Posts Tagged ‘FSD’

Woman Can Turn On Just Like Men-Addyi, Female Viagra

October 27, 2015

Women have been waiting for decades to catch up with men in the area of intimacy with their partners. Men have been fortunate that Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra have worked wonders for millions of American men. Today there is a female Viagra, called Addyi or flibanserin that is helping women with a decreased sexual desire.

Experts are calling Addyi, the so-called “female Viagra” that’s become the first-ever FDA-approved pill for hypoactive sexual desire disorder, a revolution for women’s sexual health.

The approval of Addyi is the most important advancement in female sexual health since the oral contraceptive was approved in 1960.

It validates women’s right to treatment for sexual problems and their right to sexual health. Let the truth be told that Addyi validates that there is as much biology as psychology with regard to women’s sexual function and this is the same for men.
Addyi also known as the “little pink pill,” doesn’t work the same way that Viagra does in men. Instead of affecting blood flow to the genitals, as Viagra does, Addyi targets certain serotonin receptors in the central nervous system within the brain —similar to how anti-depression medications target other receptors — in order to improve sexual desire.

Until Addyi there were no FDA-approved drugs that targeted low sexual desire in either men or women. The FDA’s approval of Addyi to the breakthrough in men’s sexual health research when Viagra was first approved in 1998. Before then, doctors told men that erectile dysfunction was all in their heads and the only treatment offered men was testosterone which was seldom effective. Now, in 2015, we accept that there are physical reasons such as diabetes, heart disease, and hundreds of medications that result in men not being able to obtain or sustain erections. Addyi’s introduction to the marketplace could do the same for the estimated 5.5 million to 8.6 million U.S. women suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder, meaning a chronic lack of interest in sex.

Addyi was originally formulated as an anti-depressant. While it failed to treat depression, researchers noticed that it did increase sexual desire. Sprout Pharmaceuticals then tested it for safety and effectiveness in more than 11,000 women before winning the recent FDA approval. In three randomized studies women who took Addyi had between one-half to one more satisfying sexual event per month on average than women who took placebo pills. It also increased sexual desire as compared to the placebo, as well as lowered distress related to sexual desire dysfunction.

Although the root causes of low sexual desire in women include relationship issues and changing hormone levels due to aging.

The drug’s side effects, which include severely low blood pressure and loss of consciousness if taken with alcohol, are comparable to the side effects of psychoactive medications that were able to win FDA approval far more easily than Addyi. The most common side effects were dizziness, sleepiness, nausea and fatigue, which is why the pill is recommended for use before bed.

Bottom Line: Women with decreased sexual desire now have a medication that may solve that problem. Addyi has now been approved by the FDA for the treatment of low sexual desire in women. For more information, speak to your physician.

It Has Finally Arrived-A Female Viagra

June 27, 2015

For nearly two decades men have had oral medication, Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis, to help them obtain and maintain an erection to help them engage successfully in sexual intimacy. Now, at last, there is a female Vaigra.

The first “female Viagra” came one step closer to coming to market as a key advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration voted in June to recommend that the FDA approve the drug, flibanserin, for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction.

The drug is designed to boost the low sexual desire of otherwise healthy women. The FDA is expected to render a final decision by the end of the summer.

The drug has potential side effects which include fainting, nausea, dizziness, sleepiness and low-blood pressure and may outweigh its benefits for some women.

But after an afternoon of emotional testimony from women who suffer from low sexual desire, the majority of committee members said that, with proper warning labels and education, the drug should be made available to women who now have nothing.

Studies have shown that the drug works better than placebo to boost women’s sexual desire, increased the number of sexually satisfying events and lowered women’s distress at the loss of their libido.

Bottom Line: The jury is not out on flibanserin but it certainly is a move by the pharmaceutical industry that recognizes that it takes two to tango and women should be included in the intimacy equation.

