A woman taking female enhancement pills
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There are women who have a condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder, which is a normal part of life.

It is a mental and physical sexual problem in which women lack motivation or lose desire to have sex for at least 6 months, causing distress to themselves or problems in their relationships.

Female sexual interest and arousal disorder is a condition that may be referred to as female sexual interest and arousal disorder.

About 10 percent of women live with HSDD. The condition can affect a woman’s quality of life and mental health.

HSDD is thought to be caused by an imbalance in the neural pathways in the brain, according to a 2019 article in Obstetrics & Gynecology. “That imbalance can lead to increased inhibition, decreased excitation, and a diminished responsiveness to sexual cues,” note the researchers.

Women are at risk for the condition.

  • Sexual functioning of a partner.
  • medical conditions such as diabetes
  • Depression and blood pressure medications are commonly used.
  • There are problems in a relationship.
  • Depression and anxiety are issues of the psychiatric.
  • The menopause.

There are two prescription drugs on the market that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to specifically address HSDD. They are available only for premenopausal women.

These drugs are dubbed “female Viagra,” as a play on the medication for men to alleviate erectile dysfunction. They work in the body in different ways and are also administered differently.

  • flibanserin (Addyi), a pill taken every evening.
  • bremelanotide (Vyleesi), a self-administered injection before sex

It should be noted, the FDA has not approved sildenafil (Viagra) for women to use, but it has been prescribed off-label for a women with low sex drive.

Off-label drug use

“Drug use that isn’t approved by the FDA for one purpose is considered off-label. A doctor can still use the drug for that purpose. The FDA regulates the testing and approval of drugs but not how they are used by doctors. Your doctor can prescribe a drug if they think it’s best for you.”


Vyleesi (bremelanotide) is an FDA-approved prescription injection for treating HSDD in premenopausal people who, for unknown reasons, no longer desire to have sex regardless of the sexual activity, situation, or partner.

“This medication doesn’t help with sexual performance. It also deals with distress related to the HSDD.”

It is recommended that you take this medication at least 45 minutes before you have sex. You can only take it once in a day and only take eight doses a month.

It’s advisable to stop taking this medication if it doesn’t work for your HSDD after 8 weeks.

People with high blood pressure and heart disease should not take this medication. Before starting Vyleesi, you should talk to your doctor about your health conditions and the drugs you are taking.


Addyi (flibanserin) is the first FDA-approved medication for HSDD in premenopausal people who, due to no health, medication-related, or relationship problems, start having low or no desire for sex, regardless of sexual activity, situation, or partner.

This medication can improve sexual satisfaction but not sexual performance. It can increase the desire for sex and reduce the distress that comes from low sexual desire.

“Addyi can be taken according to your doctor’s prescription. You can take one tablet a day, but only at night. Addyi can cause low blood pressure, dizziness, and sleep problems when you take it at other times of the day.”

The FDA warns that people who consume alcohol should not take Addyi. If you do drink alcohol, wait for at least 2 hours before taking Addyi at bedtime. Doing otherwise can increase the risk of severe low blood pressure and fainting.

If you have taken Addyi at night, you should wait until the next day to drink alcohol.

If you miss a dose, take your next dose the next day.

“If your symptoms don’t improve after 8 weeks of Addyi, you should talk to your doctor.”

Both Addyi and Vyleesi work differently than Viagra, says Dr. Puja Uppal, a board certified family medicine physician and the chief medical officer at Think Healthy.


“Addyi is a multimodal agent that was originally developed for the treatment of major depression. Addyi works on the neurotransmitters dopamine, and serotonin, unlike Viagra, which works on the men’s organs.”

Addyi was unsuccessful in clinical trials for treating depression, but it was reported to have the side effect of increased libido in female patients, according to a 2017 article in Pharmacy & Therapeutics.


The Vyleesi injection is a melanocortin receptor agonist.

It works by using the melanocortin receptor 4 (MCRs) which helps to modify sexual function.

The long-term effect of both drugs is still unknown.

Addyi was rejected by the FDA twice before it was approved. Once it was rejected because it wasn’t more effective than a placebo. The second time was because of safety concerns. Some studies have shown about 10 percent of women notice a difference with HSDD after taking Addyi, according to the National Women’s Health Network.

A 2017 Pharmacy & Therapeutics article concluded the safety risks of using Addyi, in most cases, will outweigh the small net benefits in improving sexual desire.

It depends.

