Many people may think money is the leading cause of most fights between couples, but some of the most heated arguments and disagreements revolve around sex. Mismatched libidos or sexual desire, even when it’s only a temporary thing, can affect a relationship, leaving both parties feeling that their needs are not being fulfilled.

Similar circumstances have left many women and their partners wondering if women can also take sildenafil citrate (viagra) for improving their sexual function. 

Quick Facts On Sildenafil Citrate (Viagra)

  • FDA has approved sildenafil citrate for erectile dysfunction in men, but some doctors may also recommend it to treat arousal issues in women.
  • Sildenafil may help treat certain physical arousal issues but does not improve sexual desire. 
  • There are two alternatives to viagra approved to be used by women for sexual problems. These medications aim to alter brain chemistry in order to increase sexual desire. 
  • Each of the viagra alternatives carries potential risks, and we don’t have enough evidence at the moment to support their efficacy.

Viagra, also called “the little blue pill,” comes under the brand name of sildenafil. It is a type of medicine called a PDE5 inhibitor that dilates the smooth muscles in the penis and increases blood flow to treat erectile dysfunction (less commonly referred to as impotence). 

The U.S. FDA approved sildenafil in 1998, and by late 2005, over 27 million men across the world had been prescribed sildenafil for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The only problem with branded sildenafil is that it is highly expensive. If you are seeking a cost-effective medication to cure your impotence quickly, you can try any generic versions of Viagra that your doctor recommends. 

Can A Woman Take Sildenafil Citrate?

Some women may take sildenafil citrate for low sex drive. Sexual dysfunction becomes very common with growing age, and it is believed that 40-45% of adult women and 20-30% of adult men experience it at least once in their lifetime. Sildenafil was found to be helpful in increasing sexual arousal in postmenopausal women with sexual arousal disorder. However, the medicine didn’t work for women who also had hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). 

Arousal is physical. FSAD alludes to the occasional or reoccurring experience of being unable to attain or keep sufficient lubrication and genital swelling for long enough to accomplish a sexual activity. Emotional and mental health both play a crucial role in sexual desire, and neither of them does viagra address. 

The medication also does not impact your hormones which plays a vital role in sex drive. Overall, whether or not sildenafil or viagra is an effective treatment for women is still a debatable topic due to the lack of adequate evidence.

Note that women may also experience certain side effects from sildenafil, including headache, nasal congestion, nausea, facial flushing, vision changes, etc.

Are There Any Alternatives To Sildenafil Citrate?

Other prescription medications have been introduced as targeted treatments for a wide range of sexual problems women face. Flibanserin (Addyi) and bremelanotide (Vyleesi) are both FDA-approved medicines developed to treat female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD), also referred to as HSDD in premenopausal women. 

Though Addyi is an oral medication and Vyleesi is an injection, they aim to deal with low sexual desire or low libido in women that are not caused due to any medical or psychological condition.

But it’s essential to note that these medications are not like sildenafil citrate. Sildenafil is usually prescribed to individuals who wish to have sex but are having physical conditions that prevent sexual activity. Addyi and Vyleesi, on the other hand, alter brain chemistry in order to improve the desire to have sex. 

Desire is complex. Mental health plays a significant role in desire and lack of the same. That’s the reason why some doctors prescribe anti-anxiety for low sexual desire. If something mental or emotional seems to be the culprit, individual or sex therapy may be beneficial. So, always consult your doctor to discuss your symptoms and determine the potential underlying reason that is diminishing your sexual desire. 

Potential Risks Of Using These Medications

The oral medication Addyi may cause some of the following side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleep issues

You need to take Addyi daily with a light meal. Mixing it with alcohol could lead to undesirable effects and so should be avoided. Kindly talk to your doctor to know if the benefits outweigh the potential risks. 

Vyleesi is an injection that is taken to enhance sexual desire in women. Its common side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Skin irritation or rash
  • Flushing and hot flashes

You are advised not to take this injection more than once in 24 hours and keep your doses limited to eight per month. More research is required to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the drug. 

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, sildenafil citrate is the most effective oral medication for treating erectile dysfunction or impotence in men. But, women should avoid using the drug as it may be inappropriate for them. 

Addyi, a popular alternative to sildenafil for women, can be effective in premenopausal women with FSIAD. We recommend consulting a healthcare provider first before using the medication and informing any health condition you have or any medication or supplements you may be taking. Ensure you follow all your doctor’s instructions to optimize your results and minimize the odds of developing side effects.