There is No Pink Viagra - Here are Your Options

Wed, 09/21/2011 - 08:53
Submitted by Anonymous

So, you have read the previous posts in my sexual dysfunction series, and you have decided that you, dear reader (or someone you know), may have a sexual problem/dysfunction. Now what? If you are interested in finding out what your treatment options are, you should know there is no "pink Viagra". The FDA has yet to approve a drug to treat female sexual dysfunction (FSD).

Not that Big Pharma hasn't tried. Early on, Pfizer attempted to get FDA approval to treat female sexual dysfunction using Viagra and gave up when the clinical trials didn't approach statistical significance. This isn't surprising. Viagra is designed to treat erectile dysfunction, which is categorized as an arousal disorder.

If you go back and read my post Dysfunction Junction: What Flavor of Sexual Dysfunction do You Have?, you will notice that only 14% of women are diagnosed with an arousal disorder. The most common problem affecting women is lack of desire; many times, this is tied in with other complaints (problems with arousal, orgasm, pain etc.), but it's not something that Viagra (which merely enhances blood flow) can necessarily help.

However, Viagra is still available off-label for those who wish to try it out. Pharmaceutical companies have attempted to get FDA approval for a variety of drugs including Intrinsa (the testosterone patch), Bremelanotide (PT-141) (the sex in a can nasal spray), and flibanserin (a failed antidepressant). These drugs had unacceptable risks (heart disease, breast cancer, etc) and were not approved by the FDA, though Intrinsa is available in Europe.

The atypical antidepressant Bupropion (Wellbutrin) is legal, and in some women can improve sexual desire. Theresa Crenshaw, author of The Alchemy of Love and Lust, reports that Bupropion increases levels of DHEA - the mother of all hormones and the precursor hormone to testosterone. DHEA appears to play a greater role in female sexual desire than male. Plus, in a two for one deal, Bupropion also ups dopamine -- a neurotransmitter that plays a major role in the alchemy of desire.

The EROS Therapy Device is the only FDA approved treatment option specifically for FSD; the EROS is a small, clit pump that is available by prescription only and can cost over $300. Frankly, I think a plain old vibrator or a clit pump from a sex toy store would be a cheaper option.

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It's worth repeating.

Betty Dodson's picture
Wed, 09/21/2011 - 11:03

I've said this a million times that the Vibrator is to women what Viagra is to men. A visit to our sex shop makes more sense than seeing a doctor about a sex problem that she is not trained to handle or to even make a suggestion other than to offer some stupid ass med.

How we define sex in America is the problem. Who can manage to maintain sexual interest for many years while living with the same person day in and day out under house arrest in a heterosexual monogamous marriage? And to think society is set up to blame the individual not the system.  

Betty your right, there is an

Wed, 09/21/2011 - 13:57

Betty your right, there is an erectile dysfunction vibrator for men too. And your right about a society that shuts women down sexually. Many little girls are almost embarressingly curioius about sex and outward expressions of that disapear when they're accused of being a slut. So from there the lifelong social conditioning of guilt and shame continues to work back inwards to always continually correct to modesty and moderate the desire and for some eventually kill it.
The penalty for not correcting to modesty is to lose your right to choice and consent, which is appalling.  

Vaginal dilators and the local sex shop

Wed, 09/21/2011 - 19:59

I worked for a GYN briefly who worked with a lot of women who had prolapse issues. He recommended that one woman go to a local sex shop because although he could write a prescription for a dilator, it would be much cheaper for her to use a dildo. My coworker said she worked for a doctor who recommended tapered candles for the same purpose. I always wished that the doctor gave a heads up to the employees of the local sex shop so that when these little old ladies who are not as ahem, worldly as Dr. Betty showed up, that someone could recommend useful products.

Yes, it does seem that rather

Thu, 09/22/2011 - 15:46
LilithLand (not verified)

Yes, it does seem that rather than plunk down that much money on a EROS, it would make more sense to get a vibrator or clit pump. I do agree, Dr. Betty, that for many women the vibe is our Viagra. It pretty much does the same thing. What gets me though, is how the EROS was approved to treat women when Viagra wasn't. From my understanding, they both do the same thing: send blood to the genitals. Kind of weird really. 

you can get dhea in the

Thu, 09/22/2011 - 20:35
lsjbaby (not verified)

you can get dhea in the 'whole foods'of the world. 25 mgs may supplement what you're naturally missing and probably will, then, make you feel more appetitive and energetic.
worth a shot. only of course if you're low.  
you can always stop taking it.

even tho viagra did support,

Thu, 09/22/2011 - 20:40
lsjbaby (not verified)

even tho viagra did support, by measurement, that women werer aroused, (lubricated, vaso congested, higher body temp) women did not report feeling aroused. there is more to arousal for women than body changes. the research done suggests that women need to be more emotionally aroused before they have a "willingness" to be physically aroused.
guess what? we are really different from men.

I would be careful with DHEA,

Sun, 09/25/2011 - 23:59
LilithLand (not verified)

I would be careful with DHEA, I am not sure I would recommend it unless you know you are low in the hormone. As for Bupropion, I should have mentioned that it is kind of a crap shoot. Some women find that it lowers desire, while others find that it increases their sexual desire. I guess it depends on your body chemistry. 

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