The next female Viagra may not be a drug

Female sexuality has been ignored for much of historyAnd this is also noticeable in the scientific advances that have been made on the subject. A paradigmatic case is that of sex enhancers: there is not yet a version of Viagra for women comparable to its male counterpart in terms of effectiveness and lightness of side effects.

However, that could change now, with the emergence of an alternative which is a type of non-drug intervention that works directly on the brain.

The Addyi fiasco

It was not that long ago that the pill that was informally known as “Female Viagra” began to hit the market.

Its real name is Addyi, and although the press spread its properties with enthusiasm, it was soon found to be very ineffective in increasing sexual desire, and its side effects were also found to be too intense to consider this product as a promising alternative.

These disappointing results have led many researchers to decide to tackle the problem from scratch, without taking too much for granted. One of the methods of female sexual empowerment which is being tested and which offers more promising results is, for example, a tool which is not even based on the release of an active ingredient through pills. In this case, the key is to stimulate certain parts of the brain with signals that act through the scalp and the bones of the skull.

Viagra for women, acting directly on the brain

This promising tool has two different variations, however both rely on the use of electric shocks on parts of the brain related to the experience of pleasure and the rewards system, all without surgery.

Occasional help to feel more desire

One of these two tools is called direct current stimulation (DCS) and involves placing a device on the head, which sends a diffuse electrical signal for about 20 minutes to strategically chosen areas of the brain.

This stimulation does not in itself serve to experience greater sexual desire; its function is to make a greater variety of stimuli collected by the senses appreciated as sexually suggestive. In other words, DCS serves to predispose.

An option to increase libido in women permanently

The second option that we are working on to intervene in the lack of sexual desire in women is called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). It is a tool that began to be studied primarily as a resource for treating therapy-resistant depression (being effective in such problems). fundamentally TMS is the creation of a magnetic field around the head by which areas of the brain related to the reward system are stimulated. All this without pain.

Concretely, it enhances the activity of these brain regions which react to pleasure and in general, which is perceived as a reward (and which we therefore want to repeat). It is precisely these areas that show less activity than normal in women who notice that they perceive a problem in their lack of sexual desire.

In this way, TMS allows those areas of the brain that remain in an abnormally low state of activation in women with lack of sexual desire to activate as they do in most people, but without crossing that threshold. In other words, there would be no risk of going beyond and generating the opposite problem.

The results obtained using this technique are very promising. Through an experiment, the results were published in PLoS ONE and in which 20 men and women participated, it was found that TMS caused activation patterns of parts of the brain involved in the onset of pleasure were significantly more intense.

Stimulate the brain, but without drugs

Both methods of brain stimulation have many advantages. Unlike drug treatment, they get to the root of the problem bypassing the metabolism of substances circulating in the blood, and their side effects should therefore be much less.

Outraged, these two development options pose different approaches. TMS is used with the aim of introducing long-term changes in brain function after going through a series of sessions in the clinic, while DCS offers an instant solution that only lasts for a few minutes, just like conventional Viagra would. .

Of course, there will always be a debate as to whether lack of sexual desire is itself a clinical problem or not; the problem may not be with the person. However, this discussion cannot obscure the fact that developing solutions for women who wish to increase their sexual desire is beneficial.

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