MedExpress

Can Women Take Viagra?

Viagra is a drug licensed to help men with erectile dysfunction. Millions of men across the world have found that Viagra is an effective treatment for impotence.

This has got their female partners thinking: if there is a simple pill that can help men improve their sex lives, maybe it could work just as well for women…

This doesn’t come as a surprise, considering that nearly half of all women aged between 30-50 years old have experienced a period of low sexual libido!

So can Viagra work for women to boost sexual desire? Let’s take a closer look…

How Viagra works

Viagra contains the active ingredient Sildenafil  which works by causing particular muscles in the body – the smooth muscles that surround blood vessels – to relax. When this happens, there is more space for the blood vessels to enlarge and allow more blood to pass through.

Blood flow to the penis is the final and most important step for an erection to occur. When a man takes Viagra, the smooth muscles around the blood vessels in the penis relax and more blood passes through the penis. This is what normally happens when a man is sexually aroused and allows it to become erect.

Viagra helps men with erectile dysfunction by working on the physical parts the body needs to have an erection. It doesn’t increase sexual desire; but simply increases blood flow to the penis for it to become erect.

Does Viagra work for women?

Sexual desire and libido is a complicated subject. The big issue here is that men and women are fundamentally different when it comes to sexual arousal, so an effective solution for men is not likely to be of much help to women.

Scientific research that has tested the effect of Viagra on women is not very promising. While the way the drug works to increase blood flow to the area is useful to increase the physical arousal of the body, the drug does not appear to have any effect whatsoever on sexual desire. Although there have been a few small studies such as the trial run by UCLA  which have shown that Viagra improved sexual enjoyment further studies have been unable to replicate this success.

The fact that Viagra has not been licensed for use in women is a strong indicator that the drug manufacturers have been unable to produce successful clinical trials which indicate that the drug is a safe and effective treatment.

Is it dangerous?

Like every drug, Viagra can lead to side effects, regardless of whether it is taken by a man or a woman. These side effects include:

Furthermore, there hasn’t been much scientific research about the negative effects of Viagra for women. For this reason, there may also be other gender-specific effects that target women more than men and the medium/long-term risks are unknown.

Should women try Viagra?

In the UK, Viagra is only licensed to help men with erectile dysfunction and should not be taken by women. There is no conclusive evidence that Viagra will help women to feel more aroused to have sex and it might cause undesirable side effects.

If you are experiencing low sexual desire and want to do something to help you to get into the mood, talk to your doctor about what options you have. For most women the issue is not a malfunction of the body but a lack of desire in the mind, something that can’t be improved without the help of a pill like Viagra.

In such cases, rather than seek a solution from medication, ask your partner for support and seek help from a sexual health professional.