Viagra being tested in some fetuses - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Viagra being tested in some fetuses

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Women in new Zealand will be the first to test Viagra to help fetuses that aren't growing as they should be.

In the trial, all eligible women carrying babies suffering from intrauterine growth restriction, where the baby is not growing well during pregnancy, will have a chance to use the drug. Doctors say the drug, also known as Avigra, could improve the prognosis for the babies.

There is currently no treatment other than early delivery once a baby is in danger.

Doctors say being born prematurely, while currently the only option, does have short and long-term health consequences. Among the problems are cerebral palsy, blindness and brain injury.

"It increases blood supply to the pelvis in men but also its likely that's the same in women so what we're hoping is that we're going to be able to increase the blood supply to a uterus, a womb," said lead researcher, Dr. Katie Groom.

The trial comes after research by a professor in the United Kingdom who used human tissue samples and animal studies to prove that Viagra could increase the size of very small babies in the womb.

Researchers warn women not to take the drug unless they are under strict medical supervision and that the dosage in the trial is very different than that sold in pharmacies.

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