Public Release: 

New clinical trials explore treatment to restore sexual desire

Participants sought for study of investigational skin patch for menopausal women who experienced a decline in libido

University Hospitals of Cleveland

CLEVELAND: For millions of women, decreased sexual desire is often an unfortunate consequence of hysterectomy or menopause. Diminished sexual desire can lead to feelings of unhappiness, concern, frustration, and leave a lasting impact on a woman's relationship with her partner. An investigational hormone patch developed by Proctor & Gamble and now in clinical trials may offer hope to post-menopausal women who have experienced a decline in sexual desire.

The clinical trials of a thin, nearly-transparent patch worn discreetly on the abdomen are being conducted at University Hospitals of Cleveland and more than 150 other sites in the U.S. and Canada.

"In earlier Phase I trials the correct dosing to minimize side effects was established. Now we are trying to determine the effectiveness of this approach for restoring sexual desire," says to James Liu, MD, director of MacDonald Women's Hospital at University Hospitals of Cleveland. Dr. Liu was involved in Phase I studies at the University of Cincinnati before coming to Cleveland.

"More than 40 million women suffer from the lack of sexual desire, which often leads to personal distress or relationship issues," says Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD., clinical psychologist at MacDonald Women's Hospital at UHC. "Since no medications currently are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of diminished sexual desire, these clinical studies are an important step in the development of new therapeutic options to help many women and their partners regain a satisfactory sex life."

Lack of sexual desire is described as the absence of sexual fantasies or thoughts, or a lack of interest in sexual activity. Approximately 43 percent of women have experienced some form of difficulty in their sexual function, significantly higher than the reported 31 percent of men. Many women experience a decline in sexual desire when hormone levels fall following a total hysterectomy or menopause. This decline in the desire for sex can be accompanied by other sexual problems, such as the inability to achieve orgasm.

Women interested in participating in this study must meet certain criteria:

  • Be between the ages of 20 - 70
  • Have had one ore more ovaries removed or naturally past menopause
  • Have a decline in libido, and are distressed about it
  • Are using estrogen replacement therapy
  • Are in a stable, monogamous relationship

The studies last from 24 to 52 weeks, depending on the specific trial. For more information about the research, call (216) 844-5078.


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