Is There a Viagra for Women?

Late night television is riddled with commercials, promising to extend his love life with that “little blue pill”, Viagra. Since it was first marketed in 1998, millions of men have taken this medicine, and it has been shown to improve their sexual performance. But what about women’s sexual needs. Is there a Viagra for us too?

Almost half of women (43%) suffer from some type of sexual dysfunction, and can include pain, discomfort, and the lack of desire, arousal, stimulation, pleasure or orgasm. Many times advertized medical and herbal supplements have offered little success. That may be because women are complex and can have multiple reasons for sexual dysfunction.

This lack of sexual attraction can be mental, physical or a combination of both. Problems in the relationship, stress, children’s needs and job’s frustrations encompass much of the mental impact. For women going through “the change”, there can be an imbalance and/or decline in the female hormones, especially estrogen. This leads to physical symptoms like vaginal dryness that makes intercourse uncomfortable; compounded by the emotional symptoms of irritability, anxiety, insomnia and depression. In addition, medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and lupus, neurologic and thyroid disorders will affect sexual desire. Other culprits are medications (prescription and over-the counter), smoking, illegal drugs and alcohol abuse.

Viagra improved erectile dysfunction in men by dilating blood vessels that increases blood flow, and there is a thought that this effect in women may lead to increase in lubrication and relaxation of vaginal muscles. But side-effects could include a drop in blood pressure, causing dizziness and light-headiness, and more seriously affect those with high-blood pressure, heart disease or on nitrite medications.

So no Viagra pill yet available for women, nevertheless, much research is being done to equal the billions of dollars made on treating men. However, we don’t know if it will work as well for women as it did men. After all, our plumbing, mentality and chemistry are different.

So what is available? First you need to have an honest look at your relationship, because unresolved issues here can contribute to sexual dysfunction. If you decide to stick with your relationship, then both need to make a commitment to make it work. That takes a lot of “meeting in the middle” and each making changes. Counseling and talking with close friends may help, but the best is talking to each other. Sometimes the relationship is just over and its best to go your separate ways, and that can be done respectfully too.

Treating some of the physical symptoms may help make the sexual experience easier and less painful. There are over the counter vaginal lubricants that can help with vaginal dryness. Make sure they are water-based, because petroleum-based lubricants can harbor bacteria, cause infections or damage to latex condoms. However, being water-based, they dry out more quickly and need to be re-applied. Silicone lubricants last longer, but some are not condom or latex safe

For women who are peri-menopausal, local estrogen creams or oral estrogen (alone or in combination pills) may help, but have label warnings for side effects like blood clots, stroke and dementia. Testosterone (male hormones) and anti-depressants have been used with some success.

A final thought, is take a long look at your life and where you are. Most of us can find the blessings despite the turmoil. Remember, sex is a pleasurable perk in life, but not the vain of our existence. Work on improving all aspects of your life, and more exciting sex may be an unexpected bonus.