Treatments and Drugs Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD)
In order to address FSD related to an underlying medical condition, your doctor may require you to:
Use techniques for treating pelvic pain or other pain issues
Treat your anxiety or depression
Treat a hormonal problem like a thyroid condition
Change or adjust medicines that cause sexual side effects
Addressing FSD associated to a hormonal problem can include:
You need to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of these two therapies.
Potential treatments for FSD include
Tibolone – This drug is a synthetic steroid available in Australia and Europe used for addressing postmenopausal osteoporosis. One study done showed postmenopausal women using Tibolone experienced betterment in overall sexual function and a lessening in personal distress as opposed to postmenopausal women taking estrogen. The problem with tibolone is that it heightens the risk of stroke and breast cancer in women. Tibolone is not yet approved for commercial use by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Phosphodiesterase inhibitors – This type of medicines showed effectiveness in addressing erectile dysfunction (ED) in men; however they don’t work well in addressing FSD. Viagra (sildenafil) can provide some effectiveness for certain women suffering from sexual dysfunction due to intake of SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (that are considered antidepressants). Sildenafil is contraindicated if one is using nitroglycerin to treat angina — a condition where pain in the chest is due to reduced circulation to the heart.
Acupuncture – Acupuncture is the use of very thin needles that entails the insertion of said needles into certain parts in the body. Acupuncture can provide benefits for women experiencing sexual pain disorders. Acupuncture has also been proven to enhance the libido of women which can effectively address their sexual dysfunction.
Yoga – A yoga activity involves a number of controlled breathing exercises and postures to generate a calm mind and a more flexible body. Yoga possesses some subsets that enhance sexual functioning and channel the body’s sexual energy. Most people performing yoga have attested to its benefits in terms of better psychological well-being and overall health.
Treatments and Drugs for Male Sexual Dysfunction (MSD)
Oral Agents – These can include Cialis, Levitra and Viagra. The selection of treatment options should come about from the interaction between the patient and his doctor; the choice might even be optimized when the partner of the patient participates. Oral agents like Viagra do not work for all patients. Sometimes though, the improper use of Viagra can be a reason for its ineffectiveness. About half of the cases of Viagra ineffectiveness stems from inadequate training of its use. If a treatment does not work, the patient may feel a sense of failure; however, most of the time, it is not the patient that is to blame but the treatment itself which may be the wrong kind for the man’s specific sexual dysfunction. Therefore, the doctor needs to do a correct diagnosis of the patient to know exactly what treatment plan to implement.
Topical agents – These are substances applied to the penis itself with the purpose of achieving an erection. Newer and more potent agents are now available in the market that provides great results. These medicines are usually available online but many of them are still not US FDA approved.
MUSE – MUSE is an acronym meaning Medicated Urethral System for Erection. This is an FDA-approved treatment that uses a soft pellet of a substance placed into the tip of the penis using a plastic applicator. The substance causes the blood vessels in the penis to widen causing an erection. Sometimes a tourniquet and MUSE is applied to the base of the penis. This generates an erection that is sufficient enough for intercourse and is very helpful for a number of patients.
Penile devices – These devices are FDA approved and are considered effective and safe. They are especially useful for patients suffering from ED. The device is placed comfortably over the penis. A vacuum then is used to draw blood into the penis. A tourniquet located in the base is used to trap blood within the device it and the cylinder is then removed.
Penile Implants –The components of these devices are surgically implanted in to the male’s genitals. They are completely hidden within the body and help make the penis fully erect as long as needed. The person can easily manipulate his penis to make it hard or soft as he so desires. After a short healing period, the patient and his partner can start to enjoy the benefits of this implant. In terms of rate of satisfaction, inflatable penile implants rate the highest among all treatment options for MSD with about a 95% rate of satisfaction.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can treat male sexual dysfunction such as low libido, ED and premature ejaculation.
Low libido – Sexual function depends on the balance and integrity of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Acupuncture can directly stimulate the ANS and help release neurotransmitters responsible for better circulation and erection and help in the production of and release of testosterone into the blood stream.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) – ED can either come about due to an organic cause, psychogenic origin or both. Organic causes involve substance use, prostate problem, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, medicines or cardiovascular disease.
From a Chinese medicine point of view ED can be caused by a stagnant (blockage or weak flow) or excessive condition or by an underlying deficiency (i.e., inadequate energy). By means of a specific and correct diagnosis, Chinese Medicine and acupuncture can increase circulation into the genitals and treat any underlying energy inadequacy.
Premature ejaculation – Like ED, Chinese Medicine sees premature ejaculation as either a deficiency or excess of blood and energy. Factors like being emotionally stressed out; being overworked; dietary choices; or even too much sexual activity can cause the body to have poor control of ejaculation. Herbs and acupuncture can strengthen the body’s ability to remove the excess factors contributing to PE.
Dominic Sembello, L.Ac., is board certified and licensed acupuncturist in Linwood, NJ.