Scientists Say Viagra Could Help Unborn Babies Not Growing Properly

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 18, 2013   |   6:31PM   |   London, England

A new study is underway by scientists who say the sex drug Viagra could improve the survival rates of babies who are born prematurely or who are not growing properly in utero.

Prior studies have found Viagra could help babies thrive by boosting blood supply to the placenta and now a new trial is underway to see if Viagra can help further. According to a London Daily Mail report, more than 120 women with low-birthweight babies will be given doses of sildenafil citrate, a generic version of Viagra, during their pregnancies.

From the story:

The arteries feeding the placenta do not widen enough to deliver all the blood the baby needs.

But during tests foetal deaths dropped sharply in pregnant mice given Viagra. The drug helps by relaxing muscles in the artery walls and allowing more nutrient-rich blood to pump through.

Now scientists in New Zealand and Australia are recruiting pregnant women for the first human trial of Viagra for foetal growth.

There is currently no treatment for growth restriction, other than early delivery once a baby is in danger,’ said Dr Kate Groom, who is leading the research at the University of Auckland.

‘If we can enhance foetal growth and delay delivery, we will improve babies’ survival rates and reduce the many complications that can lead to life-long disability or disease.’

Similar trials are planned for the UK in the next few years.

Viva Viagra indeed.