Let’s rejoice there is a little pink pill (Flibanserin) for women to take to increase sexual desire. According to a New York Times article, the F.D.A. favored approval for Flibanserin to be prescribed to premenopausal women that have low sexual desire. Prescriptions would be written when a woman’s low sexual desire has caused her marked distress in her life. One caveat is health issues or relationship issues cannot be attributed to the marked distress. Her low libido would fall under the disorder hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).
However, there is one problem with using HSDD as a diagnosis. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has updated to number V, HSDD is no longer listed as a disorder. It has been combined with another disorder female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD) and it is now called sexual interest/arousal disorder (SIAD). For clarity purposes, DSM is the handbook used by health care professionals as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders. DSM contains descriptions, symptoms, and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders. It provides a common language for researchers to study the criteria for potential future revisions and to aid in the development of medications and other interventions.
There are points not addressed as of yet to the general public. What is the duration on how long the distress has to occur? Technically, to meet the criteria for most sexual disorders you must report at least 3 symptoms with a duration of 6 months. Who determines that a physician or a mental health therapist? Or, does a woman simply state to her primary care physician she has marked distress in the bedroom and needs Flibanserin (little pink pill) to rectify her low sexual desire?
According to the study, the control group increased their sexual desire by about one more time a month than their average two to three times a month prior to taking the pink pill. The possible side effects reported from taking Flibanserin are nausea, dizziness, fainting, and low blood pressure. Is one more time a month worth the side effects?
The little pink pill helps increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. The pill was originally intended to help with depression and they learned through clinical trials it increased sex drive. When a medication increases these neurotransmitters in the brain typically a person stays on the medication for quite some time.
Does this mean that women taking the little pink pill have to take them for a long period of time? What happens when she stops taking the little pink pill? Is it a permanent or temporary solution? When I read the New York Times article, these are some of the thoughts that came to my mind. I also thought, yes, a women’s sexual desire does wane with age; however, there are many reasons for her desire to change it’s not always a physical reason. She could have difficulty handling stress, low self-esteem, and problems with her partner.
The article reiterated women have been waiting for sexual equality and this little pink pill would be the counterpart to Viagra. Let’s make a clear comparison between Viagra and Flibanserin. Viagra’s sole purpose is to increase blood flow to the penis so men can maintain an erection during sexual activity. It does not increase sexual desire. Flibanserin, the little pink pill, is reportedly increasing the levels of the neurotransmitters in the female brain to assist her with wanting sexual activity.
Flibanserin is not assisting with a physical handicap (i.e. lack of blood flow to the vagina) it is affecting a women’s mood. Taking the little pink pill, may be a step in the process it is not the only step. As with treating depression, treatment is successful when therapy and medication are working hand in hand. The FDA still has to make a decision and will do so by August this year.
**Picture retrieved from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/06/09/female-viagra-fda-flibanserin-column/28692887/
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