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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You've lost that lovin' feeling

If you've ever opened a spam email, seen an infomercial or traveled down the vitamin aisle at the pharmacy, you have probably seen the (often ridiculous) products marketed to men to the improve their sex drive. The commercials for Levitra and similar products are vomit-inducing for sure, and kind of make me laugh - what about all those women with low sex drive? Who are these women that men are trying to please by rushing out to order libido enhancers?

The claims they make are laughable - and I can't believe reputable pharmacies are actually selling this crap. But what I want to know is, where are the female enhancement pills? Why does no one seem to care about that?

According to one 2008 study, upwards of 40 percent of women report having a low sex drive. While the Levitra ads are geared towards people reaching retirement age, studies indicate young women have this problem, too. Many think that use of antidepressants and birth control can be to blame - Paxil, for one, is a known killer of the sex drive. Apparently, many of the women in the study also reported being depressed - and noticed a further decrease in libido when using antidepressants.

Guess what? Depression and low sex drive can also be signs of a thyroid disorder! Of course, the article doesn't mention the word "thyroid" as a cause anywhere. Many popular medical sites often do not include low sex drive as a symptom; in fact, one site suggested it was only a problem in men.

Women are often embarrassed to talk about sexual problems with their doctors, and many times it's blamed on lifestyle: busy, working full time, raising children, "you're tired!" Nah, I don't think so. While it can certainly contribute to that, it often doesn't get to the root of the problem. And if your care provider doesn't know it's a symptom, they're more likely to brush you off.

Awhile back I blogged about a friend who's doctor insisted she "stop drinking too much soda pop" in response to her noticeable weight gain, even though she doesn't drink pop, she said. As far as her excruciatingly low sex drive, her doctor's advice was to "fake it." How horrifying.

So, we market millions of dollars worth of junk medicine to men in an attempt to restore their "function," but women get relegated to the back burner - perhaps even ignored and brushed off - when it comes to their sexual problems. 'Just blame it on kids!'

Ladies, just another reason to get your thyroid tested. And men, skip the worthless enhancement pills and get yours checked, too!

More reading:
Low Sex Drive and Thyroid Disease
Sex Drive 101 for Thyroid Patients
Low sex drive in women


Em said...

Oh yeah, I have felt the low and no sex drive. I was supposedly in my prime and I could have cared less. I brought this up to my psychiatrist and it is a huge symptom of depression and the medications that treat it. After some medication tweaking I have my drive back, it's not massive like it used to be but it's healthy. As far as DH goes he has a less than average drive so we balance out and are both happy.

As far as those commercials go- they are gross. They are a highly marketed drug, you can see the ads almost any time of day- I do not need to answer what Viagra and making your wife happy to my kids!