Would you try the new ‘Viagra’ for women?
11 September 2015, 10:30
Sorry to burst your bubble, ‘pink Viagra’ hopefuls, but you’re better off popping a few pink Smarties and knocking them back with some bubbles.
The FDA may have approved Flibanserin, marketed under the name Addyi, but their decision seems based on little more than a misguided attempt to ‘equalise’ the treatment field available to women. If there’s Viagra for Him, there should be Viagra for Her, right?
But this is simply not the way this drug works. Viagra acts to improve blood flow to the penis for better, longer-lasting erections. Full stop.
Addyi, a failed anti-depressant attempt, looks to improve some chemical functioning in a woman’s brain to increase desire and correct ‘generalised hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women’. In other words: HSDD for women with no obvious physical reasons for feeling sexually uninspired.
Or in other words: women who have low sexual desire.
As Addyi’s many critics have pointed out, there are many problems with this. First off, desire is not a standardised switch that can be flipped in the brain.
Secondly, who’s to say what constitutes a ‘low desire’ threshold. Is this ‘low’ by society’s standards? Or ‘low’ by her partner’s standards?
And if a woman is distressed by her own experience of ‘low desire’, a more reliable solution would be to look at all the factors that influence her specifically when it comes to desire, starting with her history, her own erotic nature, her health, how happy she is in her life and, of course, with the sexual relationship she finds herself in…
You see, what the white coats like to call HSDD is, in my non-academic opinion, just a severe case of WTFAmIDoingWithMyLife ‘disorder’.
Let me illustrate. The curative Addyi was reportedly studied in more than 11 000 women – all of whom were in long-term relationships for 10 years and were diagnosed with HSDD ‘for half of that time on average (4–5 years)’.
What the hell do you think happens in the average long-term relationship? Life happens. Babies, stress, reality, moving house, medication, arguments, maybe a growing lack of interest … all of which will affect every part of you and your relationship, including your physical desire.
If you want to call this a ‘disorder’, fine. But even so, can this pill change anything for you?
Well, the ‘big improvements’ to those 11 000 women’s lives, looked something like this:
Before they started, the women reported 2.8 ‘satisfying sexual events’ per month. Those who popped the placebos saw their sexy time increased to 3.7 times per month, and the women on Addyi went up to 4.5 times per month – that’s a completely underwhelming 0.8 increase in ‘satisfying sexual events per month’.
Oh and you’re not supposed to drink alcohol (based on tests done on men), and won’t be able to use this in conjunction with your SRIs and some other medications. It may also increase hypotension and depression.
For a possible 0.8 increase in ‘desire’? You’re better off opting for the bubbles and Smarties.
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