Are We a Step Closer to a Viagra for Women?

Also, the desire to have sex, otherwise known as libido, is not the same as the ability to become aroused, experts pointed out, and for the majority of women with sexual problems, desire is the culprit, not arousal.

While all these components are necessary in both women and men, boosting the arousal portion of the equation has proved successful in treating men, said Kingsberg. By increasing blood flow to the penis with drugs like Viagra, erectile dysfunction becomes treatable, but it does not offer the same cure-all for women.

"Desire is multifactorial -- both biological and psychological, and for the one in 10 women who lack sexual desire, a condition known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder -- there is no FDA approved treatment," she said, though psychological treatments can help.

Popping a pill to solve female sexual dysfunction the way we often do for men is a long way away, Schwartz said.

But for the smaller window of women for whom a women's Viagra might help, "why wouldn't we help if we could?"

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