When evaluating treatments for sexual problems, experts say it's important to recognize that there is an especially large placebo effect, which is based upon the user's expectations of the treatment.That's why drugs must be tested against a placebo (sugar pill) in order to scientifically measure their effect.
"It's really important for women to realize that any of the over-the-counter products they may use have not been tested for efficacy and safety," says Shifren.Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, president of the Society for Women's Health Research says more women report sexual problems than men, but research and treatment for women's sexual problems still lags behind."For example, from 1990 to 1999, nearly 5,000 studies were published on male sexual function, but there were only 2,000 women's studies," says Greenberger.But experts say research into women's sexual function is slowly catching up in the post-Viagra era."This is one of first times we've seen really high quality studies for sexual dysfunction in women," Shifren tells Web MD.
She says that until recently, the only studies on women's sexual issues were very small, often short-term, and rarely well designed.
"I think it's very exciting, not only that we're hoping to have more products available for women, but that the studies are going on and they are well-designed studies," says Shifren.
"It's really a good thing." SOURCES: Sheryl Kingsberg, Ph D, clinical psychologist; associate professor of reproductive biology, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine; head, American Society for Reproductive Medicine's Sexuality Special Interest Group. Shifren, MD, assistant professor, obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology, Harvard Medical School; director, menopause program, Vincent-Ob/Gyn Service, Massachusetts General Hospital.
Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, president, Society for Women's Health Research. Web MD Medical News: "Testosterone Increases Libido in Women." Web MD Medical News:"Helping Women Get In the Mood" Web MD Medical News: "Hormones Can Help Some Love Lives -- but Can They Hurt Too?
Low Sex Drive / Low Libido can be medically diagnosed as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD).
HSDD is a deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity.