Daily Health

Does Viagra make you last longer?

The main effect of Viagra — and other ED medications — is well understood by most people. But will Viagra make you last longer?

The short answer is that there isn’t clear enough evidence. Some studies have suggested a link, but ultimately Viagra and similar medications are designed for erectile dysfunction rather than increasing the amount of time you take to ejaculate.

If you’re taking Viagra for ED and find that you’re lasting longer, great. If you’re not experiencing ED, and looking to address premature ejaculation, there may be other solutions to consider.

To understand the topic better let’s take a closer look at Viagra and how it works.

What is Viagra?

Viagra is the brand name for the drug Sildenafil. Sildenafil is a type of medication known as a PDE5 inhibitor — a group of medications that are used to treat erectile dysfunction, although they were initially developed for cardio-vascular conditions.

So what is a PDE5 inhibitor? Since you asked, PDE5 inhibitors are medications that improve blood flow to certain tissues, including the penis.

Viagra comes in three doses; 25mg, 50mg and 100mg. The recommended starting dose from the manufacturer is 50mg, although your doctor will  help you establish the appropriate dose for you.

How does Viagra work?

The best way to understand how Viagra works is to look at how PDE5 inhibitors as a whole work. PDE5 inhibitors block something called cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5, or PDE5 for short. 

This is an enzyme that’s responsible for regulating the flow of blood to the penis (and other areas of the body, too)

So by inhibiting this PDE5 enzyme, Viagra is able to increase blood flow to the penis. This in turn helps you get and keep an erection when you are sexually aroused.

This last point sometimes gets overlooked when it comes to ED medication. You do still need to be sexually aroused in order to get an erection. Viagra usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes to take effect — although you can take it up to four hours before sex.

Is Viagra effective? Yes, in many cases Viagra, and other PDE5 inhibitors, can be effective. A study pooled the results of 11 different studies found that sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra), was effective for a broad range of people who experience ED.

But does Viagra make you last longer?

Because of how Viagra works, and what its intended use is, it’s best not to think of Viagra as something that can help you delay ejaculation while having sex.

Taking Viagra won’t necessarily make you last longer in bed, unless we’re talking about maintaining your erection — in which case it could be an option for you. 

One of the reasons medications like Viagra can be associated with lasting longer is that there are some studies suggesting a potential impact on premature ejaculation. 

Research published in the International Journal of Urology concluded  “effective and safe” for treating PE, but other research has been less conclusive.

A 2005 study found that Viagra did not increase the amount of time to ejaculation. What the drug did seem to do, however, was increase confidence and the perception of control.

How else does Viagra impact sex?

There’s a common conception about Viagra that reduces the time needed to recover after an orgasm (the technical term is the refractory period).

Studies suggest that this bit is true. 

This was one of the findings of the 2005 study mentioned above, but has also been found in other cases.

A study published in 2000 looked at Viagra’s effect on refractory period found that a 100mg dose of sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) reduced the average recovery time.

What Viagra won’t do is increase your sex drive. Since sex drive relates to your hormones, and (as we saw above) Viagra impacts blood flow, there should be no impact in your level of sexual interest or sex drive. 

What to do if you’re experiencing premature ejaculation

A key thing to keep in mind here is a distinction between premature ejaculation (PE), and the more general concern many guys feel about how long they can perform for.

So what is PE? There isn’t a set definition but generally if you frequently ejaculate almost immediately, or within 30 seconds to one minute after penetration or have difficulty preventing ejaculation during sexual intercourse or other sexual activity this would count as premature ejaculation.

If this applies to you, remember this is totally common. Some estimates suggest a one in three guys could experience PE. 

There is a range of potential treatments for PE, including prescription treatments but relaxation techniques can also help. 

A final word on lasting longer

When it comes to sex, it seems like men across the world think they should be able to last longer - picking 25 minutes as the target time. This is the case even for people who don’t fit the technical definition of premature ejaculation.

But it turns out that when researchers have tried to measure it, they have found that sex tends not to last as long as that for a lot of people.

One study again looking at multiple countries found the average duration of sex was 5.4 minutes.

This all adds up to a situation where even if you’re in line with average, misconceptions about what average is could be fuelling your anxiety.

Whether you’re experiencing ED or not, take a step back and remember that when it comes to lasting longer, you really might not have anything to worry about at all.

WRITTEN BY
Felix Team
Updated on:
September 27, 2021
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kelly Anderson
Family Physician, MD, CCFP(EM)
Disclaimer

The views expressed here are those of the author and, as with the rest of the content on Active Ingredients, are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider.

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