Can Women Take Viagra?
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Can Women Take Viagra?

Treating decreased sexual desire and arousal in women is tricky. Viagra, the trade name for the oral drug sildenafil, is a prescription medication men can take that makes it physically possible for them to obtain and maintain an erection. However, medical experts agree: When used to enhance your sex life, Viagra works only for men.

Sex is Complicated

First comes the desire for sex, then physical arousal and finally orgasm — at least this is generally true for men, says the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. For a woman, sex is far more complicated. A woman’s desire for her partner may not be her primary motivation. Many women equate sex with expressing their feelings for a romantic partner or to experience a feeling of closeness. If the prospect of having sex doesn’t offer these rewards, you may find yourself shying away from intimate encounters. Drugs like Viagra won’t increase your desire to have sex.

How Viagra Works

Viagra belongs to a class of medications called phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors, which act on specific areas of the body — the penis being one of them. This medication makes a man’s body produce more nitric oxide, which opens up the blood vessels in the penis. Viagra helps a man maintain his erection after the penis is manually stimulated. Without stimulation, Viagra has no effect.

Viagra and Women

Viagra does not increase a man’s sex drive, says MayoClinic.Com. It only affects his ability to perform physically. Because women don’t have erectile dysfunction, Viagra doesn’t affect them in the same way. According to Margery Gass, M.D., executive director designate of The North American Menopause Society, there are no medications for women that will increase sexual desire. Viagra may be given to women to treat other problems, however. Viagra is prescribed for men and women who have a type of high blood pressure called pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Treating Sexual Dysfunction

“Female sexual dysfunction” is a broad term used to encompass a flagging libido, problems getting aroused, difficulty achieving orgasm and experiencing pain or discomfort during sex. If your desire for sex is less than what it used to be, there could be any number of reasons. A strained relationship with your partner may be the underlying cause. Your interest in sex can decrease during certain stages of life, such as pregnancy and menopause. Drinking too much, taking certain medications, vaginal infections, depression and health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can all take a toll on your sex life.

Other Information

Gass suggests taking remedial steps to enhance your sex life. Use lubricants and moisturizers to make intercourse more comfortable. Give yourself time to get into the mood. Even if you aren’t too interested in getting physical with your partner, it still can be enjoyable once an intimate encounter is underway. She suggests pinpointing the problem, examining how factors such as stress, physical fatigue, sexual boredom and problems in your relationship or marriage may affect your sex life.

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