Scientists from Europe have discovered a chemical that can boost sexual desire for women and help them achieve better orgasms.
The researchers were looking into the effects of a chemical called kisspeptin, which is popularly known as the kiss hormone, on the libido. They found that it could fuel sex drive for women who are suffering from extremely low sexual desire or hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).
The study, which was published in the latest issue of a journal called Nature Communications, shows the connection between sexual desire and the kiss hormone, which was previously linked to fertility and puberty.
"There are no good treatments available for women suffering from low sexual desire. The discovery that kisspeptin controls both attraction and sexual desire opens up exciting new possibilities for the development of treatments for low sexual desire," Professor Julie Bakker from Liege University in Belgium said.
Around 40 percent women in the US and the UK are thought to be suffering from low sexual desire due to several reasons, including menopause, depression or medications that reduce sex drive. Pregnancy can also be a cause of low libido.
Current hormone-based therapies like testosterone, progesterone-based treatment or oestrogen, can have an adverse effect on the human body. So, the researchers believe their discovery could pave the way for new libido treatment.
"Until now, little was known about how the brain ties together ovulation, attraction and sex. Now we know that a single molecule — kisspeptin — controls all of these aspects through different brain circuits running in parallel with one another," Professor Ulrich Boehm from Saarland University in Germany said.
Past studies have shown that the kiss hormone could help in treating psychological sexual problems and boost sexual and romantic brain activity.
A group of researchers from Imperial College London injected 29 guys with kisspeptin injections and observed their brain activities through MRI scans. They found the romantic hormone boosted the women's sexual desire.
"Our initial findings are novel and exciting as they indicate that kisspeptin plays a role in stimulating some of the emotions and responses that lead to sex and reproduction. Ultimately, we are keen to look into whether kisspeptin could be an effective treatment for psychosexual disorders, and potentially help countless couples who struggle to conceive," lead researcher Professor Waljit Dhillo said.
"Our study shows that kisspeptin boosts sexual and romantic brain activity as well as decreased negative mood. This raises the interesting possibility that kisspeptin may have uses in treating psychosexual disorders and depression which are major health problems which often occur together, but further studies would be needed to investigate this," Dr Alexander Comninos said.