Testosterone Boosts Posthysterectomy Libido

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Investigators have found that libido lost following hysterectomy may be regained after the use of a testosterone patch for 24 weeks. Because the ovaries are a significant source of testosterone in women, their removal can cause up to a 50% loss of libido.

By keeping a log of their sexual activity, women using a testosterone patch reported having one extra satisfying sexual encounter every 2.5 weeks, compared with one every 5.5 weeks in the placebo group. Side effects were reported among both groups, although the testosterone group reported acne and deeper voices—common effects of male hormones. Testosterone patch users indicated improvements in desire, arousal, pleasure, orgasms, responsiveness, and self-image, as well as less personal distress, compared with placebo users. Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals funded the study; the company is currently developing the female testosterone patch Instrinsa.