Viagra Before And After

How does Viagra affect you when you start taking it?

Viagra Before And After

How does Viagra affect you when you start taking it?

pack of 4 viagra 50mg tablets

pack of 4 viagra 50mg tablets

Starting treatment with Viagra can feel like a big step. To get an idea of what you’re getting into, it can help to look at what it’s like before and after starting treatment.

Find out what motivates people to make a change with Viagra, what you need to know before using Viagra, and what to expect for your first time. Hopefully this can help you make a decision for yourself.

Last reviewed: 27/01/2021 by Dr Simran Deo

Contents

What is it like before taking Viagra?

Men who start Viagra treatment have similar experiences, which can include:

  • Difficulty getting an erection 
  • Difficulty keeping an erection during sex
  • Anxiety around having sex

How does erectile dysfunction affect men? 

  • ED affects 1 in 10 men worldwide
  • Men over 75 have a 77.5% chance of suffering from ED
  • Men aged 20-29 have a lower chance of ED (6.5%)
  • Only 33% of men seek medical help for ED

Erectile dysfunction can have long term effects on men, which can have a serious impact on a number of aspects of their life, including:

Mental health – erectile dysfunction can have a serious effect on your mental health. The inability to get an erection can be stressful and embarrassing, and you may feel less sexually confident when you don’t know if you’ll be able to perform. Some men noted that a lack of sexual confidence led to a lack of confidence outside of the bedroom.

Relationships with partners – some men with erectile dysfunction can find it hard to be intimate with their partners, because they feel ashamed or inadequate due to their condition. A study conducted by Superdrug Online Doctor found that 35% of women felt that their partner’s erectile dysfunction had an impact on their relationship, and 23% believed that their partner’s erectile dysfunction was their fault. This can put a strain on even the strongest of relationships.

What is it good to know before taking Viagra?

What is Viagra?

Viagra is a type of medication called a PDE-5 inhibitor, which works by causing the blood vessels in the penis to relax and expand, leading to increased blood flow into the penis. This makes it easier to get erections.

How do you take Viagra?

  • Take one Viagra tablet whole, and swallow it with water
  • You should take Viagra around an hour before you want to have sex. It can start working in 30 minutes, but it’s better to give it enough time to start working.
  • You should avoid heavy meals when you take Viagra as they can limit its effects. This is also true for alcohol, plus drinking can make side effects more likely.
  • You can take Viagra with other medications, but you should always check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe to take them together. 
  • Don’t take more than one Viagra every 24 hours. Taking too much Viagra can cause serious side effects.

Myths about Viagra

It makes your penis bigger – Viagra does not increase your penis size, and it doesn’t give you an erection bigger than your normal maximum size. Viagra just helps you get a stronger erection so you can achieve your maximum size.

It forces you to get an erection – Viagra doesn’t cause you to get an erection on its own, it only gives you an erection if you’re turned on. The erection should go away as normal when you’re no longer aroused.

It stops you orgasming too quickly in bed – there’s limited evidence Viagra might help with this, but it’s not proven. A better solution if you are finishing too quickly is premature ejaculation treatment.

What’s it like after taking Viagra for the first time?

Viagra doesn’t start working immediately after taking it, as the medication needs time to be absorbed into your blood. For most men, it takes around 30 minutes before you start to feel the effects of Viagra.

12 minutes after – One study has shown that some men got an erection just 12 minutes after taking Viagra. It was unclear whether this was an effect of the medication.

27 minutes later – This is the average time for Viagra to start working, helping you to get an erection. I t’s recommended you take Viagra an hour before you want to have sex, but, it may not take that long to work.

57 minutes later – This is the time where Viagra reaches its maximum concentration in the blood. It’s when the effects of Viagra peak. That’s why it’s recommended you take it one hour before you need it.

4 hours later – Viagra reaches its half-life. This means half of the medication has gone from the bloodstream. This doesn’t mean it will stop working though.

10 hours later – It’s been shown Viagra can still work 10 hours after taking it. At this time many men can still get an erection, but the duration may be shorter.

24 hours later – Almost all traces of sildenafil have left the bloodstream. There’s likely no effect from Viagra at this point.

Viagra may not work the first time you use it. It can take up to 8 separate doses of Viagra before you see the full effect.

What if things don’t improve after Viagra?

Viagra doesn’t always improve erectile dysfunction for everyone. In around 5% of men, Viagra works once or twice and then fails to improve erections afterwards. This is known as a ‘transient unsustainable improvement’. For around 12% of men who take the drug properly, it just fails to work, while a further 12% of men can’t bring themselves to take the medication after they get it.

Why would Viagra not work? 

There can be a few reasons why Viagra wouldn’t work for you, such as:

  • You’re not sexually aroused
  • You feel anxious/nervous
  • You have eaten a high-fat meal
  • You have drunk alcohol while taking Viagra
  • You’ve taken other medications that interact with Viagra
  • It may take a few tries for Viagra to work for you

What should you do if it doesn’t work? 

If you find Viagra isn’t helping, you should visit your GP who can advise you on what to do next. It may be that you need to increase your dose, maybe from 50mg to 100mg. They can also offer alternatives to Viagra to help you improve your erections. Making improvements to your lifestyle, such as the following, may help:

  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Stop smoking
  • Decrease your alcohol intake
  • Avoid stressful situations

Sources

Alwaal, A. et al (2014). Stem cell treatment of erectile dysfunction. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews.

Levine, S. B. (2003). Erectile dysfunction: why drug therapy isn’t always enough. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine; 70(3): 241-246.

McMurray, J. G. et al (2007). Long-term safety and effectiveness of sildenafil citrate in men with erectile dysfunction. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management; 3(6); 975-981.

Mulhall, J. P., Creanga, D. L. and Stecher, V. J. (2013). Improvement in erection hardness and intercourse success with first dose of sildenafil citrate 100mg. International Journal of General Medicine; 6: 849-854.

Tang, W. H. et al (2015). Effect of sildenafil on erectile dysfunction and improvement in the quality of sexual life in China: a multi-center study. Int J Clin Expe Med; 8(7): 11539-11543.