Menstrual Cramps Relief May be held in the Active Ingredient in Viagra

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Menstrual Cramps Relief

Women who are faced with moderate to severe menstrual cramps may have a new treatment to turn to. According to a team of researchers led by Penn State College of Medicines Richard Legro, Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra could help with the pelvic pain because it dilates the blood vessels.

Primary dysmenorrhea, also known as PD, is the painful cramping that many women experience in their pelvic region at the beginning of their period. An excess production of the lipid compound prostaglandins causes women to experience cramps. This compound causes muscles to relax and contract.

The current treatment for Primary dysmenorrhea in women is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen. However, ibuprofen does not always work well for all women, and can be associated with ulcers and kidney damage when used chronically as it often is for menstrual cramps.

Researchers thought Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra would dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow to the uterus, which might help relieve pain.

A small study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health focused on women aged 18 to 35 who were suffering from primary dysmenorrhea (PD), the medical term for painful menstrual periods.

Researchers from the Penn State College of Medicine and researchers from Croatia, recruited 25 women at the Nova Gradiska General Hospital, they received either a 100-milligram sildenafil tablet or a placebo. The patients then rated their pain over a four-hour period.

Researchers found that administering the medication vaginally provided nearly double the pain relief compared to a second group of women who received a placebo.

However, because uterine blood flow increased from both sildenafil and the placebo, the reason it alleviates pain is not yet known.

“It certainly makes sense for some women with PD that increasing blood flow to the area would increase oxygen to the pelvic tissues and potentially alleviate pain,” said Dr. Jill Rabin, chief of ambulatory care, obstetrics and gynecology at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. Rabin was not involved with the new study.

“If future studies confirm these findings, sildenafil may become a treatment option for patients with PD,” Legro, a professor of public health sciences and obstetrics and gynecology, said in a university news release. “Since PD is a condition that most women suffer from and seek treatment for at some point in their lives, the quest for new medication is justified.”

Legro and his associates plan to do more studies to find out if it makes a difference if the Viagra is taken orally or administered vaginally, to discover if taking it might disrupt the regular menstrual cycle, and to learn if the treatment is effective over a time span of multiple menstrual cycles. Taking Viagra orally has been linked to side effects like headaches. Legro and his team have submitted a grant to continue their research.

PD accounts for 600 million lost work hours each year in the United States, according to background information from the study, which was published in the November issue of the journal Human Reproduction.

Study Reveals Viagra Can Also Relieve Menstrual Pain

Viagra is no longer just for men, it’s a pain killer. The drug, originally developed to improve blow flow for heart conditions is also a great pain-reliever for menstrual cramps. A study found that women who inserted pill via pessary experienced no pain and zero side effects.

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