The study will look at women aged between 35 and 55 years who have been taking antidepressant medication for at least three months and who are experiencing a loss of libido as a side effect of this medication.
Professor Susan Davis, Director of the Women’s Health Group at Monash University is leading the research and is looking for 100 women to take part in the world-first study.
“Studies have shown that testosterone therapy can improve libido and the feeling of wellbeing. However, in the past these studies have excluded women with depression or who are taking medication for depression,” said Professor Davis.
Testosterone is a sex steroid hormone found in women and men. In women, testosterone is produced in the ovaries and in other tissues and converted into other hormones using oestrogen. Levels of testosterone in women are approximately one tenth of male levels.
“Female sexual dysfunction is an established side-effect of antidepressant therapy, most frequently presenting as loss of libido, arousal and orgasm difficulties,” said Professor Davis.
“The purpose of this study is to assess the effects of testosterone on sexual function in women treated with antidepressants.”
There are currently no medications available that have been shown to improve libido in women who have sexual dysfunction secondary to taking antidepressants.
“Our research will determine how we can fix this issue and hopefully provide a solution to this growing problem amongst women,” said Professor Davis.
To participate in the study, women aged between 35 and 55 years can contact the Women’s Health Group at Monash University on 03 9903 0374 or [email protected]
To find out more about the Women’s Health Research Program visit http://womenshealth.med.monash.edu.au