Date of Award
Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review
Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Studies
Laura Levy, DHSc, PA-C
Objective: The objective of this selective evidence-based medicine (EBM) review is to determine whether or not Tribulus terrestris is effective at increasing sexual desire in adult women suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).
Study Design: Review of three randomized controlled trials published in 2014, 2016, and 2017; selection was based on their relevance to the clinical question and on their patient-oriented outcomes.
Data Sources: Three peer-reviewed primary studies comparing the use of Tribulus terrestris to placebo in the treatment of HSDD were found on PubMed. Outcome(s) Measured: For each trial, patients were divided into either Tribulus terrestris treatment or placebo treatment groups. Trials assessed female sexual function index (FSFI) and sexual quotient female (QS-F) questionnaire score improvements to evaluate treatment efficacy.
Results: All three trials used the FSFI questionnaire and reported a statistically significant (P < 0.05) increase in mean change from baseline in sexual desire when using Tribulus terrestris. De Souza et al. and Vale et al. also reported a statistically significant (P < 0.05) increase in mean change from baseline of the placebo group of < 0.01 and 0.001, respectively. De Souza et al. and Vale et al. reported a statistically significant (P < 0.05) increase in sexual desire using QS-F results with a number needed to treat (NNT) of 20 and 4, respectively.
Conclusion: Tribulus terrestris may safely and effectively improve sexual desire in women with HSDD; however, clear and concise methods and statistical analysis are needed to further investigate its full clinical potential.
Bell, Trevene T., "Is Tribulus Terrestris Effective at Increasing Sexual Desire in Adult Women Suffering from Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder?" (2019). PCOM Physician Assistant Studies Student Scholarship. 458.