Your Guide to ‘Female Viagra’

Your Information to ‘Feminine Viagra’

By Rachel Reiff Ellis

Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on March 30, 2022

For a lot of girls, sexual need goes up and down through the years, usually tied to modifications in relationships, stress, and bodily modifications like being pregnant and menopause. However roughly 10% of ladies take care of a low intercourse drive that causes them misery. It’s a situation referred to as hypoactive sexual need dysfunction (HSDD).

There are a couple of over-the-counter dietary supplements that goal to deal with the issue, which have restricted, principally unproven, results. However lately, the FDA has accepted two prescribed drugs to deal with HSDD. These therapies are sometimes called “feminine Viagra” — a nod to one of many medicines that males can take for sexual issues. However they’re not very similar to Viagra in any respect. In truth, they work very otherwise contained in the physique.

“In males, Viagra fixes a ‘plumbing downside,’ if you’ll,” says Judith Volkar, MD, of the UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. Viagra and different comparable medication deal with erectile dysfunction, when a person can’t get or hold an erection that’s agency sufficient to have intercourse. These males usually nonetheless have sexual need, however they simply can’t get their our bodies to reply bodily once they wish to have intercourse. The medication assist by enjoyable the muscle tissue within the penis and boosting blood circulate so an erection can occur.

In girls, low libido is a extra advanced downside.

“I usually say you possibly can image males’s sexual need as a light-weight change, and ladies’s sexual need because the cockpit of a 747,” she says. “There are extra elements at play in feminine sexual need.”

Consequently, the remedy for HSDD requires a extra nuanced method.

Two Medicines

The medication the FDA has accepted for HSDD are:

  • Flibanserin (Addyi): It’s a capsule you’re taking each night.
  • Bremelanotide (Vyleesi): It’s a shot you give your self within the stomach or thigh 45 minutes earlier than you could have intercourse. You are taking one in a 24-hour interval, and docs suggest solely eight photographs monthly.

How they work. Each medication increase the exercise of chemical messengers in your mind, referred to as neurotransmitters, which might be key to serving to you are feeling aroused. You are taking flibanserin day-after-day, whether or not you propose to have intercourse or not. You inject bremelanotide solely if you want it. It’s essential to notice that neither drug makes intercourse higher. They simply make you extra more likely to really feel within the temper.

Your physician could suggest that you just attempt intercourse schooling and counseling together with the medicine. You might also want hormone remedy, when you take care of any bodily points that have an effect on intercourse, similar to vaginal dryness.

How do I get them? Your physician must diagnose you with HSDD with a purpose to prescribe both drug. They will try this by asking screening questions, similar to:

• Have you ever been happy along with your stage of sexual need earlier than?
• Has your intercourse drive gotten decrease?
• Does your lack of libido trouble you?
• Would you prefer it to extend?
• Are there different issues (medicine, being pregnant, surgical procedure, stress) that could possibly be affecting your intercourse drive?

If you happen to reply “sure” to the primary 4 questions, and there’s no different trigger on your low intercourse drive, you in all probability have HSDD.

Volkar says the misery {that a} girl feels about her intercourse drive is usually the driving consider whether or not or not she must take medication for it. “As a result of when you aren’t bothered by it, it’s not an issue,” she says.

Additionally, your physician will need “to ensure it is not associated to your current state of affairs or relationship. As a result of you possibly can’t repair HSDD if the issue is you actually do not like your associate,” she says.

What’s the fee? Some insurance coverage corporations will cowl HSDD medicines. Your value will range based mostly in your plan, however out-of-pocket value for flibanserin is about $100 for 30 tablets (1 month’s provide).

Which one is correct for me? Each medication have completely different issues and dangers. The one it’s best to take principally depends upon what works greatest on your life-style. “There are actually girls who’ve little interest in injections,” Volkar says. “Others have little interest in taking a capsule day-after-day.” It’s greatest to speak to your physician about which one would give you the results you want.

Aspect Results and Dangers

Researchers have primarily studied how the medicines work in girls who haven’t gone by menopause but. So the FDA accepted each medication for premenopausal girls solely. Ladies who’re pregnant or breastfeeding mustn’t use both drug.

There are others who shouldn’t take the medicines, together with those that:

  • Have liver illness
  • Have heart problems
  • Take medicine for HIV, hepatitis C, or hypertension that’s not below management

“They will additionally work together with a number of medication girls generally take, like fluconazole (Diflucan), which is a yeast an infection medicine, and in addition some antibiotics,” Volkar says. “So it is good to pay attention to what medicines you are on and focus on these along with your physician.”

Ladies who use HSDD medicines shouldn’t drink alcohol from 2 hours earlier than they take the drug till the next morning, as a result of it might probably decrease blood strain to harmful ranges.

The medication could cause uncomfortable side effects, similar to:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Flushing (crimson, heat pores and skin)
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Tiredness
  • Dry mouth

Bremelanotide could cause your pores and skin and gums to get darker.

Do They Work?

To measure how nicely these medication deal with HSDD, docs have a look at whether or not sexual need has gone up and if misery about it has gone down. Volkar says flibanserin sometimes results in “yet one more sexually important occasion monthly.” That will sound like a hit to some and to not others.

“It depends upon the way you outline issues,” she says. “Is that superior, or is that not so nice? Once I’m counseling a affected person, I sort of depart that to their discretion and allow them to determine what meaning for them.”

There isn’t any “regular” quantity of intercourse or need. So a change within the misery a lady feels about her intercourse drive is usually a key signal of how nicely the remedy is working.

If you happen to attempt the drugs for 8 weeks and also you haven’t felt a change, your physician could suggest you cease taking it.

The underside line, Volkar says, is that although these therapies will not be good but, having two medicines out there available on the market is a transfer in the appropriate route.

“I feel it is nice that we’re lastly doing analysis into medicines for ladies and sexual need,” she says. “I do not suppose it is fairly the reply but, nevertheless it’s an essential first step.”

Learn Extra

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.