Testosterone cream for low sex drive? | Go Ask Alice!

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on October 25th, 2018

Dear Alice,

Is it true that women can apply testosterone cream to their vaginal area to increase sex drive?

Dear Reader,

While some studies suggest that testosterone cream might increase sex drive in women, it is not FDA-approved and it may not work for all women. The risks and side effects can be significant and unpleasant, so women experiencing low sex drive may want to consider alternative, less-risky treatments instead of topical hormone therapies.

For many women, their low sex drive is a tough nut to crack. It is important to note that a low sex drive is a complex issue affected by physical, psychological, social, and/or hormonal causes. Women may experience challenges during any of the stages of sexual response, including sexual desire and arousal. These issues can occur in all women at any stage in life, although they occur more frequently around hormonal events (such as after having a child or during menopause) or after an illness. Common experiences include:

There are medical and non-medical treatments that may increase sex drive:

Non-Medical Treatment Options:

Medical Treatment Options:

If you are considering medical treatment, you should think about discussing your symptoms with a health care provider. Columbia students may call x4-2284 or log on to Open Communicator to make an appointment with a provider at Medical Services. Female sexual dysfunction may be the result of other medical conditions, so your doctor may develop a treatment plan to address those issues. Other treatments include:

Testosterone therapy for low sex drive in women, though not FDA-approved, may still be available through a health care provider and can be given as a cream, patch, gel or injection. Because testosterone is a male hormone found in small levels in women, when extra testosterone is administered to women, some of the side effects can be unpleasant. These include:

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Testosterone cream for low sex drive? | Go Ask Alice!

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