Drugs which are commonly associated with male impotence treatment could also be of benefit to women, it has been revealed.
Approximately 40 per cent of women report sexual dysfunction, and research conducted at the Medical College of Georgia suggests treatment with phosphodiesterase Type 5 inhibitors Viagra, Levitra and Cialis could help them to achieve a more satisfying sexual experience.
An investigation into the effect of Type 5 inhibitors on pudendal arteries, which control the blood flow to the vagina, clitoris and penis, demonstrates they help to relax the arteries in rats.
"It shows the drugs need to be investigated more for women and small alterations could make these compounds more effective for women living with these disorders," commented Dr Kyan J Allahdadi, postdoctoral fellow in physiology at MCG.
The drugs work on the vagina and clitoris in much the same way as they work on the penis.
This sees endothelial cells and nerves release nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels when the penis is physically stimulated.
Georgia's health sciences university, the Medical College of Georgia is the 13th-oldest medical school in the US having been founded in 1828.