A Doctor’s View on Viagra

Since it was first released onto the market in the late 1990s, Sildenafil (better known by its brand name, Viagra) has been used by 62 million men all over the world. 

Trialled extensively, the treatment is not only safe but effective in 80% of men. In short, it’s clinically proven to help the majority of men who use it achieve and maintain an erection.

This is obviously terrific news. If you’re struggling to get an erection, there’s an extremely high chance Sildenafil will give you one. But this poses another question: is a reliable erection the only benefit of Sildenafil?

Wanting to find out, we enlisted Dr. Earim Chaudry, our medical director at Manual, to see if Sildenafil can do more for you than just get it up.

A psychological boost

According to Dr. Chaudry, Sildenafil can have indirect psychological benefits: “If you’ve been struggling to achieve an erection, you could start to experience heightened performance anxiety during sex.

“But when you know Sildenafil is there to help you overcome erection difficulties, these anxieties subside, thereby increasing your sexual confidence”.

It seems simple enough. If you’re confident that you’ll get it up, you’re going to be more confident in bed. This in turn will see you, and your partner, having a more fulfilling sex life and leave you feeling better overall.


Confidence, however, is a subjective trait. Dr. Chaudry is therefore keen to put things in perspective: “Increased sexual confidence with a partner is bound to improve intimacy in any relationship. Whether that will also boost your mood outside of the bedroom really depends on the individual.”

Sildenafil can reduces stress

Sildenafil works by inhibiting PDE5, the enzyme that regulates blood flow to the soft tissue of the penis. When you take Sildenafil, it dilates the blood vessels of the penis, improving blood flow and making it easier to get an erection. 

According to Dr. Chaudry, the biochemical mechanism triggered by Sildenafil also does wonders for your stress levels: 
Sildenafil was originally developed to treat high blood pressure, which is often associated with high levels of stress. One study also found that Sildenafil limits the strengthened heartbeat caused by chemically induced stress, by reducing the excess amount of blood and force used to pump it to the body.” (source)

Regular sex improves fitness

In theory, healthy erections result in a healthier sex life. And regular sex is certainly a good way to boost your physical fitness, right?

“Like any physical activity, sex can definitely improve your cardiovascular strength”, Dr. Chaudry says. “So yes, improved fitness could be seen as an indirect benefit of Sildenafil, presuming you’re actually having sex after taking it”.

The Doctor’s final opinion

Ultimately, Sildenafil helps you achieve and maintain an erection. If you were struggling to do so before taking it, then yes, it will almost certainly improve your sex life (being physically able to perform sex tends to be a solid improvement on being physically unable to).

All the other stuff—about it upping your mood, improving your performance between the sheets, and boosting your fitness levels—is anecdotal and unique to the individual.

“The benefits of achieving an erection, especially after being unable to achieve one, can be varied and far reaching, both physically and psychologically,” Dr. Chaudry explains.

“Yet these are indirect effects of the drug, so no one can say that Sildenafil will unequivocally improve your sex life and therefore make you happier, or anything like that. 

“However, I can say that extensive clinical trials have found that Sildenafil, if used as prescribed, is safe and will serve its intended purpose in 80% of men who use it. And by intended purpose, I mean it will help them achieve an erection.”

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