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"You have turned my life around"
 

I am 87 years old, with a problem of the prostate gland. Before I met Dr. Baum, I went to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes. After Dr. Baum's treatment on my prostate, I go only 5 times per day and only 1 time at night! You turned my life around. I am so very grateful!

-Sidney Daigle


I want to thank you for your due diligence. You saved my life. I highly recommend you!

-Dwight Bastian


Thank you Dr. Baum! Because of you I'm back in the "rodeo"!

-Gerald Wallace

 


Is Viagra the fountain of youth for women as it is for men? Let me relate an anecdotal story from my practice. Mary (not her real name) came into the exam room in my office with her husband with a smile of a Cheshire cat on her face. I couldn't help but ask about her grin. She said, "I took one of those little blue pills (Viagra) that you prescribed for my husband for his erections. The wonder pill has given me my orgasms back. I have not had an orgasms since my hysterectomy at age 35. I didn't know I had any nerves left down there. Now I do."

This has been the response of the few lucky women who have had the opportunity to take the recently released wonder drug, Viagra, the oral medication used to treat impotence in men. (The drug is manufactured by Pfizer and there are over 40,000 prescriptions written every day for this drug that is returning potency to men who consider the little blue pill the fountain of youth.) At the present time the Federal Drug Administration has not released Viagra for use in women. Currently, studies are underway in England and other countries in Europe to evaluate the effectiveness of Viagra in women-those lucky ladies that are doing this hard research!

Research estimates that there are 30 million American men who suffer from impotence. The studies in men indicate that the decrease in erections are caused by a decrease in blood supply to the penis. The problem for middle-aged women may be the same as it is for middle-aged women: the decrease of blood supply flowing to the sexual organs-vagina and clitoris. Sexual dysfunction in women consists of decreased vaginal lubrication, increased time required for sexual arousal, diminished ability to reach orgasms, and a decreased clitoral sensation.

It is estimated that nearly 60 percent of women have one or several of these sexual complaints. And, like men, women are more likely to have sexual difficulties if they are older or if they have other medical conditions associated with vascular problems. It appears that sexual dysfunction in women may be a disease of aging as a result of blockage or narrowing of the blood vessels to the pelvic organs like the blood vessels that are affected in other parts of the body. In essence, sexual dysfunction is a vascular disease. Consider it a heart-attack of the vagina, a heart-attack of the clitoris or a heart-attack of the penis. Since Viagra increases the blood supply to the penis, perhaps the pill will do for women what it does for men-improve sexual performance by increasing the blood supply to the women's pelvic organs.

Hundreds of female volunteers in several European cities are now taking the wonder pill in studies to evaluate the effectiveness in treating sexual dysfunction. If the studies prove successful, the tests will be expanded to include thousands of women in the United States under the tough protocols required for Food and Drug Administration approval. Theoretically it should work, because the causes of sexual dysfunction are similar in men and women.

When a woman is younger, she can look at someone and the response is immediate vaginal lubrication. However, with aging the arousal mechanism is set at a higher threshold and more or longer stimulation is required in order to generate sexual arousal and vaginal lubrication. When women complain about the lack of sexual desire or a lack of arousal, they are really complaining about a lack of blood supply to their vagina or clitoris. Perhaps the solution will come in a pill that will increase the blood supply to this area of the body.

Currently, treatments have been available for women consisting of hormone replacement therapy usually in the form of oral estrogens tablets or vaginal estrogen creams. Unfortunately, hormone replacement therapy has not been uniformly successful in resolving sexual dysfunction in women.

Perhaps Viagra, the little blue wonder real that is enhancing men's erections from coast-to-coast, will be the panacea for sexual problems in women as well.

In my next column I will discuss the side effects, contraindications, and complications associative with the use of Viagra.

Dr. Neil Baum is a urologist in New Orleans. He is the author of Impotence-It's Curable (Anadem). For men who are interested in participating in a study on the treatment of impotence, contact Dr. Baum at 504 891-8454.

 

For more information, please see the following articles by Gina Kolata: