Testosterone therapy for women with low sexual desire: a position statement from the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Arch Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Jul 18;63(3):190-198. doi: 10.20945/2359-3997000000152.


Objective: To summarize current evidence regarding testosterone treatment for women with low sexual desire.

Materials and methods: The Female Endocrinology and Andrology Department of the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism invited nine experts to review the physiology of testosterone secretion and the use, misuse, and side effects of exogenous testosterone therapy in women, based on the available literature and guidelines and statements from international societies.

Results: Low sexual desire is a common complaint in clinical practice, especially in postmenopausal women, and may negatively interfere with quality of life. Testosterone seems to exert a positive effect on sexual desire in women with sexual dysfunction, despite a small magnitude of effect, a lack of long-term safety data, and insufficient evidence to make a broad recommendation for testosterone therapy. Furthermore, there are currently no testosterone formulations approved for women by the relevant regulatory agencies in the United States, Brazil, and most other countries, and testosterone formulations approved for men are not recommended for use by women.

Conclusion: Therefore, testosterone therapy might be considered if other strategies fail, but the risks and benefits must be discussed with the patient before prescription. Arch Endocrinol Metab. 2019;63(3):190-8.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Androgens / adverse effects
  • Androgens / blood
  • Androgens / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Libido / drug effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / drug therapy*
  • Societies, Medical
  • Testosterone / adverse effects
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult


  • Androgens
  • Testosterone