Vogue - October 1998

On the Pill

I read with great interest Tama Janowitz's article on Viagra ["Sexual Healing"] in the July issue. I was particularly interested in the sidebar by Joanne Chen. "Does Viagra have a feminine side?" As an urologist in New York City specializing in erectile dysfunction. I have prescribed Viagra to more than 700 men. Its effect in men has been well documented, and the experiences of my patients are similar to those previously described. I have also had the opportunity to prescribe Viagra to many women. It has helped my postmenopausal patients with arousal, lubrication, and ability to achieve orgasm. The women described a feeling of tingling and enhanced sensation in the vagina and clitoris. This is a result of increased blood flow. As Ms. Chen reports, the penis and the clitoris are very similar morphologically. In the younger population with anorgasmia, or difficulty achieving orgasm. Viagra also results in increased sensation and is usually described as making sex feel better. It is not clear whether it will facilitate orgasms in these women, as there are many factors contributing to a female orgasm, and these women may have psychological or neurological factors making orgasm difficult. Female sexual dysfunction has long been overlooked by the medical community, and one of the beneficial outcomes of the Viagra craze will be increased attention to this often troubling problem for many women.