More on Libido
It may feel that this week's entries have been on a single topic, and three of the five have been. I am counting on the fact that sex is important to most of us and not a subject of which we easily tire. First, in case you haven't heard it, the update is that the FDA did approve Flibanserin. Before you get too excited, let me remind you that this drug is marketed for pre-menopausal women, and that is going to eliminate most post-cancer women (by virtue of their age and natural menopause or chemically or surgically induced menopause).
Flibanserin targets two neurotransmitters in the brain that can help inspire sexual desire. The first is dopamine, which helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers and could help drive up our interest in sex. The second is norepinephrine, which affects parts of the brain that control attention and response.
This is an introduction to a very good article from BreastCancer.org; the information is equally relevant to women who have been treated for other cancers. Here is the start and a link:
We Hear Your Frustration With Low Libido and Vaginal Dryness!
By Michael Krychman, M.D.
We know that reclaiming your sexual self after a breast cancer diagnosis can be incredibly challenging. It doesn’t help that there are no approved drugs for lowered libido (sexual desire) in women, and while there are many treatments approved for vaginal dryness, none have been approved specifically for women who’ve had breast cancer. And many vaginal dryness treatments carry warnings and precautions for women who’ve had breast cancer. So, there is no magic pill – and this can be frustrating not only for you, but also for healthcare professionals who want to help their patients.
As this column is being published, I am in Washington D.C., meeting with your elected politicians on Capitol Hill – senators, representatives, and other key officials – attending meetings to discuss our frustration with the lack of medical solutions for women when it comes to lowered sexual desire.
As it stands today, there are 26 solutions for lowered sexual interest for men and zero for women. The inequality is pathetic and staggering! Both the government and the Food and Drug Administration need to finally listen and understand that women, including those who read this column, are suffering without solutions. Safe and effective non-hormonal medications need to be available for women! Hormones are not the answer for everyone and certainly not for those who’ve had a breast cancer diagnosis.