Viagra for Women

What effect does Viagra have on women?

Last reviewed: 26 Feb 2019

Woman interested in female Viagra holding a camera talking to a man with a bicycle

Key takeaways

  • Viagra and other products containing Sildenafil are not used to treat sexual dysfunction in women

  • Viagra doesn’t work for women because the increased blood supply doesn’t have an effect on their sexual dysfunction

  • With no proven benefit to women, the only likely effect is they would have the usual risk of side effects

  • There is no medication licensed for women with low sex drive so any products advertised for this are unlikely to work

Contents of this article

What is Viagra?

Viagra and non-prescription Viagra Connect contain the active ingredient sildenafil, which is used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men. Viagra is the most popular treatment for sexual dysfunction in men in the UK, but it is not currently licensed for use by women.

Does Viagra work for women?

So far, there has been no medical evidence to prove that Viagra works as a treatment for sexual dysfunction in women. There has been some anecdotal evidence that Viagra may improve sexual pleasure, but it is important to remember that male and female sexual function works very differently.

The main problem with sex experienced by men is to do with erections. Viagra works by increasing blood flow to the penis. This, accompanied by sexual stimulation, should enable men to get and sustain their erections long enough to be able to have full penetrative sex.

Sexual dysfunction in women varies from painful sex (dyspareunia), to muscle spasms (vaginismus), to a lack or total loss of libido. There have never been widespread medical studies on the exact effects of Viagra on women, so it is unclear whether or not Viagra is safe for use by women.

Without the need for erections, there is no reason to suggest that Viagra would be effective in treating female sexual dysfunction, which is commonly caused by psychological reasons, and so is better treated with counselling or psycho sexual therapy.

Ultimately, because Viagra only works by increasing blood flow (which does not on its own cause sexual stimulation or an increased libido in men), there is no reason to suggest that it would have any positive effects on women.

What effect does Viagra have on women?

The exact effects of Viagra on women are currently unknown. Some people believe that by increasing blood flow to the female genitalia, female sexual pleasure would be enhanced by the drug. However, this theory has never been proved.

The UCLA Female Sexual Medical Centre in LA ran a study to see whether or not taking Viagra increases female pleasure during sex. Participants of the study reported an increase in sexual enjoyment in the first round of trials. However, studies since then have been inconclusive, and the results of further studies indicate that these early results may have been due to chance.

Without proper medical testing of the effects in women, any potentially harmful side-effects or long-term side-effects on the female body are also unknown.

What is Female Viagra?

At the moment, there is no licensed medication equivalent to Viagra for use by women. Lots of websites advertise something called ‘Female Viagra’ online. The term ‘Female Viagra’ is used to sell herbal supplements that promise to increase your sexual pleasure or libido. However, in reality, these drugs are unlicensed, often illegal, and even potentially harmful substances.

There has never been any evidence to prove that these herbal remedies improve sexual dysfunction or heighten sexual pleasure, in women or in men. Never buy drugs online without a proper prescription: most drugs advertised online will be fake and you could be putting your health at risk.

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Dr Nicholas Antonakopoulos graduated from the University of London in 2006. He did his postgraduate training in hospitals in the London area, and he trained for four years in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery before completing his training in General practice in 2015.

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Last reviewed: 26 Feb 2019

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