A new drug aimed to help women who’ve lost their sex drive was recently green lighted by the FDA earlier this month. Addyi (flibanserin), which has been coined ‘the female Viagra’ is reported to help with the prevention of HSDD in premenopausal woman. HSDD is a relatively new term developed to describe Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, a condition where the woman is otherwise healthy but lacking libido, or has a lack of sexual desire that is not due to a co-existing medical or psychiatric condition, problems within the relationship or the effects of a medication or other drug substance.
Studies show that about 10-20% of women face this problem and some say HSDD outnumbers men with sexual problems. Although the demographics of these women has not been the focus of recent studies, there is no reason to believe Black women are exempt from experiencing HSDD and therefore should be well informed if considering this treatment.
If Viagra was FDA approved in 1998, why has it taken so long for drug companies to come up with a medication for women?
Some tout gender bias and even a lack of interest in women’s sexual health matters by the FDA. And some say treatment of HSDD in women is complex. According to Judy Kuriansky, a clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist, “You have to feel good about your body. You have to feel good about yourself. You have to feel the guy really loves you. … It’s complex. It’s not the same as a man taking a pill.”
How does Addyi work?
According to a 2001 study, up to 1/3 of adult women suffer from HSDD. But some experts say that for women, the cure for low libido is more likely to be found in their brains than in a bottle. And before women start running to their doctors asking for a prescription of this “miracle” sex drug, it is important to understand that this is NOT a women’s Viagra. Viagra focuses on the physical aspect of sexual dysfunction by treating erectile dysfunction. It sends more blood to the penis to keep it erect. Viagra assumes that sexual drive and desire are present, it doesn’t create it.