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Study looks into using Viagra to help ease menstrual cramps

By Funke Oyelade,

Move over Aleve and Advil, there is a new pill that is in the running to help women with painful menstrual cramps and it is called Viagra. Yes, you read that right, Viagra.

Viagra is the blue pill that helps men with erectile dysfunction, by increasing blood flow to the penis to keep it erect. Health Day has published a study that the blue pill can also help women suffering from moderate to severe cramps.

Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, is what helps to bring relief to women. The test was done on 25 women between the ages of 18 to 35 suffering from primary dysmenorrhea (PD). PD is another way to say painful menstrual cramps.

According to Newsy Viagra has been tested before as an alternative to help alleviate menstrual cramps. Although the pill eased pain when taken orally, it caused severe headaches in women.

Now researchers said the pill is more effective and does not cause headaches when applied vaginally. Those given the pill vaginally had more relief than the participants given placebos. The women in the study were told to rate the pain level of their cramps over a period of four hours. Viagra helps to increase blood flow to the uterus, but the placebo did the same thing, so doctors are not sure what made Viagra more effective.

"The vagina is an effective route for drug administration intended mainly for local action because delivering medication in close proximity to the target organ decreases the incidence of side effects," they said.

Most women are given ibuprofen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for menstrual cramps, but prolonged use of these drugs can cause kidney problems.

The results are not completely conclusive because more research needs to be done, but some do believe that in the future Viagra can be used to alleviate menstrual cramps. "If future studies confirm these findings, sildenafil may become a treatment option for patients with PD," said Legro, a professor of public health sciences and obstetrics and gynecology.

The study was conducted by researchers from Croatia and researchers from Penn State College of Medicine.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 
 

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