Men have the option of using prescription drugs to treat erectile dysfunction, making it possible for them to perform in the bedroom. However, drugs to boost female sex drive are so scant as to be nonexistent. According to MayoClinic.com, the reason for this is that a woman’s low libido cannot be cured with a pill. Your desire to have sex depends on many different things, such as your physical and emotional health — and the strength of your relationship with a spouse or partner.
It’s perfectly normal for your sex drive to wax and wane. The exact cause is complicated. MayoClinic.com cites numerous reasons your libido can take a tumble, and medications aren’t a practical solution. For example, antidepressants, as well as other medications, are known for their propensity to decrease sexual desire. The list of health problems that causes your sex drive to plummet are many and include treatments for cancer, diabetes, arthritis and infertility, to name a few. Drinking too much alcohol and taking illegal drugs can also cause a low libido, as can the stress of everyday living. A low sex drive can be the result of changes that occur during pregnancy and menopause. If your relationship with your partner or spouse is in a fragile state — if you feel a sense of disconnect or lack of love — this is a major contributor to a low sex drive, too.
Prescription drugs like sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil treat male erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the penis and making erection and sexual performance physiologically possible. Although sildenafil may be beneficial to women who experience a low libido due to antidepressant use, they don’t work for most women simply because the root of the problem is lack of sexual desire. Drug therapies used to treat female sexual dysfunction are limited. Estrogen pills, patches or gels can improve your mood; when applied topically in the form of a cream or suppository, estrogen can increase blood flow to the vagina, which may increase your sexual desire. Testosterone replacement is another drug therapy that’s generated a considerable amount of debate. Not approved by the FDA as a treatment for female sexual dysfunction, testosterone therapy can cause unwanted side effect, such as hirsutism and acne. According to MayoClinic.com, this drug therapy seems to be most effective for women whose testosterone levels have dropped due to surgical removal of the ovaries.
The results of a double-blind study conducted the Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas yielded interesting results, announced in September 2010. Researchers examined 200 female participants over the course of 12 weeks; 150 were given the drug tadalafil, and 50 took a placebo. "Women who took a placebo showed an overall improvement in their sexual symptoms," said Dr. Andrea Bradford of Baylor College of Medicine. Some 1 out of 3 reported an increased sexual desire, enhanced arousal and a more satisfying sex life, particularly during the first four weeks of the study. Researchers indicate that simply taking part in the study — essentially their belief that the placebo would work — and talking to a doctor about their problems played a strong role.
For some women, pills and potions may not be the right solution. Making changes to your lifestyle can do a lot for a low libido. MayoClinic.com recommends getting exercise and finding ways to take stress out of your life so you can place more emphasis on intimacy. Kegel exercises — exercises used to strengthen the pelvic floor — can increase your awareness of how your muscles serve to give you sexual pleasure. Focus on your relationship with your partner. Strive for better communication, and seek couples counseling, if needed. Carve out uninterrupted time just for the two of you, even if you have to write it into your schedule.
Numerous herbal supplements claim to enhance female desire the same way prescription drugs do. However, it is important to keep in mind that these supplements are not classified as nor approved by the FDA as drugs — just dietary supplements. By law, these products cannot claim to treat or cure a specific medical condition. Nor do you have any assurance that they are safe to take. If a persistent or recurrent low sex drive concerns you, talk to your treating physician instead.