Female Viagra: Closer to Reality

ADVERTISEMENT

Female sexual dysfunction can be more difficult to get a handle on than erectile dysfunction, but some progress is being made in developing a women’s equivalent of Viagra.

After previous failed attempts to develop a drug that enhances female sexual arousal, researchers for drug maker Pfizer (Stock Quote: PFE) have found that, in animal studies, a new formulation works to improve blood flow to the genitals of rabbits, reports ABC News.

The new Pfizer drug, which currently goes by the unappealing name UK-414,495, works by stimulating the pelvic nerve to increase blood flow specifically to the vagina and clitoris to enhance sensitivity, explains The Los Angeles Times.

But since the drug specifically acts on the physical aspect of blood flow, it may not work for cases of female sexual dysfunction caused by other problems.

For instance, lack of desire or disinterest in sex altogether, involves more than just immediate, physical functioning. It can be caused by relationship problems, a lack of trust and a lack of connection, according to Discovery Health.

That kind of lack of desire is known as Subjective Sexual Arousal Disorder, according to the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, and involves diminished or non-existent feelings of arousal including excitement and pleasure.
Additionally, menopause, depression and the use of certain medications can cause a lack of desire, Discovery reports.

Some women have tried using Viagra, the branded Pfizer drug meant to treat erectile dysfunction in men, but success is limited. In fact, Viagra wasn’t marketed to women because research showed that it didn’t work, according to WebMD.

If the new drug ends up working in humans and it’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the experimental treatment from Pfizer would be the first drug marketed specifically to treat sexual dysfunction in women.  So far, however, it's only been studied in animals and has yet to reach clinical trials in humans to prove its safety and efficacy, so it could still take years before a treatment reaches consumers.

Show Comments

Back to Top