Can Medicine Boost Female Sex Drive?
Drugmakers are testing new drugs that may be able to produce increased sexual desire in women.
It's not farfetched to suppose that if Fred wants it more often than Louise
does, he might pester her to ask her doctor about that drug in the ad on TV
until she finally caves in.
If a drug for female sex drive were successful, women might feel pressure to
conform to a new cultural norm. "People do now expect things that they
didn't used to," Tiefer says. Take orgasms, for instance. Orgasms are
divine and everyone is entitled to be as orgasmic as possible. But the ideal of
being able to have routine or multiple orgasms sets up some women to feel
defective if they don't. Men, too, are expected to be able to get erections no
matter what. Today it would strike many people as plain weird that a man might
choose to live with erectile dysfunction. Ten years ago it wouldn't have.
Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, WebMD's Sex Matters® columnist, says she thinks
there has been too much hand-wringing over these kinds of questions. "I
don't want to belittle women by saying, 'We're not going to give you this drug'
or 'we're not going to look into this drug because we don't think you're
capable of standing up to the pressures of the people in your life,'" she
If libido drugs don't do anything for women, despite marketing efforts, they
won't take them, she argues. But she hopes that someday something that works
will make it to the market and help a lot of people.
When and what that is will ultimately come down to what the studies on
flibanserin and bremelanotide show and how the FDA evaluates the science.
"It all depends on how scientifically rigorous they're going to be,"