Effects Of Viagra On Women

If you’re looking for products that are used to treat sexual problems in women you’ll probably hear about female Viagra.

The truth is that there aren’t any medical treatments available for women in the UK (for now). But there are some in the US and other countries. There are also herbal products that are sold in the UK but these aren’t proven to be safe or effective.

Last reviewed: 24/4/2020 by Dr Simran Deo

Contents

What is female Viagra?

Female Viagra normally means medicines or products that treat sexual problems. These sexual problems normally make it harder for you to enjoy or even have sex. Since ‘sexual problems’ can mean a whole lot of different issues or symptoms, people can sometimes mean very different things when they talk about “female Viagra”.

One very common product that is talked about when female Viagra is mentioned is Flibanserin (brand name, Addyi). This drug is used to treat low sex drive in women and is often compared to Viagra, even though the two drugs working in very different ways.

On the other hand, when some people talk about female Viagra, they may actually mean using Viagra to treat women’s sex problems (or actually sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra). One of the more well-known brands of female sildenafil is called ‘Lady Era’.

View Contraceptive Pill Treatments
View Contraceptive Pill Treatments

Does female Viagra work?

Flibanserin seems to help some women that have low sex drive. But studies show that Flibanserin only slightly helps women with their low sexual drive, working about as well as dummy pills (placebos). The same studies also showed that there’s a risk of side effects, even though Flibanserin isn’t likely to work, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Sleepiness
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Feeling tired (fatigue)

Products like Viagra and Lady Era, that contain the same active ingredient, sildenafil, have also been tested as a treatment for women’s sexual dysfunction. These studies show mixed results – some report that male Viagra works for women, while others don’t show any real results. Either way, these studies also showed that women can get the same side effects that men do when they take Viagra, whether it works or not.

Sildenafil-based medications have also been tried out to treat other women’s health problems like menstrual cramps. But, there isn’t enough proof to say for sure that using sildenafil to treat other female health conditions is safe or effective.

Is female Viagra available in the UK?

No – you can’t buy Flibanserin or sildenafil-based medications like Lady Era for women in the UK.

There are herbal supplements like Prelox that say they improve symptoms of sexual dysfunction in women. But, herbal supplements won’t have any regulated medication in them, and there’s no proof that they work. They can also sometimes contain more active ingredients than they say they do, or other chemicals or trace amounts of medications that haven’t been properly tested to make sure it’s safe.

Read more about how to manage female sexual dysfunction in the UK.

About flibanserin (Addyi)

Flibanserin is a medication that’s used to treat low sex drive (libido) in women in the US. It’s supposed to work by affecting the chemicals found in the brain which help to improve sexual arousal.

Flibanserin hasn’t been approved to use in the UK yet. For a medication to be approved for use in the UK, it has to pass through many rounds of research and testing to prove that it’s safe to use and it works.

Current research only shows that Flibanserin works slightly better than dummy pills. Also, the research shows women taking Flibanserin are at risk of potentially serious side effects, like dizziness and fainting. Because of the risk of side effects it isn’t approved in the UK.

About Lady Era

Lady Era has the same active ingredient as Viagra (Sildenafil) and is supposed to work by increasing blood flow to the genitals, which helps men get erections more easily, but it’s also thought to improve arousal in women.

Studies that looked at how Lady Era works showed mixed results. Some reported increasing sex drive, while others show that it’s only very slightly better than taking a dummy pill, or that it doesn’t work at all.

Women can get the same side effects as men, like dizziness. Even though most women were able to put up with any side effects they got, because the risks outweighed the benefits, the drug is not approved in the UK.

Can women take Viagra?

Viagra isn’t licenced for use by women in the UK. This means that women trying to use Viagra in the UK can’t do it safely. Especially since it’s not proven to work.

Even though Viagra is licensed to treat erectile dysfunction in men, it isn’t licensed to treat women.

You could get potentially serious side effects and you would be putting yourself at risk without any proven benefits. For these reasons, we don’t recommend that women take male Viagra.

What happens when a woman takes Viagra?

If, as a woman, you take Viagra, you’ll get the same effect of Viagra throughout your whole body without the added benefit of easier erections. This is the same thing that happens when men take Viagra and it’s what can lead to men getting the side effects of the medication.

Viagra works by relaxing blood vessels. In men, this leads to increased blood flow to the penis which makes it easier to get erections. This is what makes Viagra a good treatment for erectile dysfunction. But, it’s not proven that higher blood flow to women’s genitals improves the symptoms of sexual dysfunction.

Relaxing blood vessels throughout the body can cause other effects. For example, more blood flow to the face can cause a flushed face. Redirecting blood away from where it normally goes can cause less blood flow to the brain, leading to dizziness. Some men find that the side effects that they get are worth the improvement to their erectile dysfunction. But if you take Viagra you might only get the side effects and no improvement.

Some medical conditions or medicines might mean that taking Viagra can cause you to have a dangerous reaction. So, we don’t recommend taking sildenafil-based medications like Viagra unless a doctor or pharmacist agrees you should.