Now scientists are developing a treatment that's been nicknamed the 'female Viagra' after the erectile dysfunction drug first prescribed to men in 1998.

London - Women who have difficulty reaching orgasm during sex could soon have help thanks to a medicated nasal spray.

Up to 30 percent of women suffer from the condition known as anorgasmia, yet there are no approved treatments on the market.

Now scientists are developing a treatment that’s been nicknamed the “female Viagra” after the erectile dysfunction drug first prescribed to men in 1998.

The treatment, called Tefina, needs to be administered in droplet sized doses via the nostrils two hours before sex and is expected to work for six hours.

The testosterone-based treatment is thought to boost sexual desire by activating relevant parts of the brain and increasing blood flow to the sexual organs.

Researchers said they don’t expect any side effects such as acne, body hair growth or deepening of the voice.

They added that there should be no ill-effects if a woman doesn’t have sex after administering the spray.

Tefina is being developed by the Canadian company Trimel Pharmaceuticals and is backed by scientists from Case Western Reserve University in the US and Monash University in Australia.

Professor Susan Davis from Monash University is leading a Phase II study to test the effectiveness of the nasal spray.

“We anticipate the treatment will work like Viagra for women. Rather than a long-term, therapy-based approach, this drug can be taken when a woman anticipates sexual activity,” Davis said. “We have previously shown that for women with low sexual interest, testosterone therapy not only improves sexual desire and arousal, but also enhances a woman’s ability to reach orgasm.”

However, critics such as fertility expert Dr Ric Gordon think female sexuality was being exploited for commercial reasons and that a new treatment risked overlooking the real factors behind a woman’s low sex drive:

“Men use sex to de-stress and women need to be de-stressed to have sex, so that’s a very complex emotional issue,” he told ONE News.

Davis insisted that sexual dysfunction had important health implications for women.

“Through previous research, we have shown that women under 50 who are not experiencing sexual pleasure will still participate in sexual activity on average five times per month, primarily to maintain relationship harmony,” she said.

“Further, we have shown that women who report poor sexual functioning have lower well-being, despite not being depressed. Doctors have little to offer women who are experiencing anorgasmia, and this could be a breakthrough study for women who lack any treatment option.”

The Australian researchers are recruiting pre-menopausal women from four cities to take part in the trial. The trial is also taking place in the US and Canada. – Daily Mail