New Agent for Female Sexual Dysfunction Has Promise

May 2, 2014

Female sexual dysfunction, decreased sex drive, decreased vaginal lubrication, and lack of orgasm, is more common than male sexual dysfunction or erectile dysfunction. Unfortunately, until recently no treatment has been found to be effective for female sexual dysfunction.

A new drug, bremelanotide, appeared to reduce distress and increase satisfaction among premenopausal women with female sexual dysfunction, researchers reported here.

In a study that specifically looked at decreased sexual desire reported that treatment with bremelanotide resulted in women boosting the number of satisfactory sexual events in a month.

Patients taking bremelanotide reported more nausea, flushing, and headaches than those on placebo. About 10% of the woman using bremelanotide withdrew from the study because of adverse events, but the drug was generally well tolerated.

Bremelanotide is now awaiting approval from the FDA.

Bottom Line: Female sexual dysfunction affects millions of women. Until now little could be done to help women regain their desire for intimacy. The FDA is now looking into the use of bremelanotide as a solution for this common problem.

Sex Drive In The Tank? DHEA Is An Option

February 13, 2013

Women with a decreased sex drive or decreased libido now have treatments that can restore their interest and enthusiasm for sexual intimacy. Options include testosterone, yes the hormone produced in the testicles of men, but also produced in small amounts in women and is responsible for a women’s sex drive. Testosterone is available in pills, lozenges, patches, gels injections, and small rice-sized pellets inserted underneath the skin. Although there are advantages and disadvantages to each, most gynecologists and urologists will not prescribe pills, which can increase the risk of liver toxicity and lower levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol).

A slightly “milder” alternative to testosterone is DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). This steroid hormone is converted to testosterone. Supplementary DHEA, which is available in pill or cream form, increases testosterone levels by one-and-a-half to two times. So it’s not surprising that DHEA provides many of the same therapeutic benefits, including increased sexual interest and enhanced physical and mental satisfaction.

If you think you might be a candidate for testosterone therapy, here’s what to do:
Have your testosterone, DHEA and estrogen levels measured. Normal concentrations of testosterone range from between 25 and 100 nanograms per milliliter of blood.
Eat a well-balanced diet to stabilize your hormones Fiber and foods rich in minerals, such as potassium and magnesium can help balance hormones. Tofu, tempeh and other soy products are excellent sources of phytoestrogens, plant compounds that behave like mild estrogens in the body, helping relieve menopausal symptoms. Other sources of phytoestrogens include apples, alfalfa, cherries, potatoes, rice, wheat and yams. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will also help maintain optimal health as you transition into menopause.
If you begin androgen therapy, be sure to report any side effects, such as acne, deepening of your voice, go to your doctor so he or she can monitor your progress and decrease your dosage as necessary.

Bottom Line: Although it is not for everyone, emerging research may reveal androgen to be one of the most promising therapies available to menopausal women. Sexuality and vitality need not be passing pleasures of youth.

This was modified from “Testosterone: A Major Breakthrough for Menopausal Women”. This article appeared in Fit & Health and can be accessed at: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/women/menopause/testosterone-major-breakthrough-for-menopausal-women5.htm

Female Sexual Dysfunction-Women, You Can Be Helped

January 20, 2013

It is of interest that women have just as many sexual problems as men. In the past 15 years, more attention has been given to male sexual problems, mostly erectile dysfunction, as medications have been available for treating this common condition. Now women with decreased desire, decreased lubrication, decrased aroiusal, and lack of orgasm can now be treated.

What Causes Sexual Dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction in women can be a result of a physical and\or psychological problem.

Physical causes. Many physical and/or medical conditions can cause problems with sexual function. These conditions include diabetes, heart disease, neurological diseases, hormonal imbalances, menopause plus such chronic diseases as kidney disease or liver failure, and alcoholism or drug abuse. In addition, the side effects of certain medications, including some antidepressant drugs, can affect sexual desire and function.
Psychological causes. These include work-related stress and anxiety, concern about sexual performance, marital or relationship problems, depression, feelings of guilt, or the effects of a past sexual trauma.

