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Medications For FSD

Because a woman's sexuality encompasses physical, emotional, and psychological factors, the causes of sexual dysfunction are often complex and interrelated. Medications may be used in treating certain conditions that contribute to sexual dysfunction.

The estrogen hormone as a topical ointment may increase vaginal tone and lubrication, which will decrease vulval dryness, irritation, and shrinkage (atrophy). Estrogen can increase the blood flow in the vagina, as well as reduce hot flushes and other symptoms of menopause.

Researchers are studying the role of the hormone testosterone in a woman's sexual function. It is available now by prescription in a combined formula with estrogen to treat women who have entered menopause early because of surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries (hysterectomy). Studies continue on the use of testosterone patches to treat low sexual desire in women who have had their ovaries removed. However, decreased testosterone is a less common cause of sexual dysfunction than the public might think; previous studies have not reported a benefit for most women from testosterone supplementation. (10) Also, and of importance, side effects of testosterone supplementation include acne, facial hair, liver damage, loss of hair, and deepening of the voice.

Currently no medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat female sexual dysfunction, although several paths are being studied, including stimulation of certain molecules (receptors) in the brain and increasing blood flow to the genitals. It is still too early in the process to know whether any of these medications will prove to be effective and safe treatment options. (11)

to treat erectile dysfunction in men. Because of its success in helping men to have erections, several studies have tested sildenafil as a treatment option for women with sexual dysfunction. Early studies show an increase in blood engorgement in the female genitals after sexual stimulation. However, results are mixed on any changes in sexual arousal. Studies continue on sildenafil, which has not been approved for treatment of female sexual dysfunction. (11, 12)

Medication Choices

Currently no medications are approved by the FDA to treat female sexual dysfunction. However, the FDA has approved certain treatments for specific complications of aging. For example, prescription estrogen creams are approved to treat vaginal atrophy.

What To Think About

Some medications may decrease sexual desire. Such medications include:

  • Blood pressure medications..
  • Diabetes medications.
  • Antidepressants.
  • Tranquilizers.
  • Appetite suppressants.
  • Chemotherapy for cancer.
  • Opioids.

APA Reference
Writer, H. (2008, December 22). Medications For FSD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 15 from https://www.healthyplace.com/sex/female-sexual-dysfunction/medications-for-fsd

Last Updated: June 25, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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