Female Sex Patch On Sale in Europe

Britain’s National Health Service has approved a patch that is claimed to help women regain their sex drive. The BBC earlier reported on the product’s pending approval.

The product, Intrinsa, is the first treatment for women with low sex drive, and is available only by prescription for women who have had an early menopause because of surgery. It uses a female-specific form of testosterone. Although testosterone is often considered a male hormone, women also produce it in the ovaries.

Intrinsa has not been approved for use in the U.S. Reportedly regulators there had concerns about the safety of Intrinsa.

Doctors said there was no quick fix for low sex drive, and medical treatment was just one part of the therapy. And they emphasized that Intrinsa should not be seen as some kind of Viagra for women.

About a million women in the UK have had an early menopause because of surgery to remove their ovaries during hysterectomy for conditions such as heavy bleeding and pelvic pain, according to Procter and Gamble, the maker of the Intrinsa patch.

Another company, BioSante, has created a product called LibiGel, which an article in CNNMoney describes as “a metered-dose testosterone gel that’s rubbed into the shoulder.” This product is not yet on the market; it should soon enter Phase 3 safety trials. The company is looking to get approval for LibiGel to treat women who have entered menopause after having their ovaries surgically removed.

According to BioSante’s CEO, a woman’s natural testosterone levels drop by half right after surgery, which causes a “drop in desire and sexual activity.” BioSante is hoping that LibiGel will find use for women who’ve reached menpause through aging, rather than surgery.

The CNNMoney article quotes an analyst as saying that he hasn’t heard if P&G will reapply to get Intrinsa approved in the U.S.

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