The most common problems related to sexual dysfunction in women include:

Inhibited sexual desire. This involves a lack of sexual desire or interest in sex. Many factors can contribute to a lack of desire, including hormonal changes associated with menopause, medical conditions and treatments (for example, cancer and chemotherapy), depression, pregnancy, stress, and fatigue. Boredom with regular sexual routines also may contribute to a lack of enthusiasm for sex, as can lifestyle factors, such as careers and the care of children.
Inability to become aroused. For women, the inability to become physically aroused during sexual activity often involves insufficient vaginal lubrication. This inability also may be related to anxiety or inadequate stimulation.
Lack of orgasm. An absence of orgasm can be caused by a woman’s sexual inhibition, inexperience, lack of knowledge, and psychological factors such as guilt, anxiety, or a past sexual trauma or abuse. Other factors contributing to an absent orgasm include insufficient stimulation, certain medications, and chronic diseases.
Painful intercourse. Pain during intercourse can be caused by pelvic organ prolapse, endometriosis, a pelvic mass, ovarian cysts, vaginitis, poor lubrication, the presence of scar tissue from surgery, or a sexually transmitted disease. A condition called vaginismus is a painful, involuntary spasm of the muscles that surround the vaginal entrance. It may occur in women who fear that penetration will be painful and also may stem from a sexual phobia or from a previous traumatic or painful experience.

The diagnosis of female sexual dysfunction begins with a physical exam and a thorough evaluation of symptoms. The doctor performs a pelvic exam to evaluate the health of the reproductive organs and a Pap smear to detect changes in the cells of the cervix (to check for cancer or a pre-cancerous condition).

An evaluation of your attitudes regarding sex, as well as other possible contributing factors (such as fear, anxiety, past sexual trauma/abuse, relationship problems, or alcohol or drug abuse) will help the doctor understand the underlying cause of the problem and make appropriate treatment recommendations.

Treatment of Female Sexual Dysfunction

Most types of sexual problems can be corrected by treating the underlying physical or psychological problems which include:

Providing education. Education about human anatomy, sexual function, and the normal changes associated with aging, as well as sexual behaviors and appropriate responses, may help a woman overcome her anxieties about sexual function and performance.
Enhancing stimulation. This may include the use of erotic materials (videos or books), masturbation, and changes in sexual routines.
Providing distraction techniques. Erotic or non-erotic fantasies; exercises with intercourse; music, videos, or television can be used to increase relaxation and eliminate anxiety.
Encouraging non-coital behaviors. Non-coital behaviors (physically stimulating activity that does not include intercourse), such as sensual massage, can be used to promote comfort and increase communication between partners.
Minimizing pain. Using sexual positions that allow the woman to control the depth of penetration may help relieve some pain. Vaginal lubricants can help reduce pain caused by friction, and a warm bath before intercourse can help increase relaxation.

The success of treatment for female sexual dysfunction depends on the underlying cause of the problem. The outlook is good for dysfunction that is related to a treatable or reversible physical condition. Mild dysfunction that is related to stress, fear, or anxiety often can be successfully treated with counseling, education, and improved communication between partners.

Hormones play an important role in regulating sexual function in women. With the decrease in the female hormone estrogen that is related to aging and menopause, many women experience some changes in sexual function as they age, including poor vaginal lubrication and decreased genital sensation. Low levels of the male hormone testosterone also contribute to a decline in sexual arousal, genital sensation, and orgasm. Women can use a topical gel containing testosterone or receive a small pellet of testosterone, the size of a grain of rice, placed under the skin which can result in enhancement of their libido and sex drive.

Many women experience changes in sexual function after a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus). These changes may include a loss of desire, and decreased vaginal lubrication and genital sensation. These problems may be associated with the hormonal changes that occur with the loss of the uterus. Furthermore, nerves and blood vessels critical to sexual function can be damaged during the surgery.

