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Ground-breaking study of NZ women

Ground-breaking study of NZ women

A ground-breaking study involving 100 Waikato couples completed in Hamilton by Dr Helen Conaglen and Associate Professor John Conaglen of the New Zealand Sexual Research Trust, has just been published this week. The study is the first in the world to systematically examine the woman’s point of view in couples taking medications for erection problems.

This research was based on the fact that erectile difficulties are common affecting up to 50% of men after the age of 50 years. Effective treatments such as Viagra and Cialis for the erection disorder have been available for more than a decade. Despite this previous research has focussed on the effectiveness of the treatment for the male with little attention paid to the views of their female partners.

Dr Helen Conaglen based in Hamilton set out to investigate the views of women whose partners were taking either Cialis or Viagra for 3 months to determine whether the women preferred their man to be taking one drug or the other

450 Waikato couples applied to participate in the study and 100 (40 – 80 yr old) couples were chosen to enter the study. The men were given either 3 months of Viagra or 3 months of Cialis, and for the following 3 months were given the alternative medication.

The study involved detailed interviews with the women at the beginning and at 3 months after their partner had used one medicine and then at 6 months when they had used the alternative drug. Viagra and Cialis differ mainly in the duration of their effectiveness, with Viagra having a short duration of action (6 – 12 hours) and Cialis having a much longer effect (up to 36 hours).

The majority of women (80%) in this study expressed a preference for the longer acting drug Cialis stating that they preferred this because:

- Sexual events felt more relaxed and there was less pressure on the woman

- They experienced more natural or spontaneous sex experiences with increased sexual satisfaction for the couple

- Increases in frequency, intimacy and romance

- Flexibility in terms of time available to use drug

This is the first time that research has seriously investigated the views of women when their partners have taken one or other of these drugs. The Conaglens stated that most couples thoroughly enjoyed participating in this study and that for many it encouraged more openness about how couples communicated about sex. Many couples wanted to be able to continue using the medication after the study.


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