FDA Approves Female Sexual Therapy Device

How can the Eros help my FSD?

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In late 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—at long last—finally approved what the media have been referring to as the "pink pill" or the "female Viagra." It is the first drug to be approved for the purposes of treating female sexual dysfunction (FSD) in the United States, and comes at the end of many years of effort by the pharmaceutical industry to develop such a medication.

It is not, however, the first medical device approved by the FDA that purports to help with female sexual arousal, a form of female sexual dysfunction related to inadequate blood flow to the clitoris.

In May of 2000, the FDA approved the first therapeutic device for women struggling with issues of sexual arousal, such as reduced sensation in the clitoral area, low lubrication levels, and difficulties with achieving or sustaining an orgasm during intercourse. After its approval, NuGyn began marketing this device under the name EROS Clitoral Therapy Device (EROS-CTD).

The EROS-CTD is available by prescription only. It works by drawing blood to the clitoris in order to trigger sexual arousal and enhance orgasms. In the course of one study, the results of which were presented at a conference of the American Urological Association, 80 percent of women struggling with female sexual arousal disorder reported improved sexual satisfaction after using EROS before intercourse.

How Does the EROS Work?

According to UroMetrics, the manufacturer of the EROS, this noninvasive device administers a "gentle suction" to the clitoris, which increases blood flow to the area.

When the arteries expand to accommodate the extra blood flow, pressure is then exerted on the clitoral nerves, which can help to increase sexual arousal.

Treatment with the EROS-CTD may be especially effective in post-menopausal women and women who have had hysterectomies. The device costs about $350, but it may be covered by insurance.

Should I Ask My Doctor About the EROS?

While research has shown results with users of the EROS, there are several caveats. For one, much of the research done with the EROS has been sponsored by the marketers of the device. In the years since, there have been other reports showing that clitoral suction devices as a whole are not necessarily effective in approving arousal or orgasm.

Why? While drugs that treat male arousal disorders focus on increasing drug flow to the penis, female sexual arousal and desire are much more complex animals. Clitoral erection isn't necessarily the answer to fixing everything.

In addition, there are those who feel that female sexual arousal disorder is an invented disease. In reality, the majority of women have trouble achieving orgasm from intercourse alone. Many need to be stimulated in other ways in order to experience the greatest amount of pleasure during sex. So what the pharmaceutical industry refers to as "disorder" is, in actuality, normal for most women.

Not to say that the medical field can't help. If you're feeling distress or if your intimate relationships are suffering because of something you're struggling with in the bedroom, it's worth it to seek out help from a sexuality professional, such as a therapist or counselor. They may be able to help you tackle your dilemma using a multidisciplinary approach. This approach may or may not involve drugs or the use of therapeutic devices.

Whatever route you decide to go, remember this: you're not defective, and you're not alone.

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