Both men and women may experience sexual dysfunction. However, unlike men, women do not have a medically approved oral drug to take for episodes of sexual dysfunction. Viagra is a medication that treats erectile dysfunction in males who have difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection. Although some doctors may prescribe Viagra for women, it has not been approved for use by women and no studies exist that support the effectiveness of using it to treat female sexual dysfunction.
Viagra helps treat male sexual dysfunction by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide. This chemical relaxes the blood vessels and muscles of the penis, leading to an increase in blood flow that may result in an erection.
Female Sexual Dysfunction
Women can experience a variety of sexual problems, including a loss of desire, inability to have an orgasm, difficulty becoming aroused and pain during sex. In addition to everyday stresses, other elements may increase the risk of sexual disorders. Common factors that may contribute to female sexual dysfunction include depression, relationship problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, excessive alcohol use and certain medications.
Although there is no drug similar to Viagra for women, some women with sexual problems due to antidepressant use may respond to Viagra, according to MayoClinic.com. While some medical professionals may prescribe Viagra in an attempt to minimize female sexual dysfunction, this treatment approach does not address the cause of the problem, which often stems from a lack of sexual desire.
Due to the lack of scientific studies, no data is available regarding the health risks for women taking Viagra. However, certain side effects can occur in men. These side effects include hearing loss, dizziness, fainting, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light. Patients with heart problems may have an increased risk of heart attack or stroke while taking Viagra. The risks of taking Viagra during pregnancy or breastfeeding are unknown.
Addressing the underlying cause of female sexual dysfunction may be more effective than taking Viagra. Medical management of sexual dysfunction may involve treating certain conditions that can cause a decrease in desire, such as yeast infections, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Other options that may help increase female desire include hormones, creams and clitoral-stimulating products such as vibrators. In certain instances, a therapist who specializes in female sexual dysfunction may help resolve intimacy issues caused by relationship problems and other psychological troubles.