Have you heard about the newly FDA approved pill to boost low sex drive? It’s called ADDYI. It’s too soon to tell if it’s going to turn into Viagra for women, but if pills aren’t for you, read my Love Essentially column, published two days ago in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Integrative Neurologist, Dr. Trupti Gokani offer holistic methods to help with women’s lack of sex drive.
Is New Sex Drive Pill the Female Viagra? by Jackie Pilossoph
Remember how crazy things got when the FDA approved Viagra? There wasn’t a man out there who wasn’t curious about the little blue pill that could help them have better sex.
Well, now it’s the ladies’ turn. You might have heard that the FDA recently approved use of a new drug, Addyi, a pill indicated for premenopausal women who suffer from HSDD (hypoactive sexual desire disorder), which according to drug’s producer, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, affects up to one in 10 women in the U.S.
Reading about Addyi got me thinking about how many marriages might end up benefiting if the drug proves to be half as successful as Viagra. After all, sex is a very important component in most romantic relationships, and problems often arise if either person has a lack of interest.
Dr. Trupti Gokani is a Glenview-based neurologist with a focus in Ayurveda, an ancient holistic approach to medicine developed thousands of years ago in India. I asked Gokani why some women lose interest in sex as they get older.
“According to ancient medicine, as we age we all tend to accumulate more of the air/space elements, which is one of the five elements in Ayurveda,” said Gokani, who said she has been in private practice for 13 years. “Imagine air being blown on your body, like I turned a fan on and had you sit in front of it. What this means is that we become more dry and cold in our nature, which leads to vaginal dryness, cold hands and feet, anxiety and difficulty sleeping for some women as they age. This definitely has a link to a decrease in libido.”
Gokani also said that as women get older, our hormones become depleted, first decreasing progesterone and DHEA, followed by estrogens and testosterone. If these hormones deplete too fast (which can happen if we have lived a very stressful life), it can lead to a drop in sexual desire.
Although Addyi proved successful in clinical trials, there are certain things I’m sure women will consider before rushing to their doctor for a prescription: side effects, drug interactions and honestly, efficacy. We won’t really know how well the drug works until thousands of prescriptions are written and women start taking it.
In the meantime, I asked Gokani if she had holistic approaches for women who experience low sex drive. Here are her recommendations:
• Ashwagandha: An herbal supplement also known as Indian Ginseng. “It is an adaptogenic herb that resets the adrenals, especially under stress,” she said. “It is considered a nervine since it nourishes the nerves. This is one of the best known Ayurvedic herbals to restore libido and help reduce the impact of stress on the body.”
• Shatavari: Another herb that helps restore circulation to the sexual organs and improves hormonal balance.
• Daily yoga (even as little as 10-15 minutes): “Yoga resets your mind and starts the day with compassion and love FOR YOURSELF,” Gokani said. “Women often neglect ourselves and put all of our emphasis on our kids, family and/or work. You need to nourish yourself to help boost your libido and sexual energy. When you are nourished and vibrant, that energy will radiate.”