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    Viagra: facts and myths – find out the truth

    On this page
    1. What is Viagra?
    2. Facts about Viagra
    3. Myths about Viagra
    4. Other treatment options for ED

    Blue pills on hand

    Viagra is possibly the most famous prescription medicine in the world. The little blue pill has helped millions of men around the world overcome their erectile dysfunction (ED). But like any celebrity, over the years a number of myths have become attached to Viagra.

    To help you know your Viagra facts, we separate the truth from the tall tales…

    What is Viagra?

    Viagra is one of the most common medicines used to treated ED. The active ingredient is called sildenafil which works by increasing the blood flow to the penis. It’s thought to be effective in 62-82% of men, depending on the dosage. 

    Viagra can be taken between 30 and 60 minutes before sex, but you’ll have to be aroused for it to have any effect. 

    Facts about Viagra

    Does Viagra work best on an empty stomach?

    Eating a heavy meal can limit Viagra’s effectiveness. The same goes for alcohol intake. Ideally you want to take it when sober and on an empty stomach to enjoy the best results.

    Can taking Viagra can cause side effects?

    Taking Viagra can cause side effects, Although these are rare and usually mild. Nausea, headaches, dizziness and skin flushes are the most likely to occur. If side effects persist stop taking Viagra and consult your clinician for further advice.

    You need a prescription for Viagra

    You’ll need a prescription from a clinician to get Viagra, but you don’t need one to take Viagra Connect. You can get Viagra Connect over the counter from your local pharmacy, or from regulated online pharmacies, without the need for a prescription. 

    To get Viagra, you’ll have to see your GP, or you can use an online service like Online Doctor. You’ll answer a series of questions online, which our clinicians will assess to see if the treatment is suitable. If it’s suitable, they’ll prescribe the treatment and you can have it delivered to you or collect it from your local LloydsPharmacy. 

    Myths about Viagra

    Is Viagra the only treatment for erectile dysfunction?

    Viagra may be the most famous treatment for ED but several alternatives are available. Levitra (vardenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), Spedra (avanafil) and sildenafil are the most widely used treatments for ED.

    Cialis is the longest-lasting, while Sildenafil contains the same active ingredient as Viagra – and is therefore just as effective – without being attached to the price-boosting brand name. Other treatments include Caverject injections, MUSE pellets and Vitaros cream

    Does Viagra give a permanent erection?

    You only get an erection after taking Viagra when you are sexually stimulated. Without stimulation Viagra should have no effect. 

    Is it true that Viagra works first time or not at all?   

    Many men experience no results the first time they take Viagra. This doesn’t mean the drug won’t work eventually. Doctors recommend you try any ED treatment up to eight times before exploring another kind or moving onto a higher dosage.

    Is Viagra an aphrodisiac?

    Viagra can help you have sex but it doesn’t boost your sex drive. However by successfully combating erectile dysfunction Viagra may remove previous negative feelings towards sex.

    Does Viagra protect against STIs?

    Viagra offers NO protection against STIs. Nor does any other form of ED treatment. Wear a condom if you have any doubts regarding you or your partner’s sexual health.

    Does Viagra take effect immediately?

    Viagra generally takes effect between 30 minutes to an hour after you ingest it. To be safe you should take Viagra at least an hour before sexual intercourse.

    Is Viagra more effective the more pills you take?

    You should never take more than one dose of Viagra within a 24 hour period. Nor should you take Viagra in combination with any other ED medication. If nothing is happening another pill won’t make any difference.

    Does taking Viagra negatively affect your fertility?

    There have been reports in the past that Viagra can potentially   damage sperm or reduce sperm motility (how well they move). 
    However, a more recent review of relevant research has concluded that  Viagra and similar medication can actually positively affect fertility, by helping you gain and maintain good and firm erections and reducing the stress associated with ED.

    Can Viagra be taken with other medicines?

    Viagra is normally safe even if you are using other forms of medication. However certain medicines such as nitrates (used in some heart medication and creams for anal fissures) interact negatively with Viagra. For this reason, you must always tell your doctor exactly what medicines (both prescription and non-prescription) you are taking.

    Does Viagra stop you ejaculating?

    Viagra should not impact ejaculation, it is prescribed to increase blood flow to the penis following sexual arousal. 

    Can you get pregnant if you use Viagra?

    Viagra is designed with men (or people with male genitals) in mind. It has not been studied in women, so we don't know whether it is safe for them to take. What we can say for sure though, is that it doesn't stop you from getting pregnant. If you want to protect yourself from pregnancy you need to use contraception.

    Because Viagra enables you to have sex, you can get a partner pregnant if they are not using contraception.

    Other treatment options for ED

    There are lots of other treatments for erectile problems, such as:

    Visit our erectile dysfunction clinic for more information on Viagra and other treatments.

    Looking for erectile dysfunction treatment?

    Use our online service


    References
    https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/sildenafil-viagra/
    https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/8725#gref
    https://icurology.org/DOIx.php?id=10.4111/icu.20200394

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