View Full Version : Female orgasm too complex for Viagra, Levitra

09-20-2005, 06:20 AM
Study: Female orgasm too complex for Viagra, Levitra


SAN FRANCISCO - Drug companies make $2.5 billion a year selling Viagra, Cialis and Levitra to help men enjoy sex.

Since more women suffer from sexual dysfunction than men, developing a drug that could double those sales would seem to be a no-brainer.

Yet the pharmaceutical industry has failed women miserably. There isn't a single sexual dysfunction drug on the market that can help them.

Last year Pfizer Inc. abandoned an eight-year Viagra study involving 3,000 women, conceding that its famous blue pill only works for men.

"I hate to say it, but women are much more complex than men," said Beverly Whipple, the sex researcher who co-wrote "The G Spot."

Viagra and its two competitors are rather blunt instruments. They work simply by increasing blood flow down below. Women who take the drugs tend to experience the same physical effect, but this alone rarely satisfies them.

"You are not going to make a product by looking at what works in men and apply it to women," said Amy Allina, program director at the National Women's Health Network in Washington D.C.

The latest research, done by academics rather than commercial drug companies, suggests a neurological solution is needed. Because when it comes to achieving orgasms, women are more affected by mood, self-esteem and other issues of the psyche than men.

While Pfizer and other pharmaceutical titans have abandoned the pursuit of a Viagra for females as too complicated, a growing number of university researchers are reporting progress with the help of brain scanners and other technology.

Yes, they're watching women's brains while they have orgasms, and they're coming to some interesting conclusions.

For example by studying paralyzed women who can still experience an orgasm, they discovered that for women, the vagus nerve appears to be quite important and therefore may be a promising target for drugs. This nerve -- which is outside the spinal cord - carries information to areas of the brain that control mood.

"We basically found the areas of the brains that are activated in orgasm in women," said Barry Komisaruk, who worked with Whipple on the research, which being is funded by the federal government and the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

Brain scans measure the blood flow of research volunteers, whose heads are strapped tightly down inside the noisy machines. When brain cells start firing in a part of the brain that governs a particular emotion or activity, they need more oxygen, which is carried by the blood. During a brain scan, active regions of the brain light up on a computer monitor.

The scans reveal something else about women: During orgasms, the pain centers in their brains shut down, and pleasure centers, the same ones that become active when people ingest cocaine, light up.

But a big problem with these scans, done through magnetic resonance imaging, is that no machine yet built is designed to simultaneously monitor both the brain and the body. And even if they could, the images' clarity would be muddied by "background noise" such as hand movements.

That's why Komisaruk is currently studying the brains of women who can self-stimulate purely through thought - an apparently rare attribute that eliminates the noise -- as he seeks to find out what makes women tick during sex.

"The strange thing is that everyone knows that it all happens between the ears and not between the legs," said Gert Holstege, a leading sexual researcher at Groningen University in the Netherlands.

In June, Holstege published one of the first studies that mapped brain activity during orgasm for men and women who were stimulated by their partners.

Among other results, Holstege found that the part of the brain thought to control fear and anxiety, the amygdala, deactivated during orgasm for both women and men.

He acknowledged that his data for men is a little suspect because they don't orgasm long enough to take a proper brain scan.

Brain scanning technology has been available for close to 20 years, but is only now being used to study sex. Researchers attribute the delay to several factors including managerial skepticism and government reluctance to fund much of the work.

"In the United States people are a little more reserved when it comes to sex than in the Netherlands," said Holstege. He said that his U.S. colleagues told him they'd be afraid to propose such a project to their bosses.

Sex research using brain scans is only just getting started, and scientists warn that any potential new drugs or even better diagnoses of sexual dysfunction are years away.

web page (http://www.alligator.org/pt2/050907ap1.php)

Cueless Joey
09-20-2005, 11:07 AM
Just give them Nordstrom's credit card. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

09-21-2005, 04:40 AM
"I hate to say it, but women are much more complex than men," said Beverly Whipple, the sex researcher who co-wrote "The G Spot."

Tell me something I don't already know....

DG - learned this at an early age

09-21-2005, 06:17 AM
You know if women have to be so complex with simply having a simple orgasm, which BTW is perfectky natural and totally enjoyable, may be they also complicate their pool games with the same complicated mindset. Seriously, pool is a mental game, and if having a simple orgasm takes so much engineering, it's possible that women differ in overall skill against men in pool for the same reason. We may also find that the best of the men are very selfish, self-centered types, macho-wham-bam-I'm-done-thank-you-mam, and that the women with the same common traits not only play better pool, they may very well have orgasms more easily...sid