A New Use For Viagra… In Women

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Recent Blog Entries From Dr. Dave Hnida


Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorWhen you hear about the “little blue pill”, the term E.D.” often springs to mind. But it turns out Viagra may also be an answer for something called P.D.” or Primary Dsmenorrhea.

That’s another term for extremely painful menstrual periods.

The usual treatments include things like Ibuprofen, the pill, or narcotic pain relievers. But these things don’t always work, or can have side effects.

Researchers at Penn State School of Medicine treated a group of women suffering from P.D. with either Viagra or a placebo. Those who used the Viagra had significant easing of their painful cramps compared to the placebo group.

The theory is that Viagra helped by increasing blood flow to the uterus. And that makes sense since that’s what Viagra does in the body.

It increases blood flow to the penis. It increases blood flow to the lungs of premmies. It also can be effective at easing altitude sickness and extreme jet lag by altering blood flow.

Funny thing, Viagra wasnt even developed as a treatment for E.D. The original research idea was that it might be effective for people with angina, or chest pain, from narrowed heart arteries. Once again, by increasing blood flow.

When men with heart disease were given the drug during studies , they often noticed an “unusual and unexpected” side effect. And that’s how Viagra sprung to its current life.

Yet, we are finding it more and more useful in other medical conditions.

BTW, for women with P.D., the researchers didn’t give them Viagra pills but instead a vaginal ring coated with a time release version of the drug. It was effective, and had no side effects.

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