The FDA has a lot of female issues on its plate right now.
Today, a committee of reproductive health experts, reports CNN.com, will vote on a new drug being called by some the "female Viagara." Officially named flibanserin (Yikes! What a name!), it's a type of antidepressant that helps balance brain chemicals linked to sexual desire.
If approved by the FDA, the drug will be the first of its kinds to help treat many forms of female sexual dysfunction, says CNN.
Since Viagara came out over 12 years ago, a female version is welcome news for some women who have battled sexual dysfunction for decades, and have not found success with the "just relax and drink some wine" method that many of their sex therapists or doctors suggest.
Sheryl Kingsberg, a clinical psychologist and professor in the departments of reproductive biology and psychiatry at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine said that part of the reason it's taken so long for anyone to develop a drug like this for women is because female sexual issues might be more complicated than those that men experience.
"For men," Kingsberg said, "the problem was with their genitals, and that was a lot easier fix than fixing a problem in the brain."
If this drug is approved and successfully helps women with their sex issues, it will be welcome relief for Moms like Gena, over at Circle of Moms, who says she hasn't had a sex drive since her first child was born 17 years ago. (via CNN)
Another women's health issue being discussed by the government this week is a new emergency contraceptive the FDA green lit on Thursday. It's different from the "morning after" pill currently on the market because this new drug can be used up to five days after sex. The original drug is only good for 72 hours.
A unanimous vote by the Advisory Committee on Reproductive Health recommended the drug, which is called ella. A group of 20 women's health organizations backing the drug believes that this new pill, when offered in addition to the 72-hour variety, "will increase the likelihood that a woman can access a product that works for her situation."
It's nice to see so many female issues on the docket at the FDA. I once read an excerpt from the book "The Female Brain," that said studies published in the 70s on biology and brain chemistry often didn't include female data in their results. When a college students asked his teacher why that was the case, the professor replied that the women's information "screwed up the results."
We've come a long way!