Can women take viagra?

When used in women, Viagra is thought to increase blood flow to the genitals so that there is more sensitivity and stimulation. Studies have shown that Viagra may provide a benefit for women who have difficulties with sexual arousal, as it may help them respond better to sexual stimulation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of Viagra in women. However, your doctor may prescribe it for use not indicated on the label.

There is anecdotal evidence that Viagra can increase sexual pleasure in women. We know that Viagra works in men by increasing blood flow to the penis. In women, it is believed that Viagra might increase blood flow to the female genital area, increasing lubrication and aiding orgasm. This theory has led to research on women taking Viagra.

Many of these studies have focused on the treatment of FSD. However, medical trials to date have not produced significant evidence that Viagra works for women. There are some over-the-counter supplements that aim to treat the problem, which have limited, mostly unproven effects. However, in recent years, the FDA has approved two prescription drugs to treat HSDD.

These treatments are often referred to as “female Viagra,” a nod to one of the medications men can take for sexual problems. But they don't look much like Viagra. In fact, they work quite differently within the body. Prioritizing this, such as oral sex or manual stimulation during intercourse, can make intercourse more pleasant for some women.

The FDA describes two placebo-controlled trials that have demonstrated statistically significant increases in sexual desire and arousal among women who used Vyleesi. The most famous of these, conducted by the UCLA Female Sexual Medical Center in 2003, involved 202 postmenopausal women with female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD). However, few data indicate that it is safe or effective for women, and the FDA has not approved it for this use. This drug is licensed in the United States for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction, although this has been controversial.

For example, a larger randomized clinical trial conducted in 2002 looked at whether sildenafil could help women with female sexual arousal disorder, but it did not have a significant impact. A woman with low sexual arousal as a result of an antidepressant medication should talk to her doctor about other treatment options for depression, such as bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) or mirtazapine (Remeron). It's unclear if inadequate blood flow plays a role in some female sexual problems, but researchers say the results of this study suggest it does. There is no “female Viagra”, but there are a couple of drugs approved to treat sexual dysfunction in certain women.

An open criticism of pharmaceutical-sponsored research on female sexual dysfunction, Tiefer warns of what she calls the medicalization of sexual problems in women. But more research is needed to show that the impotence pill has a role in treating female sexual dysfunction, experts say.