Uppal says that they are not miracle pills for women. They have a large side effect profile, but in the right person they can make a huge difference.


Uppal says that women with depression and drinkers of alcohol should not take Addyi.

Side effects for Addyi include:

  • dizziness
  • It is too sleepy.
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • The mouth is dry.


The increase in blood pressure is the major side effect of Vyleesi.

Nausea after the injection and during sex was reported by about 40 percent of women in one study. The company’s website says the drug is not for women with cardiovascular disease.

Vyleesi can lead to a failure of the medication, so it should not be used by women who are taking it.

Side effects for Vyleesi include:

  • vomiting
  • There is a throbbing head.
  • There is a process of flushing.
  • It was a bit of a nosey thing.
  • cough
  • It is a problem of tiredness.
  • dizziness

“If symptoms don’t improve in 8 weeks, you can have your doctor tell you when to stop the drugs.”

You need a diagnosis to get female enhancement pills. There is no specific test for the condition, rather a combination of factors that lead to a diagnosis.

Your healthcare professional will likely do a medical exam to rule out any health conditions that may be contributing to your low sexual desire.

If you have one or more of the following symptoms for more than 6 months, your doctor may diagnose you with a low sex drive.

  • There is no loss of interest to initiate or engage in sexual activity.
  • The need to experience sexual arousal is absent or decreased.
  • Not responding to sexual stimulation or cues can be related to other senses.

Remember, having a low libido does not necessarily mean you have HSDD. “Sex drive varies from one woman to another, and what bothers one might not bother another,” say the medical professionals at the International Society for Sexual Medicine.

According to the Addyi website, an online consultation starts at $19 and a prescription is around $20 a month with commercial insurance coverage. The caveat at the bottom of the page says it’s only for a limited time and for certain customers.

“Most insurance companies won’t cover the cost. There are manufacturer coupons that can be found online. Be sure to check with your insurance provider if they cover Addyi. It can cost hundreds for a 30-day supply if you pay out of pocket.”

Vyleesi offers a similar promotion. Some patients will not pay a copay for their prescription and no more than $99 for four injection refills, with or without insurance coverage. Paying out of pocket for Vyleesi can cost more than $4,000 at commercial pharmacies.

There are a number of reasons why women have low libido, such as depression, pain with intercourse, or even from negative associations because of atrophic vaginitis. One of the biggest things that a person should know is that this is very common.

Uppal says that treatments may include psychological interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, couples therapy, andMindfulness-based therapies.

Depression and anxiety medication may also have some effects on sexual desire. “For women with antidepressant-related female sexual arousal syndrome, bupropion can sometimes help with their symptoms,” adds Drupal.

Experts say combination treatment is the most effective in many cases. Your treatment plan may also include:

  • Introducing new experiences, like having a sensual massage, having sex in the middle of the day, or using sex toys to make your sex life more exciting and increase desire.
  • Sex education or counseling to help you (and your partner) learn why you might be having problems in your sex life, potential solutions to these problems, and better ways to communicate your sexual desires and differences with your partner.
  • Managing stress levels that may affect sexual desire by reducing work and home responsibilities, getting quality sleep every night, exercising, and engaging in other mind-body exercises.

Are female enhancement pills covered by insurance?

According to the Addyi website, most major insurance plans cover the cost of Addyi.

Vyleesi also mentions on its website that insurance may cover the cost of your medication. You can check in with your insurance provider first to see whether your plan covers female enhancement pills.

Can you get female enhancement pills over the counter?

“No. Female enhancement pills need a doctor’s prescription to be obtained. You can’t get them at the counter.”

Who shouldn’t try female enhancement pills?

If you take female enhancement pills, avoid it.

  • You are having symptoms.
  • If you have a health condition like high blood pressure, heart disease, or liver disease, you are more likely to develop other serious health problems if you take female enhancement pills.
  • You want to improve your performance.
  • You are taking medications that can affect the amount of female enhancement drug in your blood.
  • You are breastfeeding.
  • You are pregnant.

If you suspect you have a condition called Hypochondriacs Digestive Disorders, it is important to talk with a doctor about your options. You may have a health concern that is affecting your libido.

“Female enhancement drugs can be a leap forward for women’s health, even though they aren’t perfect when it comes to treating women’s waning sexual desires.”

Tracee Herbaugh is a writer and journalist who lives in the Boston area. She writes about culture, lifestyle, health, and family relationships. You can view her work online or find her on Twitter.