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"Testosterone patch may put pleasure back in post-menopause sex"

Globe and Mail

Source: Globe and Mail

Published: 06 Nov 2021

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (3 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

The male sex hormone testosterone may help restore sexual pleasure in some post-menopausal women, much as erectile dysfunction drugs have given some men back their sex lives, according to research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In an international study of 814 women who were not using estrogen therapy, those who received 300 milligrams of testosterone a day via a patch on the stomach for a year reported an increase of about one-and-a-half more satisfying sexual episodes a month, when corrected for a placebo effect...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 6 of 10
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

While this story had a lot of good components, its biggest issue was its unsatisfactory reporting of the treatment benefits. The article states that women receiving the testosterone treatment experienced "one-and-a-half more satisfying sexual episodes a month (when corrected for a placebo effect)". However, this limited information makes it difficult for readers to know whether this change in number is significant. Readers need to know how many satisfying sexual episodes women in this age category usually have. If they usually average about 20 of this episodes, then 1.5 additional episodes might not sound like much of an improvement. On the contrary, if the usual number of episodes is lower (say around 2), then 1.5 additional satisfying events might represent a substantial improvement.

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