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Volunteers Needed at Stanford for Study of Sexual Dysfunction.

STANFORD, Calif. -- Female sexual dysfunction affects between 20 and 50 percent of adult women, according to the National Health and Social Life Survey. One condition in particular, known as female sexual arousal disorder, happens when a woman's body does not properly respond to sexual stimulation. The condition can occur in women who have had a hysterectomy, which often damages the blood vessels and nerves responsible for sexual arousal.

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine are looking for volunteers to participate in a multicenter clinical study on the effectiveness of a topical solution containing alprostadil, or prostaglandin E1, in treating the sexual disorder in hysterectomy patients. Alprostadil is a hormone-like substance that is commonly found in the body, and has been used for years to treat male sexual dysfunction. It works by promoting blood flow to the genitals, as well as enhancing the sensitivity of nerves near the surface of the skin.

Women who have noticed a decrease in genital sexual arousal after having a hysterectomy are invited to participate in the study. To qualify, study subjects must be between 21-60 years of age. They must also be engaged in a monogamous, sexually active heterosexual relationship, and their partner must consent to participate in the study as well.

For a six-month period, subjects will apply either a dose of alprostadil or a placebo prior to every sexual encounter. They will be expected to return to the clinic at the end of every month for evaluation.

The research is funded by Vivus, Inc., the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the brand of alprostadil used in the study. The protocol calls for 300 test subjects spread across 45 participating institutions, including Stanford.

For more information, interested women should contact Leah Millheiser Ettinger, MD, a Stanford instructor in obstetrics and gynecology, by phone at (650) 725-9447 or via e-mail at

Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions -- Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center's Office of Communication & Public Affairs at
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 29, 2005
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