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Viagra – ten years on – a blessing or a curse?

March 4th, 2008

Dr Petra

Today on Woman’s Hour I joined Dr John Tomlinson to talk about the impact sex drugs have had on our lives over the past decade. You can listen again to the programme here.

Viagra has been available for the past decade and you can expect to see a lot more celebratory media coverage about it. There’s been a lot of interesting stuff written about the impact of Viagra on our sex lives, health and popular culture, and you may find the following resources help you understand more about the drug, what it does, and how it has affected us.

Meika Loe has written a fascinating account of Viagra in her book The Rise of Viagra: how the little blue pill changed sex in America that includes interviews with patients, practitioners and analysis of drug company promotional material. Or you might want to check out this special issue of the journal Sexualities that addresses everything from Viagra for women to its presence in popular culture. Email the authors for more information on any paper that catches your eye.

PLoS Medicine
has some helpful (and free) histories about the development of Viagra for men, and female sexual dysfunction. Both of these papers provide an insight into how sexual problems have been treated and medicalised by the pharmaceutical industry. I’ve also written about men’s sexual concerns and treatment options in this paper ‘Better dicks through drugs’, while you can find out more about issues affecting women’s sexual functioning over at the New View Campaign.

You can also find help and support from the Sexual Dysfunction Association who operate a confidential telephone helpline as well as lots of useful information. If you are worried about sexual problems you can speak to your GP in confidence. They can prescribe you medication if appropriate or refer you to a psychosexual counsellor if need be. Or you can refer yourself to a therapist through the British Association for Sex and Relationship Therapists.

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