Groundbreaking new trial finds Viagra effective in helping women in labour

pregnant woman taking pill

The male erectile dysfunction drug, Viagra, could soon be given to mums during childbirth after a new Australian-first trial in Brisbane has shown it to help reduce the need for emergency c-sections and forceps by almost fifty per cent!

Groundbreaking discovery

The Mater Research Institute-University of Queensland (MRI-UQ) has released new findings which prove that the drug Sildenafil (more commonly known as Viagra), can actually assist women in labour and possibly make childbirth safer for babies. The world-first study examined the effects of the drug on women giving birth. Researchers found it reduced distress because of increased blood flow to the uterus and placenta.

“Increasing blood flow improves the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the baby, which may reduce the risk of the baby becoming distressed in labour,” said Professor Sailesh Kumar, from MRI-UQ in the report.

“Preventing fetal distress can greatly improve the short and long-term health outcomes of the baby,” he added.

woman giving birth

Why this is important

The distress of any kind is not ideal during childbirth and can lead to more interventions and complications for the baby, which is why this new study is so important. 

“Emergency caesarean births can be traumatic and are sometimes associated with poorer results for both the mother and baby, so these preliminary results are very promising,” said Dr Kumar.

“When Sildenafil was taken in the early stages of labour, there was almost a 50 per cent reduction in women requiring an emergency caesarean or a forceps delivery because of fetal distress.” 


Read more about help during labour:


Possible game changer

According to Dr Kumar, the new findings have the potential to change standard clinical practice for mothers in labour.

Not only could Viagra soon be offered during childbirth to allow for a more effective delivery, but it may even reduce the need for other invention such as epidurals.

More research needed

Two hundred and thirty women took part in the randomised trial at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals, with a further 200 to be recruited in the next 12 months to help provide more insights and evidence into the effectiveness of Viagra during childbirth.

Until more research is conducted it’s not advisable for women to take the drug themselves during childbirth without consulting a doctor. There also appears to be no investigations yet into any negative side-effects.

So while the findings are still in the early stages, it’s still very promising for helping make childbirth easier and safer! Go Australia! 

If you are expecting please speak to your doctor about options for pain relief and other aids available during your labour.

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