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2 March 2006
Erectile Treatments Said To Boost Self-Esteem And Sexual Confidence
by George Atkinson

Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, have funded a study into what they say are the significant negative psychosocial effects on a man's overall health due to erectile dysfunction. The results, predictably enough, found that oral treatments for erectile dysfunction can relieve depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

The study appears in the The Journal of Sexual Medicine and was carried out by researchers from Pfizer and the Case School of Medicine. The study authors say it is the first study to look at erectile dysfunction in the context of sexual function, sexual self-confidence, self-esteem and overall relationship satisfaction.

It involved men with erectile dysfunction in stable relationships, using sildenafil citrate (Viagra) on an as-needed basis for 10 weeks. These men were compared with a control group of male volunteers with no history of erectile dysfunction and also in a stable relationship. All the men involved a completed a self-esteem and relationship questionnaire before and after the trial.

The study found that while there were substantive differences in the questionnaire scores between the two groups at the start of the trial, those differences largely disappeared at the conclusion of the trial.

"This research indicates that men with erectile dysfunction before treatment with sildenafil have sexual relationship satisfaction, confidence, self-esteem, and overall relationship satisfaction that are much less than men with normal erectile function. This investigation is the first to report that men with erectile dysfunction who are later given treatment with sildenafil are equivalent to men with normal erectile function in terms of sexual relationship satisfaction, confidence, self-esteem, and overall relationship satisfaction. Hence, the data suggest that sildenafil is associated with normalization of relationship satisfaction, confidence, and self-esteem," said Dr. Joseph C. Cappelleri, a director in Global Research and Development at Pfizer.

The notion that erectile dysfunction medications can deliver a significant psychological improvement in men's lives was echoed by one of the study's co-authors. "The restoration of sexual self-confidence is arguably the most important psychological variable in the successful treatment of erectile dysfunction," said Dr. Stan Althof, a psychologist at the Case School of Medicine.

Based on material from The Journal of Sexual Medicine

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