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Hormone Patch May Raise Women's Desire for Sex

More Desire, Sexual Satisfaction Reported by Hysterectomy Patients

Researchers' Comments

Braunstein's team calls the improvements "modest ... yet statistically significant." The findings "highlight the important role that testosterone may play in women's sexual health," they write.

The researchers call for more studies of the testosterone patch's safety and effectiveness.

A past study on the patch, also sponsored by Proctor & Gamble, also reported improved sexual desire in women.

The 'Goldilocks' Effect

The study "raises many questions about what is the 'just-right' dose of testosterone," writes Robert Vigersky, MD, of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Vigersky didn't work on the study. He wrote an editorial about it for the journal.

He likens the hunt for the best dose of testosterone to the nursery rhyme character Goldilocks, who sought a "just-right" chair, bed, and bowl of porridge.

"Goldilocks has been around for almost 200 years," he writes. "Should she ever develop [low sexual desire], it is still not clear if a 300-microgram testosterone [skin] patch is 'just right' for her. Hopefully, further studies will be available when and if she needs to be treated."

Increasing Sex From 'Seldom' to 'Sometimes'

The testosterone patch most notably improved in two areas: sexual desire and satisfying sexual experiences, writes Vigersky.

"The testosterone treatment only raised the level of sexual function from 'seldom' to 'sometimes,'" he writes. Vigersky also calculates that the women only got two extra satisfying sexual episodes per month (an increase from three events to five events).

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