02 May 2007

Cream no libido help

Topical testosterone cream does not boost sexual desire in female cancer survivors, a Mayo Clinic study says.

Topical testosterone cream does not boost sexual desire in female cancer survivors, a Mayo Clinic study says.

Decreased libido is a common problem among female cancer survivors. Previous research has suggested an association between testosterone therapy (also called androgen therapy) and increased sex drive in women with adequate oestrogen levels, according to background information in the article.

How the research was done
This new study, published in the May 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, included 150 postmenopausal cancer survivors who were divided into two groups that received either a testosterone cream or a placebo daily for four weeks. They then switched to the other treatment for another four weeks.

A questionnaire was used to assess the women's sexual desire before the start of the study, and again at four and eight weeks. The study found no statistical difference in libido between the testosterone cream and placebo groups. Women using the cream or placebo all showed some increase in sexual desire, which suggests a placebo effect, the researchers said.

They noted that the testosterone cream's lack of effectiveness may have been due to low oestrogen levels among the women in the study.

"If providing supplemental oestrogen to women who are postmenopausal is required to obtain a benefit from androgen therapy, then it does not appear that androgen supplementation would be a viable option for women who must avoid (oestrogen) replacement," the study authors wrote. - (HealthDayNews, May 2007)

Read more:
Intimacy after cancer
Cancer Centre


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Cancer expert

CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst and Head of Advocacy Magdalene Seguin. For more information, visit

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules