Background: Tribulus terrestris as a herbal remedy has shown beneficial aphrodisiac effects in a number of animal and human experiments. This study was designed as a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial to assess the safety and efficacy of Tribulus terrestris in women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder during their fertile years. Sixty seven women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder were randomly assigned to Tribulus terrestris extract (7.5 mg/day) or placebo for 4 weeks. Desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain were measured at baseline and after 4 weeks after the end of the treatment by using the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). Two groups were compared by repeated measurement ANOVA test.
Results: Thirty women in placebo group and thirty women in drug group completed the study. At the end of the fourth week, patients in the Tribulus terrestris group had experienced significant improvement in their total FSFI (p < 0.001), desire (p < 0.001), arousal (p = 0.037), lubrication (p < 0.001), satisfaction (p < 0.001) and pain (p = 0.041) domains of FSFI. Frequency of side effects was similar between the two groups.
Conclusions: Tribulus terrestris may safely and effectively improve desire in women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Further investigation of Tribulus terrestris in women is warranted.