Kisspeptin – Missing Your Frisky?


by Mila McManus, MD

Two promising studies are suggesting that a reproductive hormone called kisspeptin may be a treatment option for low sexual desire in men and women.

In 2022, a randomized clinical trial of 32 premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, kisspeptin administration was found to modulate brain processing, for sex and attraction, in functional neuroimaging, psychometric, and hormonal analyses. Kisspeptin’s modulation of brain processing correlated with psychometric measures of sexual aversion and associated distress.[1]

In 2023, one randomized clinical trial of 32 men tested the effects of kisspeptin on sexual brain processing in males with hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Findings showed that kisspeptin significantly modulates brain activity in key structures of the sexual-processing network compared to placebo. In addition, kisspeptin increased sexual behavior and sexual desire. [2]

With these two studies, a foundation has been laid for kisspeptin’s efficacy and clinical therapeutic treatment for both men and women with low libido and/or low sexual attraction and desire.  There were no observable or reported adverse effects.  Kisspeptin had no significant negative effects on mood and anxiety, nor did it affect blood pressure or heart rate.  Correlations suggest that kisspeptin may reduce sexual aversion and associated distress.

Ask your healthcare provider if this may be a good option for you.

Better in the Bedroom is Better for your Health. Be Well.

[1]Layla Thurston, MD, PhD1Tia Hunjan, MD1Natalie Ertl, MSc1,2; et al. Effects of kisspeptin administration in women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(10):e2236131. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.36131.

[2] Mills EG, Ertl N, Wall MB, et al. Effects of kisspeptin on sexual brain processing and penile tumescence in men with hypoactive sexual desire disorder: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6(2):e2254313. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.54313.

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