Originally Released: May, 1999
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Viagra, the drug that improves sexual function in some men, may do the same for women who have gone through menopause or had a hysterectomy, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center reported today.
"Previous studies of Viagra (sildenafil) in males were based on self-reporting of increased sexual arousal," says senior author Toby Chai, M.D., assistant professor of urology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "This is the first evidence that Viagra does, in fact, increase blood flow to the sex organs."
Results of the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 17 women with an average age of 45 were reported at the American Urological Association 1999 Annual Scientific meeting in Dallas.
The study measured genital blood flow velocity (using duplex doppler ultrasonography), vaginal pH levels and vaginal elasticity in women who were given Viagra and a placebo at different times. Each of the patients either had gone through menopause or had a hysterectomy, a procedure that can in some cases damage nerves in the same way that prostate surgery can affect men's sexual function.
"The female sexual response has been difficult to quantify and evaluate objectively," says Chai. "Although there was a limited number of women in this study, Viagra does appear to enhance the objective and subjective female sexual response."
The AUA meeting is the largest and most important annual forum for presenting new research findings related to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of genitourinary diseases.
Women interested in joining the University of Maryland Medical Center study may call 410-328-5544.
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