Placebo Increases Sexual Desire for One in Three Women
A study finds that one in three women given a placebo drug experienced increased sexual satisfaction. The findings are from The University of Texas at Austin. The research shows that a woman's expectation of treatment for sexual dysfunction was enough to improve libido.
Cindy Meston, a clinical psychology professor at The University of Texas at Austin, and Andrea Bradford, a 2009 University of Texas at Austin graduate and postdoctoral fellow collected data from 200 women over a 12-week period that were randomly chosen to receive placebo versus treatment for sexual dysfunction. The participants were asked to rate symptoms of low sexual desire, low sexual arousal and problems with orgasm as a means of gauging response.
Communication may be Reason for Placebo Effect on Sexual Dysfunction
The study authors say just communicating about sex may be the reason for the placebo effect. According to Bradford, "Just taking part in this study probably started some meaningful conversations. Expecting to get better and trying to find a solution to a sexual problem by participating in a study seems to make couples feel closer, communicate more and even act differently towards each other during sexual encounters."
Fifty women were studied. One third reported increased desire and sexual activity. They also discussed their feelings on a regular basis with their health care provider. Most of the placebo effect was seen in the first four weeks of the trial.
Even though the women's partners were given no special instructions, many of the participantsreported more stimulation during sexual activity. The women kept a log of sexual activity and answered questions about their symptoms.
The women were particpants in the placebo arm of a study examining the effects of Cialis for treating hypoactive sexual desire.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some studies show that 40 percent of women suffer from lack of sexual desire at some point. Defining low libido in women is difficult, and varies among women. Lack of sexual desire can stem from a variety of causes.
The results show that a woman's lack of sexual desire may be easily treated with open communication. To date, researchers have failed to find a drug treatment for women with sexual dysfunction. Just participating in a clinical trial was enough to boost libido for one third of the women studied.
Journal of Sexual Medicine: DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02007.x