Pregnant women and their babies can look forward to a brighter future thanks to promising Australian research into reducing fetal distress during labour by using Viagra.

In 2018, Golden Casket made a $500,000 donation to the Mater Foundation to support Professor Sailesh Kumar's research into lowering fetal distress while a woman was in labour by using of the drug sildenafil, better known as Viagra.

Fetal distress can occur when a baby does not receive enough oxygen during labour, which can result in emergency delivery by caesarean section. 

It can also be associated with poor neonatal outcomes, even in previously uncomplicated pregnancies. Lack of oxygen during labour can cause brain injury in babies leading to significant early and late complications, including cerebral palsy.

Professor Kumar’s research has proven so promising to date that he’s been granted a further $3.42 million for a large Australia-wide study by the Medical Research Future Fund.  

Starting later this year, the trial will run over four years, in 16 Australian hospitals and involve 3,200 women in spontaneous or induced labour at term.

"Without the initial support of Golden Casket and their customers, we would not have been able to start this trail at the time we did,” Professor Kumar said.

"A big thank you again to Golden Casket for the initial donation, which has led to an extension in the trial.” 

Hear more from Professor Kumar in the video below. 

Each year, the Lott via Golden Casket commits $500,000 to the Mater Foundation. The donation each year goes to advancing research benefitting women and children.