A new testosterone patch to alleviate symptoms of menopause is being developed. Researchers state that the testosterone patch may help the loss of sex drive that many women experience during menopause, with clinical trials set to begin in Autumn.
Professor David Haddleton, founder of the company behind the new therapy, Medherant, has announced that the patch could "remove needless misery", the BBC reports.
Menopause involves a naturally-occurring drop in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, typically happening at around 45-55 years of age. Symptoms include a change in periods, mental health changes, muscle aches, hot flashes, and a change in libido, among others.
Current treatments involve hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that supplements the body with estrogen and progesterone, but no dedicated testosterone therapies are available. Testosterone is sometimes given as part of HRT, but only when low sex drive is diagnosed and once other HRT treatments have failed. As a result, some women turn to gels that are not approved for women and cannot be effectively dose controlled - a patch could help these women more safely.
While the therapy is promising, it is important to note that not all women respond to testosterone as a treatment and it will likely not be a one-patch-fits-all therapy. It can take months to work, according to the NHS – but should it have an effect, it could dramatically change the lives of patients for which there are no other options.