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Viagra: 8 things you need to know about it (but were probably too afraid to ask) 2016-07-06
By Jenny Proudfoot

We all know the basics of what Viagra is: a little blue pill used to treat male erectile dysfunction. But unsurprisingly impotence isn’t really a topic that comes up in conversation much, so that’s where our knowledge on the subject comes to an end.

Where can you buy Viagra from nowadays? Can women take the drug too? How long will an erection last? There are so many unanswered questions that us women (and quite a lot of men) are dying to know, but often avoid looking into in case someone takes a peek at our Google search histories. 

All that we can tell for sure is that judging by the millions of pounds that its invention has generated – the number of prescriptions rising by more than a quarter in the past year - that little blue pill must be capable of an awful lot.

Now we've rounded up the facts. So here are eight of the most common questions about Viagra, answered…
 

1) Why do people use Viagra?
Viagra is typically used to treat erectile dysfunction – the well-known and common condition affecting around 50% of men aged 40-70 years old. Erectile dysfunction occurs when not enough blood flows to the penis, preventing an erection and therefore, hindering sexual activity, an issue that effects millions of men across the world. Sildenafil, or as we know it: Viagra, relaxes a man’s muscles and increases blood flow to particular areas of the body, helping him get and keep an erection when he is sexually stimulated.

2) Who uses Viagra?
As Viagra treats erectile dysfunction – its most common users are aged 40-70 years old, but Viagra use is on the rise among young British men with plenty using the drug – either for treatment, fun or to allow them to engage in sexual activity after having a few drinks – something that can dramatically minimize chances of an erection. In fact in a recent survey one in five men aged 18-30 years old admitted to taking Viagra, often without telling their partner.

3) Can women take Viagra?
This is a hotly debated topic, with some theorizing that since Viagra enhances sexual arousal in men, it could have a similar effect on women, increasing the blood flow to the female genitals and enhancing arousal, sensation and lubrication. A ‘female Viagra’ libido pill named Addyi was released last year, later approved by the FDA. It has however been accused of having only marginal benefits and with the potential side effects of nausea, dizziness and fainting, it really isn’t worth the risk.
 

4) Where can you get Viagra?
Viagra is a prescription-only medication, stocked in pharmacies and available to buy online doctor from Superdrug and Lloyds Pharmacy. Like all drugs people do find other ways of obtaining them without a medical note, but that is of course highly inadvisable – there are a lot of ‘fakes’ out there that are not only dangerous but also unreliable.

5) How much does Viagra cost?
Prices vary depending on tablet size, with 25mg, 50mg and 100mg available. But on average a standard 50mg Viagra tablet costs a fiver, with packs of four selling online starting at £20. 

6) How long does Viagra take to kick in?
As a general rule, Viagra tends to start working after 30 minutes. To ensure optimum results users are encouraged to take the pill an hour before sexual activity – but doctors have advised that the drug works better on an empty stomach, so if you’ve eaten a particularly fatty meal, the drug might take longer to take effect.
 

7) Does Viagra actually work?
Viagra may not be right for every man but on the whole, the drug offers a strong success rate. Superdrug revealed that according to a recent study, two out of three men who experienced erectile problems reported that taking a PDE-5 inhibitor like Viagra improved their erection.

8) What are the side effects?
The most common side effects of Viagra are headaches, abnormal vision, muscle pain, nausea, dizziness, stomach upsets and flushing – let’s be honest these sound pretty bad already and we haven’t even got to the serious side effects yet. These are rarely reported but definitely worth knowing about: sudden vision loss, sudden hearing loss and priapism – an erection that won’t go away, lasting for hours which unless treated immediately can cause permanent damage to the penis. Yikes.
 


 


 
 
 
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