Sex sells, even for medications. A new study has suggested that Viagra, one of the best-selling drugs in pharmaceutical history, may soon have some competition. Known as kisspeptin, this naturally occurring chemical in the body has previously been used for other medical purposes, but new research suggests that it helps to boost users' sex lives and could be useful in the treatment of psychological sexual problems.

The study of 29 heterosexual men found that injections of kisspeptin enhanced the brain’s response to sexual and romantic photos of couples, The Mirror reported. In addition, MRI scans showed that the hormone injections led to more activity in areas of the brain associated with sex and romance. Due to these results, the researchers believe that kisspeptin could have a future use as a sexual stimulus drug, and even has implications in male infertility cases.

Read: 'Sex Drive Doesn't Exist,' Psychologist Says; More Women Experience 'Responsive Desire'

“Most of the research and treatment methods for infertility to date have focused on the biological factors that may make it difficult for a couple to conceive naturally,” said lead researcher Waljit Dhillo, of Imperial College London, The Mirror reported. “Ultimately, we are keen to look into whether kisspeptin could be an effective treatment for psychosexual disorders, and potentially help countless couples who struggle to conceive.”

Kisspeptin is a hormone that occurs naturally in the body and helps to start the release of other hormones. According to the Hormone Health Network, it is connected to puberty and may help stop the spread of cancer.

Kisspeptin had previously been used as a safer alternative to human chorionic gonadotropin, as a way to stimulate ovulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization. Although HCG is most commonly used in in vitro treatments, it comes with the side effect of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, a serious complication that can result in massive ovarian enlargement.

Although the new study is small, consisting of only 29 participants, the team believe that kisspeptin could also be used as a way to stimulate sexual desire. They plan to conduct further studies, and test the hormone’s capabilities on women’s sex drives in addition to men.

Source: Dhillo W, Comninos A, Wall A, et al. Kisspeptin modulates sexual and emotional brain processing in humans. Journal of Clinical Investigation . 2017

See Also:

Hormonal Drug May Provide Women At High Risk For Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome With Safer IVF Treatment

Kisspeptin Works Well For Women Seeking IVF Treatment, And It's Safer