36-year-old Christine wondered if she was normal. She was happily married, a business owner, and looking forward to what she thought would be an increasing sex drive.
But there was a problem.
"You always hear about women coming into their prime in their thirties and for me, not so much," she said. "I was just kind of, 'Naah, take it or leave it.' "
Christine's ideal of a blooming sex life didn't pan out. She wasn't alone.
A Seattle psychologist explains: "They are interested, they want to have intimate relations with their partner, but their bodies just aren't responding, and it's just so frustrating," said Dr. Stephanie Kuffel.
Many women want more satisfying sex lives. Yet, a recent national survey claims almost half experience sexual problems at some point.
Dr. Kuffel led a study on a possible fix for younger women who are still years from menopause. It's a gel called Alista - applied directly to a woman's genitals. It increases blood flow and, ideally, a woman's arousal.
The company testing Alista claims women who used the gel found sex to be almost twice as a satisfying.
"If women are noticing their bodies are responding, that helps them get more excited and more involved. Then their partner can get involved and it leads to a more satisfying sexual encounter," said Kuffel.
Currently there are no approved medications to treat a woman's sex drive. Men are still the only ones benefiting from drugs for better sex.
"You know, when we see Bob Dole on national TV talking about sexual dysfunction, it has become much more acceptable to discuss this," said Seattle gynecologist, Dr. Robin Kroll.
Since the approval of Viagra in 1998 with Dole as its pitchman, the drug has been prescribed for more than 23 million men. That sparked the race to accommodate women looking for the same satisfaction.
The 'Viagra' Patch For Women
Enter a patch called Intrinsa for menopausal women. Still awaiting approval, it's already nicknamed the 'Viagra for Women'.
Tests for Intrinsa done in Seattle found that menopausal women had sex four times more than they normally did in a two month period. The patch works by slowly releasing testosterone that women lose in menopause.
"We did see a statistical significant increase in arousal and a statistical increase in orgasm," said Kroll who recently presented a study on the patch.
The Intrinsa patch is on the fast track for FDA approval.
"I think a lot of the pharmaceutical companies are trying to get medications on the market so there is something out there for women," said Dr. Kuffel.
That gives women like Christine renewed hope.
"When I heard about this study for a potential product, I thought, 'Wow, finally something besides baldness and erections. It's our turn,' " said Christine.
Viagra shelved plans for a female version of the drug, after tests showed no conclusive evidence that it worked. Proctor and Gamble expects the patch to be approved next year but only for menopausal women.
The gel is still in clinical trials.