December 9, 2008

Testosterone not ‘magic bullet’ for women

A U.S. sex therapist suggests testosterone therapy for women may leave much to be desired.

Dr. Domeena Renshaw of Loyola University Health System in Chicago says testosterone therapy may not be the magic bullet women with low libidos have been hoping for.

Female sexual dysfunction is being treated as a medical problem with a quick fix, when in fact women's libido issues may be more complicated, Renshaw, author of Seven Weeks to Better Sex says in a statement. Among the other issues that may need to be considered include: emotional problems, underlying health conditions and the effect of medications, such as antidepressants.

There are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved products to treat sexual dysfunction in women, she says. Patients at the Loyola Sex Clinic are provided counseling by a multidisciplinary team.

I am not comfortable prescribing testosterone therapy to my female patients, because the long-term side effects have not been studied, Renshaw says. Testosterone therapy may increase the risk of heart disease as well as cause excess facial hair, acne and deepening of the voice.