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For the past decade, since the time that Viagra was released for general sale to the masses, rumors have abounded about a “female Viagra.” There have been claims about such a drug having been developed; indeed, some Internet sites even offer such a drug to help with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or a loss of sexual desire in women, which about a third of women (especially those who have had ovariectomies or hysterectomies) deal with. But are the claims of a “female Viagra” the real deal?

The short answer, for now, is no. Some websites offer products like Womenra, which is nothing more than a generic sildenafil product that might produce some stimulation, but basically is just going to increase blood flow to the genitals in much the same way it does in a man’s penis. That’s right. If the word sildenafil looked familiar to you, that’s because it’s nothing more than the active ingredient in Viagra, and there’s no guarantee that it will do anything to increase a woman’s libido. Some people consider this type of product to simply be another method of unscrupulous sellers trying to take advantage of people who prefer to buy prescriptions online.

Another product being offered online is Provestra, a “unique, proprietary blend of botanicals and nutrients acts to gently and naturally correct imbalances that can interfere with your enjoyment and interest in sexual intimacy. Sensations are heightened, responses and lubrication are improved, and overall sex drive is increased with Provestra,” it says on the website, which goes on to promise increased vaginal lubrication and improved orgasms. But Provestra is still an herbal blend that has nothing to do with approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which will ultimately be the judge of whether or not something is indeed a female Viagra.

Intrinsa, a testosterone hormone skin patch developed by Procter & Gamble, is now available in some foreign countries and over the Internet; however, it is not available online from Procter and Gamble itself, so purchasing the patch may be a bit of a gamble. It has not yet been approved for use in the U.S., and there is no indication that it will be any time in the immediate future.

So…perhaps the most promising product currently under development is LibiGel, currently being tested at the University of Virginia. A testosterone-based ointment, LibiGel is, like the rest of these products, intended to boost the sex drives and desires of women who have lost interest in sex. It will be prescribed at University of Virginia in coming months to women who are suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder, and the University of Virginia joins 99 other medical institutions that are participating in testing the drug. Illinois-based BioSante Pharmaceuticals Inc., manufacturers of the product, are hoping to be given the green light soon by the FDA to be able to distribute the product.

When the “female Viagra” is finally developed, it will hopefully be available through a reputable online pharmacy for women who prefer the convenience of ordering their prescriptions through the Internet. An established online pharmacy can provide the security and discretion for customers who prefer to buy prescriptions online. In the meantime, ladies, please be careful and aware when considering the purchase of any type of product that claims to be the “female Viagra.”