A study released yesterday by the New England Journal Of Medicine is being repeated in several publications and broadcast by nearly every major media outlet. As a result, female patients who may be experiencing a downturn in their libidos may inquire about the subject of the study--the testosterone patch.
Testosterone, long considered the hormone responsible for male aggression and muscular development has been found to significantly boost sexual desire in women who had their ovaries removed.
The study found that testosterone delivered through an epidermal patch significantly improved the test subjects' sexual desire and pleasure when compared to those using a placebo patch.
The patch is under development by Watson Pharmaceuticals of Corona, California. The patch is designed for women experiencing sexual dysfunction after the removal of their ovaries. Ultimately, the patch may be useful for elderly women who experience a lack of sexual desire, but further research is needed.
During the clinical trial, investigators divided female test subjects into three groups and gave each of them a different therapy every 12 weeks for nine months. The treatments included a 150 microgram dose of testosterone, a 300 microgram dose or a placebo patch. At the end of the study, all of the women reported improved sexual functioning, but the 300 microgram dose showed a statistically significant improvement, without any noted side effects.
It is not known whether the same dose of testosterone will work safely in women undergoing natural menopause. Too much testosterone is noted to cause excessive hair growth and acne in women.
The study and accompanying editorial appear in the September 7, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.