The Female Viagra?

//The Female Viagra?

The Female Viagra?

Everyone knows about Viagra. We’re bombarded with commercials during every sporting event; it usually starts with a cute couple in their middle age sitting in  a bathtub. We also know that Viagra will afford gentleman unlimited hours of pleasure. But how does this really work, and is it good for you?

Viagra was the first drug specifically marketed towards men with erectile dysfunction.  Its original use was to help to lower blood pressure, by vasodilating (opening up) blood vessels and allow blood to flow with less resistance. What the study found was that the subjects did not want to give back the Viagra, as a side effect was that erections were firmer and lasted longer. It turned out that opening up the blood vessels allowed an easier flow of blood to the penis. In 1998, after the release of the study, the drug was green-lighted for this specific cause.

In the years since then, other drugs have been developed: Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn and Stendra. There are some subtle differences between them. Both Levitra and Viagra take effect in about 30 minutes, but Levitra lasts 5 hours, about an hour longer than Viagra. Cialis kicks in faster, after about 15 minutes, and can last up to 36 hours. Stendra can work in as little as 15 minutes and last up to 6 hours. Staxyn is an orally disintegrating tablet, therefore has the potential for quicker use.

If you’re considering an exploration of this so-called Viagra for women, you should look before you leap.

The female libido pill, a drug called Flibanserin (Addyi),  works in an entirely different way than Viagra does for men. It was developed as a treatment for hypoactive sexual desire disorder in premenopausal women – in short, it helps to elevate desire in women younger than 50. Desire and arousal work differently in men than women – men are able to be aroused spontaneously, while women tend to have more responsive arousal. Spontaneous arousal can come out of nowhere – say you’re sitting at work and for no immediate reason, you want to have sex. Responsive desire occurs when, for example, your partner kisses you, and then you start to become aroused and desire sex. For women, their sexual desire and activation has more to do with “turning off”, forgetting about stress, responsibilities in order to get in the mood, while men need to be turned on.

The FDA continues to conduct a staged clinical trial in about 8,000 women. Phase III  clinical trials did not show a statistically significant difference compared to placebo, and 15% of patients stopped treatment due to dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and sleepiness. However, Flibanserin did perform significantly better than placebo, when women reported desire on a monthly basis.

Take home message: The new female Viagra works much differently than medications targeted at erectile dysfunction. Here at 5 Point, we haven’t had any patients who have direct experience with it, so we don’t have any stories for you yet. If you are interested, do your research, and contact your doctor for more information.

By |2016-10-28T04:07:56+00:00November 11th, 2015|Sexual Issues|0 Comments

About the Author:

Kara Mortifoglio
Kara is a pelvic floor physical therapist at 5 Point PT. She loves working with women throughout their pregnancies, and all patients experiencing the type of discomfort that limits what they can do without experiencing pain, on a daily basis.

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