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Increased Libido

Comparative effects of oral esterified estrogens with and without methyltestosterone on endocrine profiles and dimensions of sexual function in postmenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire
Fertility and Sterility, Volume 79, Issue 6, Pages 1341-1352



In some women, a decline in sexual interest accompanies a relative androgen insufficiency after menopause. We sought to characterize the hormonal effects of the combination of oral esterified estrogens and methyltestosterone and to investigate whether this regimen improves hypoactive sexual desire.


Double-blind randomized trial.


Healthy volunteers in a multicenter research environment.


Postmenopausal women taking estrogen therapy who were experiencing hypoactive sexual desire.


4 months of treatment with 0.625 mg of esterified estrogens (n = 111) or the combination of 0.625 mg of esterified estrogens and 1.25 mg of methyltestosterone (n = 107).

Main outcome measure(s)

Baseline and end-of-study measurements of total and bioavailable testosterone and sex hormone–binding globulin (SHBG), and mean change in level of sexual interest or desire as rated on the Sexual Interest Questionnaire.


Treatment with the combination of esterified estrogens and methyltestosterone significantly increased the concentration of bioavailable testosterone and suppressed SHBG. Scores measuring sexual interest or desire and frequency of desire increased from baseline with combination treatment and were significantly greater than those achieved with esterified estrogens alone. Treatment with the combination was well tolerated.


Increased circulating levels of unbound testosterone and suppression of SHBG provide a plausible hormonal explanation for the significantly improved sexual functioning in women receiving the combination of esterified estrogen and methyltestosterone.


J Reprod Med. 1998 Oct;43(10):847-56.


RESULTS: Estrogen-androgen therapy significantly improved sexual sensation and desire after four and eight weeks of double-blind treatment in comparison to previous estrogen therapy and postplacebo baseline assessments. . . . CONCLUSION: Sexual desire, satisfaction and frequency in postmenopausal women taking hormonal therapy were improved significantly by combined estrogen-androgen therapy but not by estrogen or estrogen-progestin therapy. Sexual function improved with estrogen-androgen therapy even though circulating estrogen levels were lower than those measured during previous estrogen therapy. This leads to the conclusion that androgens play a pivotal role in sexual function but that estrogens are not a significant factor determining levels of sexual drive and enjoyment.



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