Female Sexual Arousal Disorder Improves with Cream
Female sexual arousal disorder, which used to be called frigidity, can be caused by a variety of factors and can be a challenge to treat. Now, results of a new study show that a topical cream led to a significant improvement in female sexual arousal when compared with placebo.
How to fight frigidity with a topical cream
Female sexual arousal disorder is the second most common sexual dysfunction in women, after hypoactive sexual desire disorder. This latter disorder is defined as persistently diminished or absent desire for sexual activity or lack of sexual fantasies that cannot be attributed to another mental disorder and that causes women significant distress or interpersonal difficulties.
Female sexual arousal disorder can appear in three different forms: genital arousal disorder, subjective arousal disorder, and combined arousal disorder. Women with genital arousal disorder are aware of feelings of sexual pleasure in their mind but lack the physical response.
Women with subjective arousal disorder experience the reverse: they have a physical genital response to sexual stimulation but no mental awareness of pleasure. Among women with combined sexual arousal disorder response, both mental and physical response to sexual stimulation is lacking.
At the recent 2012 American Urological Association annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, researchers presented the results of a randomized clinical trial in which women with female sexual arousal disorder were treated with either placebo or a topical cream called alprostadil (Femprox).
Irwin Goldstein, MD, of San Diego Sexual Medicine in California, reported updated findings from a phase II trial that involved 387 Chinese women (mean age, 45) with female sexual arousal disorder. The women randomly received either placebo or 10 doses of alprostadil cream in one of three doses--500, 700, or 900 ug—which was applied to the external genitalia prior to sexual intercourse.
In the original study, 33% of women in the placebo group answered “yes” to the primary question: Were you satisfied with your sexual arousal (excitement) during this sexual encounter? In the alprostadil groups, the percentages of women with a positive response were 46.3% (500 ug dose), 43.5% (700 ug), and 53.9% (900 ug).
In the update, there were 374 women (168 ages 21 to 45 and 206 ages 46 to 65). The investigators found that:
- One-third of the women in the placebo group reported improvement regardless of age
- In the 500-ug group, 49% of older women and 42% of younger women improved
- In the 700-ug group, 46% of younger women and 41% of older women improved
- In the 900-ug group, which had the best response, 61% of younger women and 47% of older women improved
Treatments for female sexual arousal disorder
According to Stanford School of Medicine, women with female sexual arousal disorder should be evaluated by a professional in the field of female sexual medicine and should conduct a thorough psychosocial and medical examination. Possible treatment options for the disorder include sex therapy, hormone therapy, vibrator therapy, lubricants, and off-label use of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (e.g., Viagra), Wellbutrin, and testosterone, among others.
Alprostadil (Muse) is a prostaglandin (lipid compounds that have an impact on muscle contraction) that is typically used in either injectable or topical form to treat erectile dysfunction in men. Topical alprostadil contains a specific ingredient that promotes the delivery and penetration of the drug, which then allows it to relax smooth muscles and increase blood flow.
Goldstein noted that women’s sexual disorders have been neglected, and women have not been provided with treatment options. This alprostadil cream, which is stronger than what is currently available, proved helpful and safe for women who suffer with female sexual arousal disorder.
Goldstein I et al. Updated analyses of a randomized, double-blind, phase III study of Femprox, an alprostadil cream with a novel transdermal delivery technology for the treatment of female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD. AUA 2012; Abstract 1498.
Stanford School of Medicine
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