Women claim to have revived their flailing sex drives thanks to a bizarre new trend seemingly sweeping the US.
The fad — nicknamed a ‘movement’ by one women’s magazine — sees women take dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in a bid to enlarge their clitoris.
One advocate claimed she suddenly found it much easier to climax, describing her orgasms as being more intense and claiming that she was left feeling like a 14-year-old ‘wanting to hump everything I see’.
The potent hormone, technically a chemical by-product of testosterone, is popular among bodybuilders because of its supposed muscle-building powers.
DHT plays a vital role in the development of the penis, scrotum and prostate and helps with the growth of facial and body hair. However, too much promotes hair loss, while too little is linked with erectile dysfunction.
Then, in a similar fashion, it helps with clitoris growth by increasing blood flow to the erectile tissue in women, causing it to become enlarged.
A popular black-market substance among bodybuilders, the male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), promotes the growth of facial hair, body hair, and pubic hair. Yet women are now using it to help their clitorises grow, making it easier to orgasm
Women who have a larger clitoris find it easier to orgasm, according to anecdotal reports and one 2014 study. Some clinics even offer surgery to enlarge it.
However, the science is still flimsy.
The clitoris, located just above the vagina, can range from 7-12cm in length on average and swells up to 300 per cent when aroused.
Low libido however is a common problem, affecting up to 34 per cent of women at some point in their lives, particularly in middle-aged women with menopause.
‘It’s often linked to professional and personal stress, or important life-changing events such as pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding,’ the NHS explains.
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE HAVE LOW SEX DRIVES?
A low sex drive is known as a loss of libido.
Past research has suggested it affects nearly half of all women at some point in their lives, and it affects many men, too.
It is often linked to relationship issues, stress or tiredness, but could also indicate an underlying health problem.
Sex drives vary from person-to-person with no libido being ‘normal’. However, if it is affecting your relationship, it may be worth seeking help from a GP or psychosexual therapist.
- Relationship problems – such as becoming overly familiar with your partner, poor communication or trust issues
- Sexual problems – including erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness
- Stress, anxiety or depression
- Age – sex hormones fall during the menopause. Low libido can also occur due to the side effects of medication or mobility problems
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding – can cause changes in hormone levels, exhaustion or altered priorities as people focus on their child
- Underlying health issues – such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes
- Medication – including antidepressants and drugs for high blood pressure
- Alcohol and drugs
Source: NHS Choices
‘Unexpected loss of libido – especially when it lasts for a long time or keeps returning – can also indicate an underlying personal, medical or lifestyle problem, which can be upsetting to both partners in a relationship.’
Depending on the cause, there are several things women can do to boost their sex drive, including relationship counselling, vaginal lubricants or hormone replacement therapy.
Anecdotal evidence now also suggests DHT can be used effectively to combat this with few side effects.
Speaking to Cosmopolitan, a 34-year-old mother-of-two and make-up artist living in Phoenix, Arizona, known only as Kristie, bought a one-month supply of an anabolic steroid cream — containing DHT — to help enlarge her clitoris.
Applying ‘a small amount of the cream with her fingers’ twice a day, in just a week her clitoris ‘was plumper and more sensitive’.
Her ability to orgasm was also ‘suddenly easier’ and she was able to orgasm after 20 minutes of stimulation as opposed to the hour it previously took.
Climaxing felt ‘more intense’ too, she told Cosmopolitan. ‘I feel like a 14-year-old boy wanting to hump everything I see.’
Another woman aged 22, known only as Kelly, used a cream containing androgens and anabolic steroids.
She told Buzzfeed News: ‘Within a few weeks, I could already see that my clitoris was growing larger. It was an incredible surprise.’
The ‘Grow Your Clit’ movement, as it has been nicknamed, has also gained traction on kink social networking sites and public forums including Reddit.
Some 43,000 people in one subreddit group share advice and their experiences of DHT with other members.
Medics, however, advise against using non-prescribed testosterone.
If not taken in the correct dose, it can lead to levels of testosterone in the body becoming too high, which can trigger common side effects in women such as increased facial and pubic hair growth, acne and irregular periods.
High dosages of DHT may also trigger mood changes or hoarseness, according to the NHS.
DHT is one of the hormones that can be found in anabolic steroids, which are classified as class C drugs, meaning they are prescription-only. However, they are readily available illegally online or via social media.
Despite claims that enlarging the clitoris can help, studies show mixed results on the correlation between the size of the clitoris and having an orgasm.
A 2020 study in the Journal of Surgery and Medicine found there was a ‘significant relationship between clitoral glans visibility and orgasm’.
Researchers said: ‘Genital surgeries performed to increase clitoral glans visibility can facilitate sexual satisfaction and or increase orgasm intensity.’
Additionally, a study in 2014 concluded having a small clitoral glans could cause difficulties in reaching an orgasm.
Scientists, however, acknowledged several limitations of the study, including that it involved just 30 pre-menopausal women, with an average age of 32.
A recent study in the Turkish Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology concluded that ‘no significant relationship was found between genital measurements and sexual functions or orgasm’.