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Flibanserin: The FDA-Approved Medication for Female Sexual Dysfunction

What Causes Sexual Dysfunction?
Sexual dysfunction can affect any phase of the sexual cycle. The sexual disorder prevents one from having a satisfactory sex life. It is a common problem for both men and women worldwide, although people avoid talking about it. Good treatments and medications are available for sexual dysfunction for both males and females and if you go through such problems, you should not shy away from sharing your concerns with your partner and doctor.

Sexual Dysfunction in Women / Females            
Sexual dysfunction is a common health concern for women and negatively impacts their quality of life. In the United States, 40% of women report sexual concerns, while 12% report distressing sexual concerns. For a woman, sexual dysfunction can comprise signs and symptoms like sexual interest/arousal disorder, penetration disorder / genito-pelvic pain, and orgasmic disorder. Without proper treatment and medication, these health issues can get severe and cause distress in patients.

Why Should Sexual Dysfunction Not Be Neglected?
The problem of sexual dysfunction requires the proper evaluation and treatment addressing biological, psychological, relational, and sociocultural factors.

When a woman has a recurrent and persistent problem with sexual response, intercourse, or orgasm, the condition is medically termed “sexual dysfunction,” and it needs medical intervention. Not only can it be distressing for the person, but also it strains the relationship with her partner. It is advisable to see a doctor for evaluation and advice before the condition aggravates.

Causes of Sexual Dysfunction in Women / Females

Physical Factor: Gynecological or other medical conditions like heart disease, cancer, kidney failure, and bladder problems can cause sexual dysfunction. There are certain drugs, especially chemotherapy drugs, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants, which decrease a person’s sexual desire and ability to have orgasms.

Hormonal Factor: After menopause, the estrogen level significantly decreases in a woman leading to decreased sexual desire and sexual responses. Due to decreased blood flow in the pelvic region, women can experience less genital sensation and changes in genital tissues. When untreated, these factors lead to dyspareunia or painful intercourse. Lack of sexual desire due to low hormonal levels can also occur during breastfeeding or after giving birth.

Psychological and Societal Factors: Long-term stress, worries, and a history of sexual abuse can contribute to sexual dysfunction in women. Conflicts with her partner and a strained relationship can also play a role in diminishing sexual responsiveness.

Treatment for Sexual Dysfunction in Women / Females              
Most cases of sexual dysfunction are treated by medication, mechanical aids, sex therapy, behavioral treatment, psychotherapy, and education & communication. The success of treatment depends on addressing underlying physical or psychological problems.

Sometimes dysfunction may cause due to certain medicines; changing that medicine may help. Women with hormone deficiency can benefit from pills, hormone shots, or creams. To treat low desire in premenopausal women, there are two medications approved by the FDA, flibanserin and bremelanotide.

Flibanserin and bremelanotide pills are commonly used drugs to treat low or hypoactive sexual disorders in women who are in the premenopausal stage. These drugs are not for those who have already gone through menopause. Flibanserin tablet is the first to be prescribed when it comes to treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in women. These medicines have some side effects like nausea and dizziness and are used for those women who are not affected by any medicines in the past or present. Women with mood swings or low sex drive due to other drugs should not take this medicine. It is advisable to talk to your medical provider about your sexual history and current problems before taking any medications for sexual disorders.