London: Here`s some good news for ladies! Now, you can look forward to a happier menopause, thanks to a new hormone pill which eases hot flushes and peps up your sex life as well, say Italian scientists.
A team at the University of Pisa, which has produced the new pill, says its research showed for the first time that low doses of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a hormone created in the body, can improve women`s sexual satisfaction.
It can also ease symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats, say the scientists.
For their research, the scientists carried out an experiment on 48 women suffering from menopausal symptoms.
Of these, 12 took only vitamin D and calcium to improve their bone strength because they did not want HRT.
The remaining 36 were split into a group of 12 taking DHEA, and two others given standard HRT containing oestrogen and progesterone, or the synthetic steroid tibolone, also known as Livial.
The women`s menopausal symptoms and sexual interest and activity were then measured using standard questionnaires.
After 12 months, all women receiving hormone-replacement supplements showed improvements in menopausal symptoms, while those taking vitamin D and calcium didn`t show any significant improvement, the `Daily Mail` reported.
At the start of the trial, all groups had similar levels of sexual activity. After a year, women taking calcium and vitamin D had a McCoy score -- measuring aspects of sexuality likely to be affected by changing sex-hormone levels – of 34.9, while those using DHEA reached 48.6.
The higher score indicates that women on DHEA had astatistically significant elevation in sexual interest and activity. The results for women using HRT were similar.
Sexual activity was also higher with tibolone, but this was not statistically significant, according to the findings published in the `Climacteric` journal.
Team leader Prof Andrea Genazzani said: "This is a small study, a proof of concept. What we need to do now is to look at a larger study to confirm these initial results are valid."
Experts, however, have called for more tests to determine whether it could eventually become an alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy for menopausal problems.
Dr John Stevenson, consultant metabolic physician at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London and chairman of the charity Women`s Health Concern, said: "These are interesting findings and we now need a bigger study."