Laurie Kline walked out of her bedroom this afternoon sporting the kind of ecstatic grin she hasn’t worn in six dreadful years.
The Baltimore woman owes it to Viagra, the little blue wonder that is enhancing penile erections from coast to coast.
It gave her back the orgasm she’d lost since having a partial hysterectomy when she was 35; it also gave her the comfort of knowing the problem wasn’t all in her head, as three doctors and a psychologist had told her.
“It’s a miracle pill,” says Kline, still beaming about it four hours later. “I can’t believe how it worked. For so long I didn’t have any nerves down there, and it was like that part of me just woke up.”
Now, she says she feels like a teenager: “I’m going to need a thousand of these!”
Kline is the first woman enrolled in a U.S. clinical trial to determine whether Viagra can be effective, and safe, for use in women.
Dr. Jennifer Berman, a University of Maryland urologist, says she had planned to begin the study this summer at a Boston University impotence center. But after getting more than 300 phone calls this month from women desperate for help, she decided to start early —beginning with Kline.
“I’ve thought about this for years,” says Berman, who just recently was awarded a grant for study. “It’s gratifying to know that finally we are able to study female sexual dysfunction after the entire field has been dominated by male research.”
The trial will require women to undergo a mountain of medical and scientific tests, as well as interviews with sex therapists.
It’s the kind of research that has cleared up a lot of the facts about male sexual dysfunction: researchers can now say with certainty that about 80 percent of male impotence problems are physical, not psychological.
As for women, they don’t have a clue.