Female Viagra: Do women need the Flibanserin pill to boost their libidos?
The “pink Viagra” pill has answered demand, but are there other ways to boost sex drive?
Samantha Evans Friday 4 December 2015 17:00 GMT.
Hailed as the new treatment for low libido in premenopausal women, does Flibanserin really work?
Following demand for a pill to alleviate sexual problems which matched that of Viagra, Flibanserin has been developed, approved and dubbed the “pink Viagra”. However, not only does it not work in the same way as Viagra, but women’s sexual desire is very different to men’s, as it is more complex.
Taken daily rather than shortly before you plan to have sex, Flibanserin aims to treat low desire but comes with a variety of potential side effects. In a similar way to antidepressants, it can take weeks to have an effect.
A recent study showed that women who took Flibanserin had 0.8 more satisfying sexual events per month on average than the women on placebo who also found their sex lives improved too.
As to what the satisfying sexual outcomes are unknown. The effectiveness of the placebo in the trial was remarkable and didn’t cause side effects, whereas the Flibanserin group experienced dizziness, nausea, feeling sleepy, fatigue and insomnia, leading to some women stepping down from the trial.
Also, it was found that the drug’s concentration increases if the woman drinks alcohol, takes an oral contraceptive or some commonly used medicines such as fungal treatment for thrush, migraines and depression.
It is designed to treat low sexual desire, yet what may feel low for one woman may seem normal for another. A woman needs to report feelings of significant distress to be diagnosed with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, yet there are many factors, both physical and mental that can impact upon sexual desire.
Reasons for lack of sexual desire.
Low or lack of sexual desire is the most common sexual complaint of women of all ages. It is also difficult to treat but often there are simple reasons as to why women don’t want sex.
It is natural to not want sex or feel sexual desire but if this feeling continues, it can be problematic.
Libido is affected by hormonal changes, something all women experience through childbirth, breastfeeding, menstruation, contraception and the menopause.
The added stress of caring for children and older relations, work commitments and money worries can feel overwhelming, in addition to the pressure the media and women place upon themselves to be perfect.
Excessive dieting and yo-yo dieting are damaging to our bodies as we need a certain level of fat for sex hormones, such as oestrogen, to function normally.
Some medication can dampen feelings of sexual desire such as antidepressants, cancer treatments and medications for high blood pressure. If you think your medication is affecting your sexual function, talk to your doctor about changing to an alternative which may have less side effects.
Communication improves sexual satisfaction.
Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna recently found that sniffing oxytocin, the hormone associated with bonding, improves the sexual experience of women suffering from sexual dysfunction. Oxytocin is known as the feel good hormone because it increases overall happiness and well being and is easy to get simply by hugging someone, shaking their hand or stroking your pet.
However, the control group who sniffed a placebo also showed similar results. This led Michaela Bayerle-Eder, lead study author, to conclude that many of the women thought more about their sexuality and sexual needs during the trial, and therefore spoke to their partners about sex during the study.
A 2012 study at the Cleveland State University (2012) has shown that good communication in the bedroom leads to better sexual satisfaction. People who are more comfortable talking about sex are more likely to do so during sex, which in turn, can enhance sexual pleasure.
Relate, the relationship counselling service, has also reported that communication is the most common cause of couples not experiencing sexual satisfaction.
Many people are uncomfortable talking about sex with their partner, yet communicating what you like and don’t like about sex, what turns you on and how you feel about sex can greatly improve your satisfaction.
Love and sex news: in pictures.
Love and sex news: in pictures.
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The rising popularity of virtual reality pornography could cause a dangerous blurred line between real life and fantasy, researchers have warned.
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According to a new survey from YouGov, 63 per cent of men believe that the main reason women wear makeup is to trick people into thinking they’re more attractive than they really are.
3/23 The best way to feel better after a breakup.
Just like taking a placebo medicine has at times proven to be effective for pain treatment, placebo pretending to be okay can also be helpful after a break-up according to researchers from the University of Colorado.
4/23 Book readers make the best lovers.
The dating site eHarmony found that listing reading as a hobby on your dating profile is a winning move that makes you more appealing to the opposite sex. Data revealed that men who list it as an interest receive 19 per cent more messages, and women three per cent more.
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New research found that when people, who were novices when it came to massages, gave their partners one it improved their physical and emotional wellbeing. The satisfaction levels were the same whether the partner was giving or receiving the massage with 91 per cent of the couples studied saying they would recommend mutual massages to their friends.
