Wednesday Bubble: Why?

Posted by on Nov 19, 2008 in sexual desire, sexual health | 3 comments

Would you prefer to have a better sex drive and a beard? Or the opposite?

Can’t decide?

About a week and a half ago, news hit the headlines about a new FDA-approved testosterone patch for women to restore declining libidos. The patch, called Intrinsa, was tested in a study of 841postmenopausal not currently on hormone replacement therapy who received either one of two doses of the patch or a dummy placebo patch over 52 weeks. The patch’s effectiveness (namely, restoring sexual satisfaction) was measured up to week 24, or for roughly half the study.

The results, which were published in the esteemed New England Journal of Medicine, showed that compared to a dummy patch, using Intrinsa was associated with significant increases in sexual desire and a decline in sexual distress. Overall, the higher dose patch led to modest improvements in sexual function.

In other words, wearing a patch was significantly better than using nothing at all but not life-shattering in terms of improving sexual function.

The caveat? Unwanted hair growth, which occurred in about a third of women using the higher dose patch and in about 23% of women using the lower dose.

Results of this study undoubtedly leave hope for women in menopause experiencing declines in sexual function. In fact, I’ve written previously about the positive effects of taking testosterone to improve sexual desire. However, I’ve also found some evidence that testosterone increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and heart disease in women.

The other rub? You have to use the patch all the time, which means that you are subjecting yourself to testosterone and negative side effects, such as hair growth,  24/7. Researchers don’t have any answers about the safety of long-term use.

Fortunately, there are some very positive steps you can take to improve menopausal declines in sexual desire and function, which Dr. Christine Northrup says, are often misnomers. So, I leave you with this:

Why would you risk unwanted hair growth and other yet to be defined side effects when you can solve the problem in a positive, affirming, healthy way?

More to come!


  1. 11-19-2008

    It amazes me that drugs can be pushed to the public when the researchers have no clue of the long term side effects. Look how many drugs have been pulled off the market for disastrous side effects? You’d think the FDA would adjust their procedures! But that would then take $$$ out of their pockets…….vicious circle.

  2. 11-19-2008

    i believe you would need to survey husbands on this one. another game of would you rather…

  3. 11-19-2008

    Why indeed, if there are other other ways without side effects. Would love to know.


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