Calls for testosterone to be licensed in UK for postmenopausal women
The lack of availability of testosterone for postmenopausal women in the
The criticism comes after a taskforce brought together by the
HSDD affects about 32% of women at midlife. There are no figures for the number using testosterone but
Testosterone for women is not licensed by the UK’s regulatory authorities and is only available privately.
“There is something really morally wrong about it when men are allowed to get testosterone and Viagra prescribed on the
The IMS’s global position statement on the use of the hormone for women was published this month and follows years of debate. It confirms postmenopausal women with HSDD can benefit from improved sexual desire, arousal, orgasm and pleasure, as well as reduced distress about sex.
The statement points out that the evidence does not support the use of testosterone for any other symptoms or medical condition.
“The key message is that testosterone clearly has positive benefits on sexual function and minimal side effects and low-risk profiles, and is a very important and critical treatment option for postmenopausal women with HSDD.”
Newson said the statement was long overdue. “Hopefully it’s the first step in getting testosterone licensed for women in the UK,” she said, adding that it was safe and the risk of side-effects was very low. “About 70% of our patients are on it and [guidelines from the
Though testosterone is often perceived as the male hormone, women produce three times as much as oestrogen before the menopause. It plays an important role in sexual arousal, sexual response, libido, bone strength, cardiovascular health, cognitive performance, energy levels and wellbeing in women. Many women with reduced levels of the hormone find that taking testosterone improves their stamina and energy levels, both physically and mentally.
Testosterone is not licensed for women and those who are prescribed it have to use testosterone packaged for men.
“But because it’s not licensed and packaged for women, I have to give them sachets designed for men. Men use one sachet a day but women have to divide that sachet over 10 days. This is obviously messy and tricky. There’s a definite need to have a female preparation but we can’t control companies’ commercial decisions.”
“Using [hormone replacement therapy] without testosterone seems mad to me. If you were a car, you wouldn’t just put petrol in it. You need oil to make things run smoothly. Testosterone is my oil but I have to pay privately to get one in a female formulation. It’s crazy that it’s not licensed for women in the UK.”
A spokesperson for the