News: Transdermal testosterone improves sexual satisfaction

July 1, 2008

A daily dose of transdermal testosterone for 16 weeks improved sexual satisfaction.

A daily 90-µL dose of transdermal testosterone for 16 weeks modestly increased the mean number of satisfactory sexual events (SSEs)-by almost one per month-among premenopausal women with a reduced libido and a low serum-free testosterone level at baseline.

The somewhat ambiguous results come from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving six Australian medical centers and 261 women aged 35 to 46 years who reported a decrease in satisfying sexual activity and who had a morning serum-free testosterone level less than 3.8 pmol/L (<1.1 pg/mL).

One smaller and one larger dose of transdermal testosterone were also tested that yielded results similar to that found with placebo, indicating an absence of a dose-response relationship. In fact, the number of SSEs increased in all four groups, including in the placebo group.

Basson R. Testosterone supplementation to improve women's sexual satisfaction: complexities and unknowns. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148:620-621.

Davis S, Papalia MA, Norman RJ, et al. Safety and efficacy of a testosterone metered-dose transdermal spray for treating decreased sexual satisfaction in premenopausal women: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148:569-577.