Female body contains the male sex hormone, the testosterone (like the man's body, too, contains estrogen, the female sex hormone). Testosterone is naturally produced in women by the adrenal glands and has the role of boosting sex drive.
Based on this principle, researchers have imagined a testosterone spray for increasing libido in women with low sex drive. A new research carried out by a team led by Dr Susan Davis, from Monash University in Victoria, Australia, and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, shows that premenopausal women who have low testosterone levels and the accompanying low sexual interest could significantly improve their sex life using the testosterone spray.
The results were, on average, one satisfactory sexual encounter per month and the best effect was inflicted by the women using an intermediate dose. The researchers also detected a 'substantial placebo effect'.
The study was made on 261 women randomly assigned into four groups: three groups received various doses of testosterone spray, and one group a placebo. The subjects employed the spray daily. The trial lasted 16 weeks.
The final results revealed that all the treatment groups experienced an improvement in the number of satisfactory sexual encounters. But compared with the placebo group, only the group that used an intermediary testosterone dose (90 microliters) reported a statistically significant rise in the number of satisfactory sexual contacts in the last month of the trial period.
At the end of the trial, 95% of these women still maintained testosterone levels comprised within the normal values for females.
The most common side effect of the testosterone spray use was excessive hair growth, but only on the application area. Other clinical values were not significantly changed.
Still, more research is required and the testosterone use in women should be made with caution.
"I advise primary physicians to assess women's sexual concerns in detail, and then address mental health and relationship issues and any sexual dysfunction in the partner. Then, if necessary, schedule further follow-up to treat the issues by conventional therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, sex therapy, psychotherapy, and mindfulness techniques," warns Dr Rosemary Basson, from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, in a related editorial.