Study shines a light on
low winter-time male libido
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[September 19, 2016]
By Kate Kelland
LONDON (Reuters) - Exposure to bright light
can raise testosterone levels and lead to greater sexual satisfaction in
men with low sexual desire, according to the results of a small
Scientists at the University of Siena in Italy found that regular,
early-morning use of a light box – similar to those used to combat
Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD - helped men increase
testosterone and improved their sex lives.
Andrea Fagiolini, a professor who led the study and presented it at
the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology conference in Vienna
on Monday, said the treatment may prove useful during the Northern
hemisphere's darker winter months.
"The increased levels of testosterone explain the greater reported
sexual satisfaction," he said. "In the Northern hemisphere, the
body's testosterone production naturally declines from November
through April, and then rises steadily through the spring and summer
with a peak in October."
Low sexual desire can affect significant numbers of men after the
age of 40, with studies finding that up to 25 percent of men report
Fagiolini's team recruited 38 men diagnosed with either hypoactive
sexual desire disorder or sexual arousal disorder – both
characterized by a lack of interest in sex.
After taking baseline readings, they divided the men into two groups
and gave one regular treatment with a bright light box, while the
control, or placebo, group was treated with a light box adapted to
give out significantly less light.
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"We found fairly significant differences," Fagiolini said.
"Before treatment, both groups averaged a sexual satisfaction score
of around 2 out of 10. But after treatment, the group exposed to the
bright light was scoring sexual satisfaction scores of around 6.3.
In contrast, the control group only showed an average score of
around 2.7 after treatment."
(Editing by Alexander Smith)
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