Recently, the Food and Drug Administration gave the nod to the drug Addyi (flibanserin). Doctors can prescribe the pill to premenopausal women to treat a condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or HSDD. Many smiled in anticipation, but some frowned in concern. Was this med a good thing or a bad thing for women?

Low sexual desire in women is a complex issue. But is this a disorder? Some women are not distressed by their lack of interest in sex. “One of the distinguishing features regarding low sexual desire being a disorder and something that requires treatment is whether or not a woman is bothered by it,” says Nanette F. Santoro, MD, a professor at the University of Colorado at Denver and chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology.

But for women who are bothered by zero thoughts of sex with their significant other, Addyi may be a way to reignite the fires of physical desire. These ladies, however, must fit within certain prescription guidelines. Women’s low sexual desire can’t be due to a co-existing medical or mental health issue, relationship problems, or side effects of other drugs.

In addition, some critics of the drug believe low sexual desire in women may really not require a drug treatment because so many variables can be responsible for the condition.

But, says Santoro, “A pill seems like a much more attractive option for most people, so that’s what the drug companies want to provide.”

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