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We Don't Need 'Viagra for Women' ... We Need Breakfast in Bed!

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Dr. Wendy Walsh: In its race to be the first to market with a female version of Viagra-style medication, a German pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim, is pressuring the FDA to approve its new daily pill that promises to increase women's libidos. The FDA is stalling, saying that the side effects of nausea and dizziness are worse than the problems it's trying to treat, and that a woman's libido is complicated and no one knows how much emotions and psychology play into it. Nevertheless, the pharmaceutical company is trying to turn low sex drive in women into a widespread pathology.

Woman breakfast in bed

Historically, the medical community has loved to medicate womanhood. Depending on which study you read, one in six American women are currently on an SSRI (antidepressant). I guess that's an advancement from the traumatic surgical hysterectomies that women were once forced to endure to cure their "hysteria." And how about postpartum depression? It's the diagnosis darling of our generation. Funny, isn't it, how affluent women with less pressure to work and mothers with extensive family support have lower rates of PPD? Now the drug companies are telling mothers -- us exhausted caregivers and providers -- that we have a sexual dysfunction?!

According to the New York Times, there are questions about how pervasive low sex drive really is in women. It is a bona fide diagnosis in the DSM-IV (called "hypoactive sexual desire disorder"), and many of the studies mentioned in medical literature suggest that one in ten women suffer from it. But the problem is this: Those studies have been financed by drug companies.

While the FDA weighs in, the German company is going ahead with a marketing campaign that includes a website, a Twitter feed, a Discovery Channel documentary and a publicity tour with actress Lisa Rinna.

Here's my two cents. To anyone who's listening at the FDA or at home: We mothers do not need a pill to have more active libidos. Fly us to a resort. Give us room service or breakfast in bed. Then stand back, boys. Watch how fast our libidos return!


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