Has testosterone passed the test in premenopausal women with low libido? A systematic review

Beverly G. Reed, Laurice Bou Nemer, Bruce R. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: There are limited evaluation and treatment options for low libido in premenopausal women. This review sought to evaluate the available evidence supporting the evaluation of testosterone serum levels and testosterone treatment of premenopausal women with low libido. Methods: MEDLINE, PubMed, and ClinicalTrials.gov were searched for articles that referenced the evaluation of testosterone serum level and/or testosterone treatment on premenopausal women with low libido from 1995 to 2015. Additional references were obtained from the reference sections of other papers and from peer review. Studies that included only postmenopausal women were excluded. A total of 13 studies were reviewed in detail. Nine studies examined the relationship between testosterone serum levels and sexuality, an additional three studies examined the effect of testosterone treatment on premenopausal women with low libido, and one study examined both the topics. Results: Six of the ten testosterone serum evaluation studies failed to show a significant association between testosterone serum level and libido. Only one out of four studies examining testosterone treatment in premenopausal women was able to show any clear improvement in libido; however, the effect was limited to only the intermediate dose of testosterone, with the low and high doses of testosterone not producing any effect. Conclusion: The currently available evidence does not support testosterone serum evaluation or treatment in premenopausal women with low libido. Hence, further studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-607
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Women's Health
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 13 2016

Keywords

  • Androgens
  • Arousal disorder
  • HSDD
  • Hypoactive sexual desire disorder
  • Ovary
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sexual interest
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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