More than 20 years after Viagra first started to change the sex lives of men the world over, it might finally be time for women to also enjoy the benefits of the libido stimulant.

In Sydney, Australia a new Viagra spray for women is being trialled, which can be administered up the nose and help to increase sex drive.

According 9 News Australia, there’s currently no approved treatment for women of child-bearing age to help increase a low sex drive – the psychological effects of which can be harmful.

Monash University’s Professor Susan Davis, Director of the Women’s Health Research Program, is among those behind the attempt to change that.

“When women go to their doctor and they say they’ve lost interest in sex and it’s affecting them and their relationship and their wellbeing, they’re often too quickly dismissed,” she said.

“They are told it’s because they’re working and they’ve got kids and they’ve got stress and not sleeping,” she added.

Credit: 9News
Credit: 9News

Davis hopes that a molecule called BP101 can be used to help with the problem.

She said: “This molecule acts within the central brain pathways, particularly what we call the GABA pathway that influences sexual behaviour.”

This is done by spraying the peptide up the nose and to the nerves of the nasal cavity which will then travel into the brain.

Around 480 women have been recruited for the trial across 100 different centres in Australia – following a previous trial with 200 women where the spray’s safety and effectiveness was tested.

Although it’s easy to make jokes around the use of Viagra, concerns about sexual performance provide a very real source for depression and anxiety for people.

New research by Monash has revealed that in Australia alone it’s a large problem, with around 10 percent of women aged 18-39 having experienced low sexual desire, causing them considerable distress.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The prevalence of sexual dysfunction escalates with age, and about one in three women aged 40 to 65 also experience low sexual desire.

“The impact on their psychological wellbeing is as severe as having a chronic condition like type 2 diabetes or severe lower back pain,” Professor Davis said.

A large part of the distress caused by such issues around sex is the stigma placed on it.

Many people are embarrassed about admitting that they have a problem, to the extent that a 2018 study of men by the Lloyds Pharmacy Group found that one in ten people said that they would rather give up sex than admit to suffering from erection problems.

It’s clear that if successful, the nasal spray could improve the sex lives of women the world over, but there also needs to be a distinct change in the attitudes around problems related to sexual performance to make real change.

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