Here’s one you probably didn’t see coming: Viagra, which is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men, might offer relief from menstrual cramping in women.
A new study conducted by Pennsylvania State University found that, when administered vaginally, sildenafil citrate, the active ingredient in Viagra, might help to relieve primary dysmenorrhea (PD) aka menstrual cramping.
“If future studies confirm these findings, sildenafil may become a treatment option for patients with PD,” said Richard Legro, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine and lead researcher in the study.
In the study, 25 women aged 18 to 35 years old who suffered from moderate to severe PD were randomized to receive either sildenafil or a placebo drug vaginally. For the next four consecutive hours patients rated their pain and those who took the sildenafil felt relief without any side effects.
“Viagra may help with pelvic pain because it can lead to dilation of the blood vessels. Previous research shows that taking it orally can alleviate pelvic pain, but the incidence of side effects — often headaches — may be too high for routine use,” according to a release by Penn State University.