Carmen Barbieri, Sergio Goycochea, Catherine Fulop and Mónica Farro are some of the famous people who implanted what was popularly known as "the sex chip" some time ago.
However, its correct denomination is testosterone pellet and, for various reasons, it is seriously questioned by health professionals.
The doctor and sexologist Romina Barraza explained to Clarín that, for starters, the device is not approved as testosterone replacement therapy by ANMAT in Argentina or by the FDA in the United States, both official agencies responsible for regulating food and medicine.
In addition, he said, the scientific evidence on pellets is insufficient, both on the alleged benefits and its side effects: "Not much is known about possible health damages, especially in the long term," he said.
The pellet (the size of a grain of rice) is placed subcutaneously. Photo illustration Shutterstock.
On the other hand, said the doctor "once the pellet is placed subcutaneously (the size of a grain of rice) it releases its components for a long time and cannot be removed." This implies that, "in case of an adverse effect, the administration cannot be stopped".
"It improves libido", "makes you want to feel like it", "it makes me feel good in every way", said in different interviews several of the local celebrities who had experimented with the "sex chip". The advertisements of the same, even point to benefits that go beyond the sexual issue. All this, however, lacks the necessary evidence.
For Barraza, "the product was very popular due to a great marketing strategy, by the testimony of several famous people who used it," in direct allusion to the actors, actresses, athletes and other celebrities who claim to have undergone the implant. But a statement in favor of the testosterone pellet can in no way be taken as scientific evidence, he said.
The scientific evidence on pellets is insufficient. Photo illustration Shutterstock.
Testosterone and desire
Although it is assumed that the great goodness of the pellet is to increase sexual desire, even when this were true it would be leaving out other points that also intervene in the subject.
The sexologist (on Instagram, @drabarrazasexualidades) mentioned that although "it is true that high (physiological) testosterone can participate in people's sexual desire, it is very important to understand that it is not the only factor involved in it."
Barraza: "Testosterone may be involved in people's sex drive, but it's not the only factor involved in it." Photo illustration Shutterstock.
"There are people who have the same blood levels of the hormone have a very discordant sex drive. This happens because the desire does not depend solely on the hormonal (besides that testosterone is not the only hormone that participates), it also depends on psychological, environmental, situational and / or stressful factors that the person is living at that time, "he said.
In this context, he recommended - if necessary - to use replacement therapy together with sex therapy to accompany the rest of the spheres.
For this, there are different presentations for the administration of testosterone that do have the endorsement of ANMAT, the entity in charge of this type of regulations in the country. "The injectable route and also the transdermal absorption gel are approved. The form of administration should be evaluated and indicated in a particular way according to the needs of each patient, "concluded the doctor.