Jane Fonda reveals Testosterone is the secret behind her sex success at 73
She has attributed her youthful looks to a healthy love life and given hope to millions by saying she had the best sex of her life at 71.
So it is something of a let down to find out that even sex symbol Jane Fonda needs artificial help.
The Barbarella star has revealed she took the male sex hormone testosterone from the age of 70 to boost her libido.
Miss Fonda said it made ‘a huge difference’.
Advising other women of a certain age how to pep up their love lives, three-times married actress, political activist and fitness guru said: ‘Here’s something I haven’t said publicly yet: I discovered testosterone about three years ago, which makes a huge difference if you want to remain sexual and your libido has dropped.
‘Use testosterone, it comes in a gel, pill or patch.’
Earlier this year, Robbie Williams shocked his legions of female fans by admitting he was injecting himself with testosterone to boost his sex drive.
Although testosterone is usually thought of as a male hormone, it is also made by women, but in much smaller amounts.
Levels drop off after the menopause, leading to some doctors prescribing testosterone alongside more traditional hormone replacement therapy.
It is relatively cheap, costing around £50 for six months’ supply and comes in patches, implants and gels.
But a reinvigorated love life can come at a cost.
Miss Fonda, now 73, and in a relationship with music producer Richard Perry, who is four years her junior, told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘I had to stop because it was giving me acne.
Older women can take testosterone supplements after the menopause, but side effects include acne
‘It’s one thing to have plastic surgery, but it is quite another to have adolescence acne. That is going too far.’
Two years ago, she created envy in millions of bedrooms by telling how she was having the best sex of her life, despite having had spinal surgery and boasting an artificial knee and a titanium hip.
She said: ‘How do I still look good? I owe 30 per cent to genes, 30 per cent to good sex, 30 per cent because of sports and healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and for the remaining ten per cent, I have to thank my plastic surgeon.
Better sex: The actress shocked fans with her frank admission
‘I’m 71 and physically don’t feel so good since I’m in pain.
‘But I’m happier, the sex is better and I understand life better. I don’t want to be young again.’
More recently, she has devoted 50 pages of her new autobiography to explaining how couples can keep the passion alive long after the vigour of their youth has failed.
However, her use of testosterone has remained secret until now.
British experts welcomed the revelation.
Professor John Studd, of the London PMS and Menopause Clinic has been prescribing testosterone for women for 30 years.
He said: ‘It is not just about libido. The benefits include more energy, more self-confidence, better mood and all of those things.’
He added that carefully balancing the dose should remove the risk of side-effects such as acne and excessive bodily or facial hair.
Dr John Stevenson chairman of the charity Women’s Health Concern, said: ‘Jane Fonda clearly thinks there should be no time limit to being sexually active, which is fine. Good for her.’
However, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists warns that the long-term consequences of the treatment are unknown.
THE TRUTH BEHIND TESTOSTERONE
Testosterone can be part of the hormone replacement therapy given to menopausal women.
Gels that are rubbed into the skin are the most popular. But patches, creams and implants are also available.
Topping up levels of the hormone can give a woman in her 50s or 60s the libido of someone half her age, as well as boost energy and mood.
But too high a dose carries the risk of acne and greasy skin and hair.
‘Masculine’ side-effects such as excessive bodily and facial hair and a deepened voice are also possible.
Testosterone pills aren’t given to women but can raise cholesterol, increasing the odds of heart attacks and strokes.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists urges caution when prescribing the libido-boosting treatment to women other than those who have had their ovaries removed.
It advises: ‘Testosterone replacement may be associated with adverse clinical and metabolic side effects and long-term consequences are unknown.