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Finding a partner who has similar attitudes to you, when it comes to money, could be more likely to guarantee you a successful, harmonious relationship. The main strain on UK relationships is money worries, according to new research, and the key to avoiding money ruining a relationship is to align how you deal with your finances. Concerns about finances make up 26 per cent of relationship difficulties, according to new research from relationship charities Relate, Relationships Scotland and Marriage Care who surveyed over 5,000 people in the UK.
7/23 Cheaters are likely to be unfaithful to their partners multiple times.
Research by UCL suggests why serial cheaters repeatedly lie to their partners and commit adultery. According to the study, it’s because with every lie a person tells, they feel less bad about doing so afterwards.
8/23 Timetable of Love.
A new study has revealed that Sunday at 9am is the most popular time of the week for Brits to get busy in the bedroom. Our weekends tend to be a lot sexier than our weekdays, with three of the top five most common times for sex falling on a Saturday, at 11.30am, 10.30pm and 11.30pm.
9/23 Spain appoints ‘sex tsar’
Spain has appointed a ‘sex tsar’ to encourage the declining population to ramp up procreation in a bid to reverse a dip in the birth rate. The country reported a higher number of deaths than births for the first time last year, prompting the government to take action
10/23 How to spot when your partner is hiding their true feelings.
How often do you and your partner actually spot when one of you is hiding your emotions? According to a new study, it’s probably not as frequently as you think. New research suggests that people miss cues that their partner may be suppressing negative feelings because we see our other-halves in a more positive light.
11/23 Online dating risk.
A new report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has found that last year, singles were conned out of £39 million by fraudsters they’d met on dating sites and apps. Con artists are increasingly creating fake online profiles and tricking people on dating sites into handing over often large sums of money.
12/23 Singletons judge potential partners on their phones, says new study.
A new study has found that women are 92 per cent more likely than men to judge a potential partner negatively for having an older phone model.
13/23 Mother’s blood pressure before conception could influence sex of child, study suggests.
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14/23 Sainsbury’s sells same sex valentine’s day cards for first time.
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Couple sitting on couch with their phones in their hand.
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18/23 Watching porn does not cause negative attitudes to women.
The average porn user may have more egalitarian views towards women than non-users, a contentious new study has suggested. Researchers at Western University in Canada have even argued that many pornography fans might be “useful allies” in women’s struggles for equality in the workplace and in public office. They reported in the Journal of Sex Research that the 23 per cent of people who said they had watched an “X-rated” film during the previous year were no more or less likely to identify as feminists than those who did not watch porn.
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Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) are 70 per cent more likely to die early, a new study has found. US scientists believe that the disorder may be linked to poor cardiovascular health, and suggested that men with ED should be screened for health issues that could cut their lives short.
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Men who pay for sex share similar traits to rapists and sex offenders, according to new research. A study from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), claims that men who have sex with female sex workers feel less empathy for them than men who do not buy sex. Part of this reason is due to the fact that they view them as “intrinsically different from other women,” according to the authors.
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22/23 ‘Weird’ sexual fetishes are actually very normal.
A number of sexual fetishes considered anomalous in psychiatry are actually common in the general population, a study has found. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), sexual interests fall into two categories: normal (normophilic) and anomalous (paraphilic). Researchers asked 1,040 Quebec residents, representative of the general population, about their experiences of sexual behaviour considered abnormal by the DSM-5. The study, published in The Journal of Sex Research, found that of the eight types of anomalous behaviour listed in the DSM-5, four were found to be neither rare or unusual among the experiences and desires reported by men and women.
23/23 A new dating show for Trump supporters.
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Sexual Exploration can boost your sex life.
Having said that, just talking will not help many women who experience sexual dysfunction, such as vaginal dryness, vaginal tightness, postoperative scarring and decreased sensation as a result of surgery, medical conditions and cancer treatments.
Some of these problems can be overcome using lubricants, changing sexual position and trying slim vibrators. Recognising that many women experience symptoms of sexual dysfunction, we at JoDivine created a health brochure with urogynaecologist Dr Alex Slack,women’s health physiotherapist Pip Salmon and gynaecology and ward manager at Tunbridge Wells Hospital Lynda Wickenden. It contained advice about slim vibrators, lubricants and pelvic floor exercisers that health care professionals can give to their patients during consultations and following treatment.
Such products can be beneficial to sexual health and improve sexual pleasure too. Sex should be fun but popping a pill isn’t the way forward for many women.
Choosing the natural route, through talking to your partner about sex and sexual issues, being imaginative with your sex play by incorporating sex toys, bondage and lubricants and having fun will make sex more pleasurable for you both.
Samantha Evans is a former nurse, sexual health and wellbeing expert and co owner of retailer JoDivine.com.
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