Netdoctor & Patient Info Sexual health

Can women take Viagra?

Since March this year, the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra – formerly a prescription-only medicine – has been available to buy over the counter. According to Pfizer, which manufactures the drug, this could benefit the estimated 4.3 million men in the UK who experience erectile problems.

The drug, which has been rebranded as Viagra Connect (sildenafil), works by increasing blood flow to the genitals, which in men results in an erection. First made available in 1998, it has been credited as transforming countless men’s sex lives. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has piqued the curiosity of many women too – if it works so well for their male partners, might it not ‘work’ for them too?

The question was first raised in the New York Times, just months after Viagra became available, in an article entitled ‘Curious women are seeing if Viagra works wonders for them’. It also made its way into an episode of Sex and the City, in which sexually uninhibited character Samantha uses Viagra to shed her inhibitions further still.

However, despite anecdotal reports of its efficacy (the women in the NYT article describe becoming more ‘sensitive’ and ‘receptive’), the drug is still not available for women 20 years on. You might be able to buy it on behalf of your male partner, if the pharmacist thinks that’s appropriate. But you won’t be able to purchase it for yourself.

 

Read the rest of this article at Patient

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