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Reduced libido can be treated with testosterone in women

Reduced libido can be treated with testosterone in women

Sexual problems are very common in women, and in these cases, desire reduction (libido) is often reported. The most common cause of loss of libido is called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (DSHD), which affects approximately 20% of women.

This disorder is characterized by the persistent or recurrent reduction or absence of sexual desire, which can cause severe suffering and / or serious problems of affective relationship. The diagnosis is made by the clinician, taking into account several factors that can affect the sexual response. It may occur in women who are pre-menopausal or post-menopausal. In this case, both natural menopause and subsequent to surgical removal of the ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy) are included.

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder significantly affects women's quality of life. It must be considered, however, that many of those who have this problem often suffer in silence. Female sexual dysfunctions often cease to be diagnosed by inhibiting the patient in reporting the problem, or even because the doctor is embarrassed at the time of the investigation. It is worth remembering that this diagnosis is of special importance, because in addition to interfering in an intense way in the quality of life, it may be associated with health problems.

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder causes loss of libido - Getty Images

May be caused by multiple factors, including psychosocial, cultural, relationship conflicts, use of medications (antidepressants, female hormones, etc.), acute and chronic diseases, and hormonal (endocrine) problems. until the aid with psychotherapy, medicines and hormone replacement, according to the needs of each patient. From the hormonal (endocrine) point of view, testosterone, the main male hormone, is physiologically important also for women. It is noteworthy that testosterone levels in the blood decrease with advancing age, and in the period of climacteric occurs a more rapid reduction, which may contribute to the decrease of libido in these women. Several studies have shown that treatment with doses (as adhesives, creams or gels) is effective in the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women after natural menopause or in post-bilateral oophorectomy. Premenopausal women with reduced libido and low levels of testosterone in the blood may also benefit. In addition to being able to improve sexual desire, the treatment is safe in the short term. There are studies demonstrating that testosterone treatment can bring favorable results for bones, muscles, cognitive function and cardiovascular system in women. However, testosterone is contraindicated in women with breast or uterine cancer, as well as those with established cardiovascular and liver disease.

Testosterone should be used at the lowest dose possible when necessary to increase blood, without, however, leaving them above the limit of normality. Studies show that this can be achieved with an "adhesive" of testosterone (300 mcg / day) in menopausal women. It has also been shown that a testosterone cream (10 mg / day) may be useful for younger women. This strategy significantly reduces the risk of unwanted masculine actions of testosterone, such as hair growth, increased skin oils, acne, voice changes, among others. These changes occur more often when implants and testosterone injections are prescribed that can greatly increase hormone levels.

Despite the favorable results of these studies, it should be emphasized that research to establish the long-term safety of this therapy, especially in relation to cardiovascular diseases and breast cancer, is still underway. At present, there are several ongoing clinical studies to definitively assess the safety of treatment for long periods. Their preliminary results suggest that transdermal testosterone is effective and safe for the treatment of HSDD in postmenopausal women.

Thus, when HSDD is present, after exclusion of other causes of reduced libido , such as psychiatric illness, relationship problems and systemic diseases, low-dose transdermal testosterone treatment can be safely used, at least in the short term, to improve sexual desire and reduce the suffering of women in menopause.

Lastly, there should be awareness among patients and health professionals of the importance of addressing this problem without constraints, so that it can be diagnosed, treated and thus restore personal well-being and good affective relationship.


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