The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) seed extract on sex hormones and sexual function in healthy menstruating women who reported low sexual drive. This short term, single site, double blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 80 women, aged 20 to 49 years. Participants were randomised to either an oral dose of a standardised T. foenum-graecum seed extract (libifem) at a dose of 600 mg/day or placebo over two menstrual cycles. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, progesterone, androstenedione, total and free testosterone, estradiol (E2), luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, sex hormone binding globulin and cholesterol were measured at baseline and 8 weeks. The individual aspects of sexual function were measured using the Derogatis interview for sexual functioning and female sexual function index self-administered questionnaires. Stress, fatigue and quality of the relationship with partner were also measured using the PSS (Perceived Stress Scale), MFI-20 (Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory) and DAS (Dyadic Adjustment Scale) quality of life measures, respectively. There was a significant increase in free testosterone and E2 in the active group as well as sexual desire and arousal compared with the placebo group. The results indicate that this extract of T. foenum-graecum may be a useful treatment for increasing sexual arousal and desire in women.
Keywords: Trigonella foenum-graecum; estradiol; fenugreek; oestrogen; sexual desire; sexual function; testosterone.
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.