The loss of estrogen following menopause can lead to changes in a woman’s sexual functioning. Emotional changes that often accompany menopause can add to a woman’s loss of interest in sex and/or ability to become aroused. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or vaginal lubricants may improve certain conditions, such as loss of vaginal lubrication and genital sensation, which can create problems with sexual function in women.

I think it is important to mention that some postmenopausal women report an increase in sexual satisfaction. This may be due to decreased anxiety over getting pregnant. In addition, postmenopausal woman often have fewer child-rearing responsibilities, allowing them to relax and enjoy intimacy with their partners.

Bottom Line: Many women experience a problem with sexual function from time to time. However, when the problems are persistent, they can cause distress for the women and her partner, and can have a negative impact on their relationship. If you consistently experience these problems, see your doctor for evaluation and treatment.

For more information on women’s health, I suggest my new book, What’s Going On Down There-Everything You Need To KnowAbout Your Pelvic Health. the book is available from Amazon.com

New book on women's health

New book on women’s health

Viagra For Women -A New Drug To Help Women Achieve An Orgasm

October 30, 2012

It seems a bit unfair that men have access to medications such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis to treat erectile dysfunction or impotence. There are also hormones that men can take if they have low testosterone and suffer from a decreased libido. But what about women who have decreased sex desire or decreased lubrication? Now there is a treatment for women who have sexual dysfunction.

There is a the spray that can boost the sex drive of one in three women. Tefina is a testosterone gel that is sprayed up the nose. Researchers say that the testosterone is then absorbed within minutes and will become effective two hours after it is administered for up to six hours.

Researchers said the drug will be taken in the context of sexual activity, but will produce no adverse testosterone-related side effects like bad skin, body or facial hair or a deepened voice.

Researchers say that Tefina will be used as needed and that the drug will be used with the intention that it will increase the occurrence of orgasm for pre-menopausal women with sexual dysfunction or anorgasmia.

I anticipate the treatment will work like Viagra for women. Rather than a long-term, therapy-based approach, this drug can be taken when a woman anticipates sexual activity. For women with low sexual interest, testosterone therapy not only improves sexual desire and arousal, but also enhances a woman’s ability to reach orgasm.

Up to a third of women are affected by life-long problem of difficulty achieving orgasm after ample sexual stimulation, researchers say that until now the only available treatments are psychotherapy and sex therapy.
The new drug would be most helpful for patients who say that sex has become a chore rather than a pleasurable experience.

It has been shown through many documented studies that women who report poor sexual functioning have lower wellbeing, despite not being depressed. Doctors have little to offer women who are experiencing an absence of orgasms, and this could be a breakthrough study for women who currently are frustrated by the lack of any treatment option
.
Clinical trials are taking place in the US and Canada and researchers are currently recruiting participants between the ages of 18 and 49 who experience an absence of orgasm to take part in clinical trials in Australia.

Bottom Line: Men have treatment options for the treatment of erectile dysfunction or impotence. On the horizon is a new treatment for women with sexual problems.

Don’t Let Anti-Depressants Rain on Your Love Life

September 24, 2011

B.B., a 52-year old lady, had a history of depression, which has been controlled with Prozac. She noted a waning of her libido or sexual desire. She consulted with her doctor who prescribed the Prozac and he changed her medication to Wellbutrin, which allowed her libido to return to normal, and controlled her depression as well.
Sexual dysfunction, which includes loss of libido, decrease in arousal or vaginal dryness for women and decreased libido, and erectile dysfunction in men, is common in both men and women with depression. If that wasn’t bad enough, the treatment for depression with the antidepressant medication can cause sexual dysfunction. It is estimated that 30-70% of men and women who use antidepressant medication, such as Celexa, Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft and Remeron, experience a sexual dysfunction. The lowest rate of sexual side effects occurred in patients taking Wellbutrin.
Many men and women who experience these side effects of the medication may try to resolve the problem by stopping the use of their antidepressant medication. This should be avoided, as restoring sexual intimacy is not a good trade off if the depression returns. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this dilemma for those who suffer from depression or for those who require the use of antidepressant medications.
How do you know if your antidepressant is causing sexual problems? Experts say that the trouble is probably the result of the medication if a person who did not previously have sexual dysfunction experiences problems within two to three months of beginning antidepressant treatment.
What To Do

