Viagra: The New Drug Helping Australian Women Give Birth

A clinical trial is showing the benefits of the erection-drug in reducing the stress of childbirth.

Viagra is well known for its benefits, but researchers have now discovered it is also helping to ease problems for women during childbirth.

A clinical trial has shown taking the drug in the early stages of labour can significantly reduce complications.

A team at Mater Research Institute in Queensland says the drug helps to increase blood flow to the uterus and placenta during childbirth, which helps deliver more oxygen to the baby.

New parents Wendy van Dyk-Stowers and Celestine Stowers say taking Viagra helped deliver their healthy baby boy. Image: Supplied

“Viagra or Sildenafil improves blood supply to the placenta and therefore to the baby and because of that it reduces the risk of the baby becoming distressed in labour,” Professor Sailesh Kumar told Ten Eyewitness News.

230 women have already taken part in the trial at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital, and the results are promising.

“The reduction in the need for an emergency operation for delivery is almost 50 percent less,” Professor Kumar said.

New parents Wendy van Dyk-Stowers and Celestine Stowers say taking Viagra helped deliver their healthy baby boy Noah.

At 37 weeks, 44-year-old Wendy was induced and several tests indicated her baby had a high chance of distress in labour. With her placenta deteriorating, Wendy was also showing signs of distress, so she decided to accept the offer of the blue pill.

Noah was born with no complications. Image: Supplied

“I knew there were heightened risks and it was quite worrying going into labour. I had full faith in the clinical team that we would be both okay and that this trial could potentially really help us,” Wendy said.

Wendy experienced stressful times during labour but was relieved when Noah was born, weighing 3.1 kilograms -- with no complications.

Despite the family’s initial shock at being offered Viagra for the birth, they told Ten they have no hesitation in recommending the drug to others.

Another 200 women are expected to be recruited for the trial over the next 12 months. If the trial continues to show positive results, researchers say it has the potential to change standard clinical practice, not only at the Mater Hospital but nationally, and internationally.