Question of the Month

Q:  I'm 53 years old and my sex drive has been very low for many years. I have not yet experienced any signs of menopause and my doctor has tested my hormone level and agrees. Now, with all the TV advertising about female libido enhancers, my husband is encouraging me to try one (Libidoplex). I don't want to be taken by a snake oil salesman. I understand that it is an herbal supplement. How does a female libido enhancer work and can it really help?

A: According to one well-conducted survey, about 30% of women feel their libido is too low. This is discussed in detail in my web article. There are some prescription treatments which are effective, though they do not work for everyone and it is important that the proper one be selected for an individual woman's specific problem.

One treatment is testosterone but as most readers of my website know, this can cause very distressing changes such as acne, unwanted hair and loss of scalp hair.

Many supplements are promoted for enhancing sex drive but so far as I know, none are effective. They can be expensive so I suggest avoiding them and seeing a physician with expertise in sexual problems. This might be an endocrinologist or gynecologist. It is best to rule out a physical or hormonal cause before consulting a psychologist or psychiatrist, in my opinion.

Hope this is helpful.

Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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