First and most importantly, do not make any changes in your treatment regimen without first consulting your physician. Here are some suggestions which you might discuss with your physician:

1. If you are experiencing sexual side effects from your antidepressant medication, your doctor may consider switching you to Wellbutrin, which has a low rate of sexual side effects. Wait to see if sexual side effects abate.
2. Consider taking your medication after you have engaged in sexual intimacy.
3. With your doctor’s permission you may consider a drug holiday. A drug holiday involves taking a short break from your antidepressant. By taking periodic two-day breaks from antidepressant treatment can lower the rate of sexual side effects during the drug holiday without increasing the risk of a relapse or recurrence of depressive symptoms.

Bottom Line: Sexual side effects are common in men and women with depression. Most men and women can be restored to a meaningful sexual function by sharing with your doctor your concern and having him\her making changes and adjustments in your medication or changing to another drug as described in my patient B.B.

New YouTube video on female sexual dysfunction-When It’s No Longer Fun “Down There”

January 12, 2011

Dr. Neil Baum, urologist Please see my video on “female sexual dysfunction” on YouTube. To see video go to: http://bit.ly/hfZafP

Hypoactive Sexual Desire- or I’ve Got a Headache!

April 25, 2010

He: “Are you in the mood?”

She: “Naw, I’ve got a headache!”

If you are a female and you experience these feelings about loss of desire for sexual intimacy, you may have hypoactive sexual desire (HSD).  In other words, you’re rarely in the mood; you neither initiate sex nor seek stimulation. Hypoactive sexual desire is the most common form of female sexual dissatisfaction and occurs when there is a persistent lack of desire or absence of sexual fantasies.

Lack of desire often occurs as a result of problems with your partner.  Communications problems, anger, a lack of trust, a lack of connection and a lack of intimacy can all adversely affect a woman’s sexual response and interest.  If this sounds like you, counseling and therapy with your partner is probably your No. 1 treatment option to overcome HSD.

In addition to psychological causes there are medical causes of HSD.
Many commonly prescribed drugs, such as antihypertensives, antidepressants and birth control pills, interfere with sex drive, arousal and orgasm by affecting the balance of sexual hormones and the transmission of chemical messengers. Antidepressants, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), combat depression by increasing the production of serotonin in the brain. Although serotonin may decrease depression, it also dampens sexual desire.

The onset of menopause, either surgically produced by removing the ovaries or naturally as a consequence of aging, is characterized by a gradual decline of the hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Reduced testosterone levels can lead to a decline in libido. Ironically, the conventional hormone replacement regime of estrogen given to relieve menopausal symptoms can make matters worse, because estrogen increases a protein (called steroid hormone-binding globulin) in the blood that binds to testosterone, causing testosterone to become less available to the body.

Depression is also associated with HSD. A common symptom of depression is diminished sex drive, which, in turn, can exacerbate depression. Studies indicate that 12 percent of all women will experience clinical depression at some point in their lives. One of the side effects of the popular antidepressants Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft is loss of libido. Even with a lower-grade form of depression that is not easily recognized because you can function with it. A woman with depression may feel isolated and overwhelmed and withdraw from sex and social activities.

Overcoming HSD
If you’re suffering from loss of libido and think there is a medical basis for your problem, here are some solutions to consider:

Talk to your doctor about testosterone, especially if you have had your ovaries removed, are taking estrogen or under severe stress. Get your testosterone level evaluated and if it is below 20 nanograms per deciliter, consider starting testosterone therapy. Testosterone is central to a woman’s sexual function that no amount of sexual stimulation can make up for its absence.  Using testosterone to treat FSD has not been approved by the FDA, so you’ll need to find a physician open to prescribing it to treat lack of sexual desire. If you are already on hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor to add testosterone to your regimen.

Switch to medications known to have less effect on sexual function or lower dosages. The antidepressants Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil, of which women are major consumers, cause loss of libido in as many as 60 percent of patients. I suggest asking your doctor to change to an antidepressant that has less sexual side effects like Celexa, Wellbutrin, BuSpar, Serzone or Effexor.

Viagra, the little blue pill used to treat erectile dysfunction in men, may help jump-start your sex life as long as you have the desire to engage in sex and have been stimulated enough for it to take effect,. It’s especially helpful if your lack of desire is related to hysterectomy or menopause. Doctors aren’t exactly sure how Viagra helps rekindle lust but it helps women achieve arousal, which is the phase that comes after desire, by increasing blood flow to the vagina, clitoris and labia.

For more information contact your physician or find a physician who has experience treating HSD.  I also recommend the best-selling book For Women Only by Jennifer and Laura Berman.

Sex and the Senior Citizen

March 22, 2010

Just because a person is aged, confined to bed, or even has Alzheimer’s Disease does not mean that they do not wish to be sexual. My elderly mother is in a nursing home and I have seen several men having a physical relationship with the women. This is often as minimal as handholding but the desire for intimacy is still ever-present. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner even gave permission for her husband with Alzheimer’s disease to have a physical relationship with another woman in his nursing home. So what can people expect about sexuality in their advancing years?

As we grow older there are expected and normal changes that take place that causes some alternations in the ability to be sexually intimate. These changes take place in both men and women. There are some women who enjoy sex more as they get older. The fear of pregnancy or the anxiety of having youngsters enter the room during sexual intimacy is no longer an issue. Now they may feel freer to enjoy sex.

As women age there are normal changes in the woman’s vagina especially after menopause. The vagina does not lubricate as easily and as quickly and the vagina may shorten making sexual intimacy painful. However, with the assistance of lubrication, most of these issues can be resolved.

With aging a man often notices that he has difficulty obtaining and maintaining an erection. An erection may require more genital stimulation and the erection is not as rigid as in former years. This can often be remedied by longer periods of foreplay. Men will also notice that the force and volume of the ejaculate decreases with age and the erection will subside in seconds after ejaculation occurs. Erection problems are more common in men with high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

There are large numbers of drugs that can decrease the libido or sex drive in both men and women. Drugs used to treat depression such as the Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRls) are an example of medications that may affect the libido in both sexes. Also medications used to treat high blood pressure, antihistamines, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants, diabetes drugs, and some ulcer drugs like ranitidine can diminish a man’s erection. If you are taking one or several of these medications, check first with your doctor before you discontinue the medication as the doctor can often adjust the dosage or change to another class of medication

that won’t cause sexual problems.

Help is available

There are several things you can do on your own to keep an active sexual life. Remember that sex does not have to include intercourse. Make your partner a high priority. Pay attention to his or her needs and wants. Take time to understand the changes you both are facing. Try different positions and new times, like having sex in the morning when you both may have more energy. Don’t hurry-you or your partner may need to spend more time touching to become fully aroused. Masturbation is a sexual activity that some older people, especially unmarried, widowed, or divorced people and those whose partners are ill or away, may find satisfying.

If you do seem to have a problem that affects your sex life, talk to your doctor. The most common problem that affects women is painful intercourse. For most women, lubrication can be provided with creams or jellies. If the problem is estrogen deficiency, this can be supplied with topical estrogen creams or oral estrogens if there are no contraindications such as estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

If a man complains of a loss of libido, the problem may be related to testosterone deficiency that can be replaced with injections, topical jells or the insertion of testosterone pellets. If impotence is the problem, it can often be treated with oral medications such as Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis. If the medications are not successful then injections, vacuum devices, or surgical implants can be performed.

Bottom line: Just because a man or women enters their senior years does not mean that sexual intimacy has to cease. Older men and women can and do enjoy intimacy.