sex drives. Testosterone therapy is often used as an amplifier to an aging or surgically menopausal woman's sexual desire. The question is however, what is the safe and healthy dose.The ongoing debate continues for the loss of natural hormones resulting in menopause symptoms. Testosterone treatment in the issue of sex drive has shown positive results in increasing sexual desire. What remains unanswered however is the right dose to prescribe to menopausal and post menopausal women.
Previous benefits found by Braunstein and colleagues have not shown clear dose relations. Another study has been done in attempts to determine proper dosage.
In the first study, using the Profile of Female Sexual Function, a questionnaire assessed the treatment responses of sex drive in postmenopausal women, between the ages of 24 and 70, who used testosterone to relieve menopause symptoms. A significant increase was found in only two of the seven sexual function domains for women taking 300- µg dose of testosterone.
For the treatment group, sexual desire rose 67% while the placebo group showed a 48% increase. Similar changes were shown in the sexual arousal score. The testosterone treated group reported an increase of 79% in satisfying sexual activity compared with 43% in the placebo group.
However, after reviewing the questionnaire, it was found that 300- µg dose of testosterone, in compensation for the loss of natural hormones, everyday for 12 weeks did not significantly increase "desire" or "arousal" but did increase frequency of sexual activity and "pleasure-orgasm."
Similar results were found in the second study, which lasted 24 weeks this time. Critics/Opponents of this study question if 24 weeks is sufficient time to test the effects of testosterone in postmenopausal women and menopause symptoms. Though the side-effects appear to be "small" they caution that more time is needed to determine whether the pros outweigh the cons. Possible side effects may include an increase in facial depilation, acne, masculinization and dyslipidemia.
Despite two tests done on testosterone dosages administered to postmenopausal women, the "correct" amount still remains unclear. For women seeking relief from menopausal symptoms such as loss of libido, it is strongly suggested that a scheduled consultation be made with their gynecologists to further assess the pros and cons of hormone therapy. In the meanwhile, it is often beneficial to term to more natural remedies to relieve menopause symptoms as they appear to have less serious side effects.