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Women's Health, Body and Sex Questions Answered



Q. I have low libido. Should I try testosterone therapy?

A. You might want to consider other solutions first, says ob-gyn Leah Millheiser, M.D., director of the female sexual medicine program at Stanford University Medical Center. Low libido has many causes, which your doctor can help address, including stress, side effects from medication and, yes, hormonal shifts. "Testosterone, a hormone associated with sex drive in women, decreases by about 50% between the ages of 20 and 50. But most women won't notice a change until they transition into menopause," she says. Testosterone therapy isn't approved for women by the FDA, however, doctors sometimes recommend it off-label to postmenopausal patients. If your MD suggests testosterone, make sure you understand exactly how to use it (options include gels, creams or patches) and are aware of the risk factors and side effects.