How Viagra affects your penis and how quickly it helps with erectile dysfunction revealed

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It’s the miracle pill for millions of men who struggle to “get” it.

Within half an hour of taking Viagra, men can confidently return to the bedroom, everything will be in working order.

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ViagraCredit: Getty Images

Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) – something that affects men of all ages but is more common in older men.

It is estimated that half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 will have erectile dysfunction to some degree. It is defined as the inability to get and keep an erection.

Since its debut in 1998, Viagra has empowered millions of men to take control of their sex lives and allow a little more action in the bedroom.

Although free to some on the NHS, Viagra has become available without a prescription in the UK over-the-counter for the first time in 2018, making it even more accessible.

Viagra was originally discovered by drugmaker Pfizer. It contains the ingredient sildenafil, which is used in various other erectile dysfunction drugs.

The little blue pill can help more than two-thirds of men who take it.

It has also shown promise as a heart medicine, having been shown to strongly suppress abnormal heart rhythms and prolong the lives of heart attack survivors.

For ED, Viagra may seem like the miracle cure.

But it’s not for everyone. The NHS says men taking medicines called nitrates for chest pain should avoid Viagra.

It should also not be taken by men who have recently had a heart attack or stroke, or who have a serious heart or liver problem, low blood pressure or a rare hereditary disease.

It’s also important to know that side effects, including headaches, stuffy nose and a temporary change in the color of your vision, are common and affect around 1 in 100 men.

How does Viagra work?

An erection occurs when a protein called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) is released.

cGMP causes the walls of the blood vessels to relax, allowing a rush of blood to flow into the penis, making it hard.

A protein called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) breaks down cGMP, stopping erection.

In people with erection problems, PDE-5 may act too quickly.

Viagra works by stopping PDE-5 from working. It binds to PDE-5 so it is unable to break down cGMP.

This way the penis stays hard.

Viagra (Sildenafil) belongs to a group of medications called phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors.

Evidence shows that men looking to improve their sexual performance are, in general, happy with the results they get from Viagra.

According to Superdrug online doctor, a study of nearly 4,000 men with erectile dysfunction treated with Viagra found a marked increase in the firmness of erections.

Before taking Viagra, 58.7% of men reported an erection hardness score of only one or two, considered insufficient for penetration.

However, after four weeks of treatment, 96.3% found that they were able to achieve erections of hardness three or four. Some 63.6% achieved level four erections, the firmest possible.

Without Viagra, a majority of these men would have had great difficulty having sex.

You may still have questions about using Viagra, such as how fast does it work and how long does it last in the body?

Superdrug Online Doctor has created a timeline of how the drug works, so you know what effects you can expect within minutes and hours of taking it.

He says that although the makers of Viagra advise taking the pill an hour before sex, it can work much sooner than that.

Some men in studies have reported being able to have sex just 12 minutes after take Viagra.

And, although the maximum concentration of the drug is only reached about an hour after taking it, the average time it took for men to get an erection was 27 minutes.

    This is how Viagra affects the body over a 24 hour period

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This is how Viagra affects the body over a 24 hour periodCredit: Superdrug

Here’s what happens step by step.

The first 12 minutes

The drug is quickly absorbed by the body. Some men can get an erection in 12 minutes.

Viagra makes its way into the blood vessels of the body, which will lead to an erection over time.

A man has to be sexually aroused for Viagra to work – that’s not what he looks like in comedy sketches.

27 mins in

This is the average time it takes men to get an erection after taking Viagra, according to Superdrug.

A to study in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that it took men with erectile dysfunction 12 to 70 minutes to get an erection once they took Viagra.

The middle ground was around 27 minutes for most men in the study.

Maximum potential erection time – 57 minutes in

Viagra reaches its maximum effect within an hour of taking it.

At this point it reaches its highest blood saturation, which is why doctors recommend that men take it an hour before they want to have sex.

However, it may be delayed for about an hour if taken with food.

But how long will the erection last?

A to study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men could maintain an erection for an average of 33 minutes per hour after taking the little blue pill.

In the same study, men who took a placebo were only able to sustain an erection for seven minutes.

four hours in

Within four hours Viagra’s half-life has been reached, meaning there is only half the amount present in the blood compared to one hour after taking it.

A warning on the drug says “if you have an erection that lasts longer than four hours” you should see a doctor – but this may be confusing to some.

This only applies if a man has experienced a continuous erection for four hours.

Many men think they can’t have sex four hours after taking Viagra, but that’s a misconception, says Superdrug. They can still try to have sex, even if half the drugs have worn off.

ten hours later

You may think the drug has practically left your system – but it hasn’t.

A man can still have an erection 10 hours after taking the drug with the same stiffness as an hour or two after taking it.

Even 12 hours later, men can still get an erection, but the average duration starts to decrease.

As the Journal of Sexual Medicine study found, the ability to get an erection doesn’t decrease, just the length of time a man can maintain an erection.

24 hours later

By now, most traces have disappeared from the bloodstream.

Men are recommended not to take more than one dose of Viagra in a 24 hour period.

Taking too much sildenafil by accident can cause unpleasant side effects, such as impaired vision, dizziness and a stuffy nose.

If Viagra doesn’t sound like the right option for you, there are plenty of other impotence solutions on the market.

Similar drugs like Cialis, Levitra and Spedra got their start as erectile dysfunction drugs to help men with impotence.

But some studies have still shown that Viagra has a greater impact.


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