SCIENTISTS have invented a skin patch to boost the sex drive of women going through the menopause.
University of Warwick researchers will trial the Medherant patch, which increases testosterone levels, in the UK this year.
Testosterone is vital for women’s libido and zest for life, but declines during the change.
Patches are currently available for the female sex hormones but none have yet been developed for testosterone, which is taken as a gel only approved for use on men.
Professor David Haddleton said: “This is a very exciting development for us — the potential of this technology to improve women’s lives is huge.
“This could deliver a product that is much needed and is just not available.
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“With the technology already proven to work we can use our new patch to remove needless misery from women’s daily lives.”
Access to current HRT patches, which contain the female hormones oestrogen or progesterone, has been a consistent problem in Britain, with severe shortages last year.
But in a win for the Sun’s Fabulous Menopause Matters campaign, hundreds of thousands of women will now save £205 a year on the drugs.
The rollout beginning on Saturday will involve a one-off charge of £19.30 for 12-month supply, instead of repeat prescriptions.
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Despite the improvement, options for testosterone supplements remain few and far between, with most women having to use irregular doses of a formulation designed for men.
Campaigners including Davina McCall have championed the hormone’s use to help treat a flagging libido and clear brain fog.
This new patch — the first ever developed specifically for women — is intended to address this gap in menopause products.
It is intended to be paced on the lower back like current HRT patches, although exact instructions will be decided as part of the clinical trial starting this autumn.
Professor Haddleton said: “The work we’re doing isn’t just theoretical, but instead aimed at a problem women are facing which can drastically affect their everyday lives and jobs.”
The menopause can be a tough time for women, with symptoms generally starting from the mid-40s and lasting years on end.
The experience can range from person to person – while some lucky few will have no problems with the "transition", others will feel symptoms so debilitating that it changes their life.
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