PathPathPathcloseGroup 8single-neutral-circleshopping-basket-1searchsend-email-2common-file-horizontal-imagetwitterlock-2cogIcon / Health
PathPathPathcloseGroup 8single-neutral-circleshopping-basket-1searchsend-email-2common-file-horizontal-imagetwitterlock-2cogIcon / Health

Can women take Viagra?

14th May 2019

Everyone has heard of Viagra. When it launched just over 20 years ago, it revolutionised thousands of men’s sex lives and has continued to do so ever since. So naturally, this has intrigued the opposite sex and has a number of women asking if they can take Viagra too.

Can women take Viagra?

The short answer is no. Men and women are so different in terms of body function, sexual function and sexual arousal that the drug simply doesn’t work in the same way. Viagra works in men by increasing blood flow to the penis to help them achieve and maintain an erection. But contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t actually increase sexual desire or incite arousal, and the drug still needs to be paired with sexual stimulation in order for it to work. So regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, Viagra does not work in a way that makes you want sex; it just aids a man who already wants to have it but finds that his body is failing him.

Sexual function: men vs women

Viagra may be known as the magic little blue pill, and you may immediately think of sex when the drug comes to mind. But it was actually originally invented to try and treat angina, because of the way it works to increase blood flow. In simple terms, this is all that the drug does - it increases blood flow to a specific area of a man which in turn helps his erectile dysfunction.

The reason that Viagra does not work for women is because their sexual function has nothing to do with blood flow. While a man’s sexual function is entirely dependent on him getting an erection, a woman can technically have sex at any time. For women, sexual function is more to do with arousal than anything else, because this is what determines how comfortable or enjoyable sex is for her. Although a woman can have sex without being turned on, it’s certainly not advised and could end up being uncomfortable or even painful.

For women, sex is all about lubrication and this comes naturally when she is aroused. The first port of call if you’re finding sex to be a struggle, is to dedicate more time to foreplay. If this is making no difference then there may be another reason that you’re not as naturally moisturised as you’d like. The female hormone, oestrogen, plays a big role in the levels of fluid on the vaginal wall, and a change or drop in these hormone levels can have a big effect on your sex life. This could include the menopause, breastfeeding, stress, hormonal contraceptives or other medications. If you’re unsure or worried then you should see a doctor to discuss what the problem could be.

If the problem is that you don’t actually want to have sex then in you’re in the same boat as a man who doesn’t want to have sex, because Viagra will do nothing to help them either. Again, Viagra works physically, and does not have a direct effect on your libido.

Is there a female Viagra?

For all women who are cursing drug manufacturers for catering to only a man’s sex life, all is not lost. There are a number of companies promoting ‘female Viagra’, although this is often just a term used to sell herbal supplements. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t work; there are plenty of aphrodisiacs (chocolate, chillies, oysters) found in your kitchen cupboard and many women have positive experiences with a variety of supplements. However, these don’t come with any kind of guarantee and it’s down to each individual woman to judge what works for her.

One that comes with a number of positive reviews is Prelox, a food supplement that is readily available in the UK. It claims to be a “female pleasure enhancer” and a number of studies show that women have had positive experiences with it. It’s legal in the UK and safe to buy, but not guaranteed to work - some say that study results could be nothing more than the placebo effect.

There is actually a drug that is licensed as a ”female Viagra”, called ‘Addyi’. Unfortunately though, it’s only licensed in the US so it cannot be bought legally in the UK. If you do manage to find any UK sellers then this is being done illegally and you risk your health by taking them. You should only ever buy medications from trusted, licensed sellers and always consult a doctor if you’re unsure. Addyi has had mixed reviews, amid its claim to work on the brain to increase sexual desire, so perhaps the women of the UK aren’t missing that much after all. Plus, there’s plenty you can do to increase a woman’s sexual pleasure (even though Viagra isn’t an option) - the more creative the better.