Will a Little Pink Pill Help Women With Decreased Libido?

Has your little lost sex drive gone into hiding? Have you forgotten what it feels like to be hot for your lover? Do you feel like you want to be sexual, but you’re just not, like a switch within you just flipped to the permanent OFF position? If you do, you’re one of the millions of women out there who feel this way.  Studies suggest that 10% of women suffer from hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), the unexplained loss or reduction of sexual thoughts, fantasies and desire.  The number is probably even higher if you look at women who are postpartum, depressed, overworked, or otherwise distracted from making sex a priority.

Lack of desire

My patient Gina told me that, after her baby was born, she honestly wished she never had to have sex again. She loves her husband and finds him sexy in an academic sort of way, and technically, he knows all the right moves to get her juices flowing. When she forces herself to be intimate with him, her body responds. She gets wet, her nipples become aroused, and she can achieve orgasm. She just doesn’t want to. And she’s afraid her marriage is in jeopardy.

As a gynecologist, I’m intimately in touch with how big an issue this is.  Many women force themselves to go through the motions of sex, even when they feel no desire. They fear that if they don’t, they will lose a partner to an affair- or divorce.  So they dread bedtime, when the issue of sex may arise.  Although their bodies may respond to sexual touch, their minds fail to catch up. Many say they “feel dead inside.” As a result, they lose their mojo, that connection with another and with Source that gives us that spring in our step, signaling how vital we feel.

Viagra’s not the answer

When Viagra came out, many anticipated that it might be the magic bullet women need to spice up their sexual desire. But it didn’t work. Turns out that you can bring blood flow to the clitoris and it still doesn’t help with the complex neural mechanisms that turn a woman on. Since then, drug companies have been clamoring to discover the drug that might serve the needs of women with decreased libido (anticipating a multi-billion dollar pay out, of course).

The Pink Viagra

Word on the street is that they may have found something. A new medication with the uber unsexy name of flibanserin may be the Viagra-for-women many have been seeking. Originally developed as an anti-depressant, it failed to prove effective at treating depression, but researchers noted an unanticipated side effect- a libido boost in women.

The company that created flibanserin sponsored studies that demonstrated that women taking this drug experienced an increase in satisfying sexual experiences- from 2.7 to 4.5/month. (Keep in mind that the placebo group felt sexier too- from 2.7 to 3.7 sexy events/month.

The FDA is set to consider putting this drug on the market in June, so stay tuned. Will this be the end-all be-all for women? No. Often, in my experience, decreased libido is a red flag waving to help you realize that your relationship needs work, you may be working too hard, you need to get more sleep, you need to focus on your health, or some other important facet of your life that you need to own. In these circumstances, a pill is just a band-aid on a deeper issue. But for those who have optimized the other facets of their lives, gotten their hormones balanced, and still find their libidos lacking, reflecting alterations in brain chemistry, this may be good news.

What are your thoughts?

Are you one of those women who has lost touch with her inner sexy vixen? Do you long to flip the switch back to ON? What works for you? How do you deal with the factors that threaten to damage not just your relationships, but your sense of self? Is a pill the answer for you? What would put you back in touch with your juiciness? What tips do you have that might help others? Let’s connect with each other and tap into our desiring, sexy, luscious selves.

Cheering for your sex life,
Dr. Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin is an OB/GYN physician, artist, and author of the forthcoming book, What’s Up Down There: Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend (St. Martin’s Press, September 2010). Lissa is also the founder of Owning Pink, a popular women’s website and Integrative Medical Center in Mill Valley, CA.


Emma S.
Emma S6 years ago

I think most women find it sexy when their partners give proper attention to them during the day, rather than just when they've finished playing computer games!

Ashani Z.
Ashani Z7 years ago

Pills, whether pink, blue or white, don't solve psychological issues...it's all about the mind and making and effort to be intimate...It's a psychological thing to use something else to blame one's issues such as this, and the other way round..a lot of people do it... but i really don't think it's the logical approach...if you got a problem with your sexual libido, then you gotta fix your head and let your mind control your body...not the other way round...

Kay O.
Kay O7 years ago

Took notes!

Allison S.
Allison S7 years ago

My first marriage was wrong on many levels which eventually led to my despising sex in any form, in fact I tried to avoid it as much as possible. After removing myself from that toxic environment and gave myself some breathing space, I still wasn't eager for sex but the thought of it did not send me running for cover either. My second marriage is so different in all the right ways - much like Steve R describes, and such a change for the better. It has been the best experience ever. Being in a relationship where every touch or hug or kiss or gesture does not have to end is sex is wonderful. In fact I have gone from avoiding it at all costs (in my first relationship) to feeling like I now can't get enough. Mindset and an emotional connection have so much to do with a positive experience and being overworked and always tired/stressed do not help matters. So if both partners work full time or there are kids in the equation, ladies - try not to be super woman, so depending on the ages of the kids, let them help out around the house regularly and guys, you need to be doing household chores as well. Women need to be satisfied with their lives which requires time and energy and may include activities outside the home, so guys, please step up to the plate and provide her with what she needs and you will no doubt get what you 'need' in return magnified.

Edwin Kierulf
Edwin Kierulf7 years ago

Peruvian women have been using maca for thousands of years to help them remain strong. Maca is a natural hormonal balancer. It also increases your energy. This is because of its amino acids which are important for many functions in your body. The good news is, it includes sexual and fertility functions. In other words, it promotes libido and increases performance during sex.

Lisa M.
Lisa M7 years ago

I'm engaged to be married later this year, with a very sexy partner who gets me excited and hits all the right notes on paper..but in reality..the 'drive', the 'need' just isn't there. If suffered depression since a child and through my twenties, my need for sex reduced to near zip where it is now. I'm only 32 and I worry that it will become a real problem for my partner whose sex drive is manic. I make myself available to him so to speak and go through the motions and can achieve orgasm, but it's just not what I'd like it to be. A pill would be great but just wish I could do it on my own! Over worked and over tired doesn't help matters...running a house and a full time job has to take it's toll somewhere..just wish itn wasn't there!!

Nicole C.
Past Member 7 years ago

Here are two more links about this pill that I think everyone should read.



Nicole C.
Past Member 7 years ago

Here is an article on Betty Dodson's site about desire/libido/arousal. http://dodsonandross.com/blogs/carlin/2009/11/women-who-want-want

Nicole C.
Past Member 7 years ago

Betty Dodson, among many others, have said "It seems that men need desire to be aroused and women need arousal to feel desire."

Betty also has said "Libido is a ridiculous word because most of us use it while thinking along the line of our teens or twenty's passionate times. Sex after menopause is like going to the health club..."just do it!" After I've been vibrating for a few minutes, I get interested. But if I waited for the "spirit" to move me, I'd be orgasmless." and I couldn't agree more.

I think there are women who could benefit from this pill but the majority of women who will be taking it do not need to! I think they think this pill will make them feel 19 again.

Linda Mills
Linda Mills7 years ago