Viagra For Women

Can Women take Viagra?

The short answer is Yes!

What is a more pertinent question is does it work?


To avoid confusion, this article is not about Viagra (Sildenafil) which is commonly prescribed to men for erectile dysfunction. This article is not about Addyi (Flibanserin) which is commonly called the “Female Viagra” but is a completely different product. 

Let’s first get into the basic science of what Viagra is and what it does.

Viagra was introduced to much fanfare as the first effective oral treatment for erectile problems in men. What it does is improve blood flow into the penis. Now, we know from embryology that the penis in men and the clitoris in women develop from the same bits of the embryo. Although they are far from identical, they do share certain types of tissue that respond in the same way to Viagra. 

So unsurprisingly, studies have shown that when women take Viagra, blood flow to not only the clitoris improves, but also blood flow to the labia minora (inner lips) and also the pelvic floor in general. This better blood flow can lead to more sensitivity and more lubrication in the vagina.

So naturally we also have seen studies that conclude taking Viagra helps in the sexual function of some women. Especially women who suffer from other medical conditions that can reduce the blood flow to the pelvis for example Diabetes.  

Are there any side effects?

The potential side effects of taking Viagra are similar in both men and women. The most common side effects were headache, flushing, nausea, blocked and running nose. Either men or women who take certain medicines to treat the heart called Nitrates, cannot take Viagra because the combination of these medicines can cause the blood pressure to fall to dangerous levels. 

More on Viagra: “Cheap” Viagra, Fake/ Counterfeit Viagra

So what’s the catch?

Going by the above, if Viagra really is such a boon to women’s sexual issues like it is to men’s, why is it not more aggressively marketed and prescribed by Doctors to women?

Well, the catch is women’s sexual issues are usually much more complex. The medical term “Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD)” has only received more research attention since the late 1990’s. Types of FSD can be very generally broken down into 4 categories – Desire, Arousal, Orgasm and Pain. Each category is influenced by a multitude of factors including emotional, psychological and sociocultural in addition to physical factors such as disease.

So it would be logical to conclude that Viagra cannot possibly be the cure all for FSD. 

So what now?

There is now a much better understanding by the medical community on women’s sexual function. If a woman finds herself affected by a poor sex-life be it not having any desire, not being able to get sexually aroused, not being able to reach orgasm or feeling pain during sex, she should seek help from her Doctor. 

Viagra may be the prescribed treatment. However, there are also many other possible interventions the Doctor can prescribe based on the diagnosis. These could be tablets like Viagra or could also be non-drug based interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy or mindfulness-based interventions. There are also physical interventions available such as vaginal dilators and biofeedback devices.

FSD is real and it is a complex medical issue with many possible underlying causes.  Do not blame yourself and do not blame your partner. Seek medical help. Women’s Sexual Health Clinic Singapore

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