Talking more with your partner may be just as good for your sex life as Addyi, also known as female Viagra. That’s the surprising conclusion of new research published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
For the study, researchers had 30 women with sexual dysfunction use either a placebo or a nasal spray containing oxytocin (often called "the love hormone") for eight weeks. Like Addyi, oxytocin increases seratonin levels in the brain, thus making the women feel happier with and closer to their partners.
Women were instructed to take four puffs per nostril up to 50 minutes before having sex and to get busy a minimum of twice a week.
At the end of the study, researchers found that oxytocin boosted the sex lives of the women who took it—but so did the placebo.
What’s going on here?
Researchers had a few theories on why the oxytocin and placebo performed equally well. One is that women had a positive mindset when they thought they were trying a new drug.
Another is that they were encouraged to get it on—either with a partner or via a little self-love—twice a week, which may have made them feel more sexually satisfied.
"Oxytocin boosted the sex lives of the women who took it, but also did the same for women who took the placebo."
But, most importantly, they think communication played a big role. Women were told to write down their feelings about sex and discuss those feelings with their partners—and this likely had a huge impact on what happened in the bedroom. "Clearly the fact that the women thought more about their sexuality and spoke with their partners about sex during the course of the study in itself brought about measurable improvements,” lead study author Michaela Bayerle-Eder, M.D., a doctor of internal medicine and sexual medicine at the Medical University of Vienna, says in a press release.
The findings are particularly interesting now that Addyi, a.k.a. “female Viagra” is on the market. Addyi, it’s worth pointing out, also had similar results in research that's studied its effectiveness.
Clearly, sexual dysfunction is a complicated problem for women, and certain treatments might be more effective for some than others. But if you find that you have a low libido and aren’t sure why, maybe it’s time to have a chat with your partner. It might have a bigger impact on your sex life than you’d think.