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The race for Women's Viagra

HEALTH/SEX - For years there's only be one way to turn a woman on... and it usually involves alcohol.

Ever since the little blue Viagra pill hit the market and got a rise out of men, men who had been searching for something to fix their erectile dysfunction and hopefully please their wives more. 31% of adult men suffer from erectile dysfunction.

In theory its just a matter of time before we figure out what chemicals make a woman's libido go from zero to Wonder Woman. Except it doesn't really work that way.

This Saturday at 7 PM a documentary called Pharma Sutra will air on CTV which takes a broad, almost clinical look at the issue: multinational pharmaceutical companies, the approval process, the sex doctors, the feminists and the women and their spouses (don't forget this pill could also be used by lesbians). The documentary focuses on three products in the trial phase: a pill, a testosterone patch and a nasal spray.

It all started with a statistic reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1999, which said that 43% of women suffer from female sexual dysfunction.

After a little research it was quickly determined there is a percentage of women out there interested in seeing a Viagra for Women. And small surprise their partners took notice too. Some women have even been rooting around looking for such aphrodisiacs. Small surprise there are now pharmaceutical giants earnestly seeking the female equivalent of Viagra.

New York sex therapist Dr. Leonore Tiefer however worries about the "medicalization of sexuality" and is dubious about whether female sexual dysfunction even exists. She argues its just a myth, like the G-spot. Or if it does exist she argues it is mostly psychological.

Female sexual dysfunction is characterized by a lack of desire, arousal and orgasm. Lack of desire is the chief complaint among women, affecting about one-third of them at some point in their lives, says Cindy Meston, assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

There is potentially billions in profits at stake however for whichever company manages to patent the little Pink Pill and prove it works. Remember this pill doesn't make women horny or increase their libido, it just removes FSD.

So in theory wine, chocolate and R&B music is still a better way to get the wife in the mood. But a little Pink Pill wouldn't hurt either.

But how close are we to making such a pill? Best estimates are by 2011.

Viagra is designed to increase blood flow to the genitals. Viagra works well for many men who suffer with impotence — or erectile dysfunction — because it's considered a physical — rather than an emotional — problem. That's not to say that Viagra can't "restore function" for women, says Dr. Myron Murdoch, clinical instructor of urology at George Washington Medical School. It can help some women, but it's not for all women.

Viagra-like drugs may help the 20 percent of women reported to have difficulties with lubrication (blood flow to the female genitals increase lubrication), it's unknown to what degree such drugs would help the 43 percent of women with sexual dysfunction who either say they're uninterested in sex or that sex provides little pleasure.

Right now drug companies are focused on developing a drug that increases blood flow to the female genitals, resulting in vaginal lubrication and relaxing vaginal muscles.

So far, there are some promising drugs on the horizon. These include prostaglandin, already approved for men, apomorphine and phentolamine, both of which are being tested for arousal disorder in women.

Women also have other options. Research shows that exercise, counseling, vaginal lubrication products and sex videos all can help kickstart a woman's libido.

The three following options — still scientifically unproven — are readily available and also hold the promise for improving a woman's sex life.

L-arginine amino acid cream
The same amino acid that has been used by athletes to promote muscle development is purported to increase blood flow to the female genitals, thus sparking sexual urges. "Our informal studies on 500 patients showed that 70 percent of women who applied this cream to the clitoris and labia a half hour before sex reported more arousal and stronger orgasms," says Dr. Jed Kaminetsky, clinical assistant professor of urology at the New York School of Medicine.

DHEA
Dehydroepiandrosterone is a male hormone produced by the adrenal gland and ovaries and converted to testosterone and estrogen. DHEA, which depletes with age, can be purchased over the counter in supplement form.In one small study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Sept. 30, 1999), women who took 50 mg of DHEA daily noticed a significant increase in sexual interest. Other preliminary findings report encouraging results. However, most DHEA products lining the store shelves recommend taking only 25 mg per day. Because of its potential for heart attacks and breast cancer and masculating side-effects such as facial hair, DHEA is best used under a doctor's supervision.

Testosterone therapy
For women who have undergone oophorectomy (the removal of one or both ovaries) and hysterectomy, testosterone treatment has shown to improve sexual function and psychological well being, according to recent research from Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital.

However, women looking to boost testosterone levels should work with their physician closely so the hormone can be monitored. Too much of it can cause, among other things, facial hair and change a women's voice, which is irreversible. Meanwhile, a study looking at the combination of L-arginine glutamate and yohimbine — a natural extract from tree bark that excites part of the central nervous system — has shown that postmenopausal women were more than twice as aroused after taking the combination drug and viewing an erotic film than women who took a placebo.

15 comments:

Blog Owner said...

Hi !

I'm also very interested in seeing that documentary "Pharma Sutra" this weekend on CTV.

The upcoming treatments intrigue me most - I've read there will be three discussed: a pill, a patch, and a nasal spray.

You've mentioned the likely patch (testosterone / intrinsa) they'll talk about, and although I'm not sure what the pill is - since viagra has been pretty much ruled out as a treatment for women - I think the nasal spray is certainly going to be Bremelanotide... or PL-6983, depending on how uptodate that documentary is.

Bremelanotide apparently DOES work on both men and women, but some people in the trials had slight increases in blood pressure which was cited by the FDA for why they declined to approve it earlier this year. But its developers, Palatin Technologies, changed the chemistry a bit and came up with PL-6983 which doesn't have the same problem with increased BP.

That's the only nasal spray I've read about (in news articles, RSS feeds, the "Bremelanotide Bulletin", Palatin Technologies' website, etc) that actually causes arousal, so I'm looking forward to seeing if they have any new info about it.

I hope you have a chance to watch that documentary and make another post about what you think!

Cheers,

~ Denise

Amy Young said...

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kevin said...

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Hayley said...

Researchers at the Medical Research Council's Human Reproductive Sciences unit in Edinburgh are close to developing a potential rival for Viagra. Washington Viagra is now a decade old and is used by an estimated million men to treat erectile dysfunction. http://www.viagrathunder.com

Martin said...

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alisa said...

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Hail said...

Viagra is an oral treatment drug that has been developed to combat erectile dysfunction. The fundamental ingredient within the product is sildenafil, which essentially serves to work within the body, through the improvement of the blood supply into the penis, thus along for firmer, longer lasting erections.

Hail said...

Viagra is a prescription drug that takes care of the physical dilemma of erectile dysfunction in men. Sildenafil citrate is the major component of generic viagra pills that dilates the arteries in the penis and allows filling of blood in small spaces of penis that hardens and gets erect.

mulford said...

Anti-impotence drugs such as Viagra, Cialis et al and specific surgical procedures are effective for treating erectile dysfunction in men but these therapies are not completely devoid of side-effects and hence Viagra and other medicines can be harmful to a certain degree. However, in spite of opting for these erectile dysfunction treatments, if you consider using arginine, Propionyl-L carnitine and other natural remedies,you would remain considerably benefited as these natural supplements don`t yield side-effects and also provide you sufficient relief from erectile dysfunction.

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Propecia the first and only pill to treat Androgenetic Alopecia, was developed to treat Male Pattern Hairloss in the vertex (top of head) and anterior mid-scalp area. Propecia is proven to maintain or increase hair count in most men.

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