Love & Sex

Science Says Viagra Could Be the New Midol

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A new study out of Penn State suggests that the little blue pill works better than ibuprofen for women with moderate to severe cramps.

A new study out of Penn State suggests that the little blue pill works better than ibuprofen for women with moderate to severe cramps. The idea is that, sildenafil citrate — the active drug in Viagra — can relieve some kinds of period-induced pain by dilating blood vessels in the pelvis, the same way it dilates the blood vessels in other things. Viagra: it will solve all the problems.

The study used 25 women, ages 18-35, with some getting the actual pill (inserted vaginally, sadly — taking it orally as often as you would ibuprofen causes headaches), and some getting a placebo drug. Based on the pain level ratings of the women who got the real deal, Viagra works: as hypothesized, the drug both increases blood flow and alleviates pain. The snag is that it turns out the placebo also increases blood flow but doesn't alleviate pain — Viagra works, in other words, but maybe not for the reasons the researchers suspected. Women! They're so hard to figure out!

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