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Viagra Could Help Women Carry Pregnancy To Full Term

Update Date: Feb 18, 2017 11:45 AM EST
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Viagra, a medicine to help treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction in men, could also help women carry pregnancy to full term, according to studies. A rare condition in pregnancy is causing premature delivery or stillbirth.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) are looking at Viagra as a treatment for early intrauterine growth restriction that prevents a baby from developing properly in the womb. It is caused when the placenta is not supplying enough nutrients to the fetus.

Sildenafil, the generic name of Viagra, prevents the action of phosphodiesterase type-5 which helps widen or relax blood vessels and improves the flow of blood to the male reproductive organ. Now, scientists are looking if Viagra can also improve the blood flow around the women's body which can help boost the flow of nutrients to the fetus.

Dr. Kenneth Lim of B.C. Women's Hospital said that smaller studies focused on the Viagra therapy have already shown promising results. Lim often works with high risk pregnancies in the hospital. He feels excited for the new trial as there are only few treatment option for this kind of condition.

Other countries including New Zealand and United Kingdom are also conducting similar Viagra trials in partnership with Canada. Lim said that they will put all data together at the end of this new, global cooperative type program. Health Canada has already approved UBC's initial trial this month. Researchers are now looking for participants all over the country to participate in the study.

Synthetic Viagra was developed by scientists at Pfizer Laboratories. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for erectile dysfunction on March 1998. Today, there are herbal versions to treat the same condition for men. However, FDA found out that the alleged natural sexual enhancement supplements still contain the active ingredient in Viagra and Cialis.

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