The REAL reason so many women have lost their sex drive
The REAL reason so many women have lost their sex drive: Drug giants have spent millions trying, but no one’s yet found a female Viagra. Why? They’ve all been looking in the wrong place…
Women, it seems, are increasingly losing interest in sex. Around a third of pre-menopausal women and half of older women report sexual problems, with lack of desire a main cause, according to the Sexual Advice Association.
A study recently published in the journal BMJ Open found that more than a third of 5,000 women aged between 16-74 surveyed said they’d lost interest in sex for three months or more in the previous year. And nearly two-thirds of these women said they found their lack of libido distressing.
This is not a problem unique to women — around one in five men experience low libido at some point, but they definitely have the advantage when it comes to treatments.
It’s now 20 years since Viagra provided an instant fix for men who struggled to achieve an erection, however scientists have not been able to produce as successful a pill to help women feel more in the mood.
Some experts think the reason this has proved so elusive is that many women are dealing with underlying health conditions, from incontinence to menopausal symptoms and pelvic pain, that affect their interest in sex, and no ‘pink Viagra’ is going to sort this out.
Yet for years a female Viagra has been the Holy Grail. So there has been some excitement about a drug called bremelanotide, which has just undergone successful phase 3 clinical trials in the U.S., the last stage before a drug can be licensed.
It was originally tested as a tanning pill in the Eighties but was found to boost muscle recovery. Body builders of both sexes found unexpected benefits — the men reported spontaneous erections, the women said it put them ‘in the mood’. The drug company, Palatin Technologies, switched their efforts to developing it as a treatment for female sexual dysfunction.
The drug works by binding to chemicals in the brain involved in sexual desire, increasing production of the ‘feel-good’ chemical dopamine which plays a key function in arousal. For best effects, the woman must inject herself around 45 minutes before sex.
Trials found it worked better than a placebo but the development of the treatment suffered a setback in 2007 when the original nasal spray version was found to cause high blood pressure in some, leading the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. to halt trials.
The manner of administering the drug was changed to an injection. The latest trials have shown that as well as improving a woman’s libido generally, bremalanotide also makes sex more satisfying for premenopausal women. Palatin Technologies now hopes to make billions from worldwide sales.
But before the champagne is opened, experts urge caution. Not least because bremelanotide would not be the first ‘female Viagra’ to be licensed and promise much —only to then fall short. Addyi was also labelled the female Viagra when it was launched in 2015.