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Study to test use of viagra in increasing babies birth weight

A new trial out of New Zealand is

A new trial out of New Zealand is slated to begin testing the effectiveness of Viagra in increasing birth weights and survival rates of babies who grow poorly in their mother's wombs. (Credit: iStock)

A new trial out of New Zealand is slated to begin testing the effectiveness of Viagra in increasing birth weights and survival rates of babies who grow poorly in their mother's wombs.

Researchers from the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland New Zealand believe that as the 'little blue pill' helps to increase blood supply to the male pelvis, it could have a similar effect on pregnant women whose babies are struggling to thrive in utero.

If their research proves to be correct, life-giving oxygen and nutrients would flow readily to the womb and the developing baby.


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Professor Philip Baker, a co-investigator on the trial, has amassed more than 15 years of experience in laboratory and animal studies researching the use of Viagra to increase birth sizes to healthier levels in babies.

He explained that teams of investigators from around the world are now working to assemble a network of trials to provide a definitive answer.

"We’ve reached a point where the volume of preclinical evidence is compelling and we want to translate these findings into genuine patient benefit," he said in a release from the university.

The three-year study, which will include women to be identified by OBGYNs and recruited before reaching the 30-week mark in their pregnancies. The trials will be conducted throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Dr. Katie Groom, a lead researcher on the trial, said that currently, the only treatment for children who fail to thrive in the womb is early delivery. While often life saving, these premature births present a child with both short- and long-term health consequences.

The only real long-term solution, said Groom, is to develop a new method of treatment. "If we can determine a therapy that enhances fetal growth, and we can therefore delay delivery, we will improve not only these babies’ survival rates but also reduce the many complications that follow and can lead to lifelong disability or disease," she said in an article on the research.

What do you think of using Viagra to treat low-birth rates and premature births in babies in utero? Let us know in the comments field below.

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