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Is vaginal Viagra safe for women who suffer from menstrual cramps?

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A recent study found that a vaginal preparation of Viagra, which is prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction in men, can relieve dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) in women. The study also noted that none of the women in the study group experienced side-effects. A common side effect of Viagra is a headache; however, none of the women experienced one. I find that study result to be extremely interesting and was also concerned about the risk of adverse events if women used the medication. Thus, I consulted Dr. Muhammad Mirza, a physician who has vast experience in the treatment of erectile dysfunction with Viagra.

Dr. Mirza was impressed with the results of the study. He felt that the primary reason that women did not experience any side-effects was due to the route of administration. The vaginal Viagra is rapidly absorbed through the vaginal mucosa (vaginal lining) where it enters the pelvic blood vessels. It causes dilation of these blood vessels, which results in flushing out prostaglandins and other substances that cause the painful cramps. Thus, its effect on the general circulation is diminished. When Viagra is taken orally, it is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and enters the general (systemic circulation). Dilation of the blood vessels in the brain causes headaches in men. In regard to safety, Dr. Mirza feels the risk of an adverse event (e.g., loss of vision, which is a rare side-effect in men) is less for women, again because of the route of administration. Dr. Mirza noted that he felt that vaginal Viagra could be combined with taking an oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Motrin); this combination might provide additional pain relief.

Currently, both I and Dr. Mirza feel that the high cost of Viagra would deter some women from using it. However, for women who suffer from severe menstrual cramps, it might be worth the cost. Because Viagra’s main indication is for erectile dysfunction, most prescription drug plans do not cover it. That could change in the future, if Viagra is approved for dysmenorrhea in women. Generic versions of all pharmaceuticals eventually appear on the marketplace; however, unfortunately, Dr. Mirza is of the opinion that a generic version will not become available until 2018.

At present, Viagra for vaginal use is not available; however, it may become available in the future. At present, it is possible to request a pharmacist to prepare a vaginal preparation. Not all pharmacies will provide this service; thus, it might involve making inquiries. Another factor to consider is that this vaginal preparation is likely to incur added cost over the oral preparation. It would be possible for an enterprising woman to educate herself in some basic pharmaceutical skills and prepare her own suppositories.

Dr. Mirza is board certified in internal medicine and has had extensive experience as a practicing clinical physician. He currently holds the position of Medical Director at the Allied Medical and Diagnostic in Clifton, New Jersey. His clinical experience is broad, including treatment of conditions in general medicine to neuromuskoskeletal issues and other types of cases. Dr. Mirza is the founder of erectiledr.com, a website designed to help men with erectile dysfunction.

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