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Study Shows Exercise on Par with Viagra for Some

A two-year research program at the Cologne University Medical Center in Germany suggests that specially designed physical exercises can be as effective as Viagra (sildenafil) in dealing with some causes of erectile dysfunction.

Basic research had suggested that certain pelvic muscles could help with erectile problems, so the researchers had expected their clinical study to show the benefits of exercise, said researcher Dr. Frank Sommer.

"But we were surprised it was so effective," he stated.

In the tests, 104 patients with mild to medium circulatory problems were randomly assigned to sildenafil, placebo or a course of exercise.

Overall, 80 percent of the participants who exercised reported better erections, compared with 74 percent of those taking sildenafil and 18 percent of the placebo group, the researchers found.

The exercise program was aimed at improving the blood supply around the pelvis, buttocks and upper leg muscles through squatting exercises and pelvic and leg lifts. Those who took part attended three weekly sessions.

Direct measurement of the blood flow necessary to maintain an erection showed substantial increases in men who exercised. The rigidity of erections improved an average of 46 percent three months after men started the exercise program.

"Exercise is a realistic conservative treatment option" for patients with mild to moderate circulatory problems, Sommer concluded.

The findings, presented at the recent European Association of Urology, are now being prepared for publication.

Article Source: Reuters Health
Article Author: Nigel Glass

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