Hormones Matter TM

Can Sexual Arousal Be Bought?

July 9, 2012  |  Elena Perez

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A number of women are looking to over-the-counter remedies for increased sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction, according The New York Times.

No FDA Approved Medication for Female Sexual Arousal

Though the FDA has approved sexual enhancement drugs for men, such as Viagra, there are no such drugs available for women. In 2010, the FDA denied approval for flibanserin, a drug that purportedly increased sexual arousal in women.

The denial may have been because the increase in sexual desire among the women taking flibanserin did not far exceed the increase in sexual desire among the women taking the placebo. It may have also been due to the fact that the positive effects of the drug did not outweigh its adverse effects, such as dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and insomnia.

A low-dose testosterone patch, which was intended to increase arousal and desire in women who had hysterectomies was also denied in 2004. Now, we are awaiting the approval of Femprox, a topical drug that is intended to increase female libido.

At this time, there is no medication available for female sexual arousal disorder, which is also referred to as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD), a form of female sexual dysfunction.

Women Turn to Over-The-Counter Options

Naturally, a woman concerned about decreased sexual desire will turn to other options: Lubricants, arousal gels, massage oils, vibrators, and herbal supplements are just some of the products marketed to get your blood pumping.

When a product claims to increase a woman’s sexual arousal and satisfaction, she may just give it a shot herself, even if such claims have not been backed by a reliable source.

Consider the Options

The problem is that these over-the-counter products are unregulated, which means they do not require testing prior to public consumption. Just as toxins in cosmetics can be absorbed by the skin, chemicals in lubricants and gels can be absorbed by the skin, too.

Though doctors seem to approve of the products, it may be ideal to first consider other factors that may contribute to any decrease in sexual arousal. A drop in libido may be the result of stress, which is most likely impacting a number of women in the US. In addition to stress, relationship problems or a lack of intimacy may also impact a woman’s level of sexual desire and her ability to be aroused.

If your relationship is in good standing and you find that you are usually in a relaxed state of mind, then a low libido may be due to prescribed medications, such as antidepressants and birth control pills. Dr. Irwin Goldstein, the Director of San Diego Sexual Medicine at Alvarado Hospital, suggests determining the underlying issue for using sexual enhancement products. Hormonal imbalances from birth control pills may be the main reason for changes in sexual stimulation, and the libido fix may be as easy as changing birth control methods.

Mayo Clinic reminds us that communication is important to improving sexual satisfaction, whether there are relationship issues that need to be sussed out, or hormonal imbalances that should be discussed with the gynecologist.

If you decide to use over-the-counter stimulants, try to focus on the enjoyable aspects of sex, rather than why you bought the product. The New York Times reported that some experts are concerned that these products may cause women to focus on areas that need improvement, only putting pressure on women to perform – and we all know how difficult it is to perform under pressure.