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Mental Viagra Hormone May Boost Sexual Desire In Men

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Men who struggle with their sex lives may soon be able to boost their desire in the bedroom by taking a dose of a hormone that drives urges in teenage boys.

Kisspeptin: The Hormone Linked To Love And Sex

The naturally occurring hormone linked to love and sex is known as kisspeptin. Researchers of the new study explained that the hormone, also known as "mental viagra," stimulates the release of other reproductive hormones in the body.

The hormone is associated with puberty. Low levels of kisspeptin or poor signaling of this hormone may delay or prevent onset of puberty in adolescents.

Effect Of Kisspeptin On Sexual Arousal And Romance

For the study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation on Jan. 23, researchers involved 29 healthy, young heterosexual men who received either an injection of kisspeptin or a placebo. The men went through brain scans while they were shown different images.

The researchers found that in men who were injected with kisspeptin, the sight of sexual or romantic images raised activity in brain areas that are often triggered by romance and sexual arousal. The findings suggest that the hormone boosts the behavioral circuit that is linked to sex and love.

Potential In Helping People With Psychosexual Problems

Researchers are now interested in knowing how kisspeptin may help people suffering from psychosexual problems, sexual problems with psychological roots, which commonly occurs in people with infertility.

"Our data provide evidence of an undescribed role for kisspeptin in integrating sexual and emotional brain processing with reproduction in humans," the researchers wrote in their study.

"These results have important implications for our understanding of reproductive biology and are highly relevant to the current pharmacological development of kisspeptin as a potential therapeutic agent for patients with common disorders of reproductive function."

Role Of Brain And Emotional Processing On Conception

To date, most studies on infertility are focused on studying the biological aspects of people who have problems conceiving naturally. Researchers, for instance, study movements of sperms and viruses found in the saliva to better understand and solve infertility problems that affect many couples worldwide. The researchers of the new study, however, noted that the brain and emotional processing also have crucial roles in conception.

"Most of the research and treatment methods for infertility to date have focused on the biological factors that may make it difficult for a couple to conceive naturally. These of course play a huge part in reproduction, but the role that the brain and emotional processing play in this process is also very important, and only partially understood," said study author Waljit Dhillo, from Imperial College London.

Millions Of Men Seek Help From Fertility Doctors

A study conducted by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked into the data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and found that 7.5 percent of sexually experienced men below 45 years old have sought help from a fertility doctor during their lifetime. The number is equivalent to 3.3 to 4.7 million men.

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