Arousal gel makes sex better for women

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A newly developed, non-hormonal topical gel used during intercourse increases women’s sexual satisfaction and pleasure, according to studies presented this week at the 64th annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

In one study, conducted by Dr. S. Althof, at the Center for Marital and Sexual Health of South Florida in West Palm Beach, and colleagues, 67 sexually functional women, ages 20-70 years, were instructed to use the arousal gel with intercourse at least three times over a 3-week period.

“Either the subject or the partner was to gently massage the gel onto the clitoris prior to the initiation of vaginal intercourse,” the investigators note in their meeting abstract. The subjects completed a “Female Sexual Well-Being Questionnaire” prior to their first use of the gel and after their final use.

Althof’s group reports that there were significant improvements in most components of the questionnaire, with the largest changes noted for “sexual arousal, lubrication, orgasm and satisfaction.” There were no reported side effects associated with use of the gel.

The second study was conducted by Dr. R. C. Rosen at New England Research Institutes in Watertown, Massachusetts, and associates, and included 500 sexually active heterosexual women between the ages of 18 and 59. Following a 1-week trial period, subjects completed a 65-question, on-line survey.

According to meeting materials, “the product was positively assessed on virtually all dimensions with 79 percent of respondents noting the product met or exceeded expectations; 78 percent of respondents reported increased sensitivity in their genital area, and of these, over 90 percent believed the gel made their intimate experience better.”

Most agreed that the gel enhanced arousal, orgasmic intensity, pleasure and satisfaction during sexual activity.

About 10 percent reported reactions to the product, including itching, burning, stinging, tingling, warming, and cooling, which were generally mild and short in duration.

The studies were supported by Johnson & Johnson Consumer & Personal Products Worldwide. However, Johnson & Johnson and McNeil-PPC declined to comment on the studies’ findings “as they relate to a proprietary product launch.”