In a study titled ‘Behavior and Symptom Change Among Women Treated with Placebo for Sexual Dysfunction’ by Andrea Bradford, PhD and Cindy M. Meston, PhD which was carried out at the Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of Texas-Austin, women given a placebo drug during a clinical trial experienced improvements in symptoms such as low sex drive . The team believe that the women may have experienced increased satisfaction simply because they decided to take action and experienced increased hope.
Meston, a psychology professor, used data that drug company Lilly ICOS collected in a clinical trial of Cialis, an erectile dysfunction drug, on women.
Measuring female sexual dysfunction and satisfaction can be difficult sometimes, because it is very much based on the woman’s own observations of her symptoms and physically measuring sexual function in women, such as blood flow to the genitals, is not a true reflection of sexual satisfaction but one-third of the 50 women on the placebo experienced more satisfying sex over a 12-week period. During that time they completed questionnaires and met with clinicians to assess symptoms. The women studied were all in committed, stable relationships, many married, and the hope the trial gave them of improvement and increased sex may have created a more positive relationship dynamic and more intimacy, leading to better sex.