The Excitement Over Female Viagra Dries Up

Woman pouring pills from bottle.

Woman pouring pills from bottle. (Photo: George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

‘Female Viagra’ was approved by the FDA last year, giving hope to many women suffering from sexual dysfunction. This little pink pill is aimed at women who have lost their sex drive, with the hope that it could help them regain some of their youthful vigor in the bedroom. Flibanserin, the drug’s actual name, is intended for use in premenopausal women to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).

Approval by the FDA meant that women had at least something they can try for this problem. So far there is no prescription medicine that addresses the female libido in women before menopause.  For women, having this drug on the market means having the chance to feel the same way a guy would when he takes Viagra.  Made by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, flibanserin, had been rejected twice since 2010 because of the potential side effects, such as fatigue, low blood pressure and fainting, but finally won FDA backing last year.

But it seems that “female Viagra” isn’t quite the miracle drug everyone hoped it would be.

But it seems that “female Viagra” isn’t quite the miracle drug everyone hoped it would be. A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggests that the drug is linked to only a very slight increase in sex. A far cry from the Viagra of female world. According to the results, the drug didn’t boost most women’s sex life or desire by any significant amount. It also didn’t increase the frequency of sexual events, so women were left at about where they started without the pill. The researchers also found that the pill was linked with the side effects mentioned above. These results beg the question, do the benefits of flibanserin outweigh the risks? Obviously more studies need to be conducted, but the answer as of now seems like it is a no.

So what is left for women suffering from sexual dysfunction to do? Although it doesn’t work for everyone, women can do certain things in their daily lives to help sexual dysfunction and increase sex drive.  Here are some suggestions for women to boost their libido, naturally:

  • Drink in moderation: By reducing anxiety and stress one drink can help get you in the mood for sex; but beware, alcohol is a depressant, too much booze and you can end up with quite the opposite problem
  • Try Aphrodisiacs: Often they are foods that look sexually suggestive like asparagus. Others, like oysters, gain their love-inducing reputation by containing antioxidants and trace elements necessary for good sexual functioning. For example, oysters are packed with zinc, a mineral central to fertility.
  • Stop Smoking: It’s well known that smoking can have a terrible effect on blood flow to the sexual organs as it causes the blood vessels to narrow. It also saps your stamina and most people don’t like kissing an ashtray.
  • Exercise: Moderate regular exercise will help improve blood flow to the sexual organs. In addition, exercise helps you feel good about yourself. Anything that improves self-esteem will improve libido.
  • Lose Weight: Being overweight can affect not only your self-esteem and your feelings of sexuality but you’re likely to suffer from blood vessel disease which can reduce essential blood flow to the genitals
    • Gingko Biloba: This herbal remedy made from the leaves of the gingko biloba tree, is known to improve blood flow to the brain and sexual organs.

Dr. David Samadi is the chairman of urology and chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel and the chief medical correspondent for AM970 in New York City.

The Excitement Over Female Viagra Dries Up