Women should be prescribed testosterone on the NHS to boost their sexual desire, a doctor has suggested.
Dr Nick Panay, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told at a conference that it could also improve women's energy and mood.
One in three women is affected by the condition at some point in their lives. There are no licensed testosterone products for women, who need much lower doses than men.
‘Postmenopausal women who had taken testosterone reported significant increases in their mood, energy, muscle strength and stamina.’
Dr Panay, a consultant gynecologist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said there was a need to tell women about the potential benefits of testosterone.
He told the Royal College of GPs' conference in Harrogate: "We're not saying that female androgen replacement is a universal panacea."
"We're not saying it is a female Viagra. Women are much more complex creatures than men (and do not respond) to the on/off button that Viagra offers. But I think that it should be part of the counseling process."
Testosterone should be made available to all women who could benefit. Loss of libido affects 15% of menopausal women. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder can be caused by mental health problems, hormonal factors, and relationship issues.
Patients who had taken testosterone had reported significant increases in their mood, energy, muscle strength and stamina.
Dr Panay said, "They go from feeling drained to being able to run marathons again." Licensed testosterone medications are designed for men and have to be measured down for women.
Dr Channa Jayasena, a clinical senior lecturer in endocrinology at Imperial College London, said, "Testosterone can be given to women in much lower doses than men. It's mainly given in a patch. Women have both sex hormones - estrogen but also testosterone - made by their adrenal glands and also the ovaries. It is a natural hormone but less is known about its effects."