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Should You Take Viagra? From Being Prescribed To Recreational Use

Updated: Apr 19


Should You Take Viagra?

When it comes to whether you should take Viagra, the little blue pill that promises to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) and make all your problems go away, it may not be as simple of a choice as you might think. Although many people use Viagra, with 5.3 million prescriptions given out when it was first approved, it's not for everyone.


You also have some men using it to help with their ED, while others using it recreationally and in some cases, without a doctor’s note.

But is it really safe to do this?


Viagra revolutionized the way men deal with erectile dysfunction in the early 90s, there's no doubt, but should you take it if you don’t really need it? There could be some potentially harmful effects for some men and it's definitely not for everyone experiencing erectile dysfunction symptoms.


So with that being said, let's talk about whether you should or shouldn't take Viagra for your ED.


What is Viagra & How Does it Work

The active ingredient in Viagra is sildenafil, which belongs to a class of drugs known as PDE5 inhibitors. When taken, these drugs work by blocking the action of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5).


nitric oxide with age infographic

This enzyme normally breaks down a substance called cGMP, which is responsible for widening the blood vessels that lead into the penis during arousal. By blocking PDE5, sildenafil allows cGMP levels to remain elevated, and therefore more blood can flow into the penis when aroused, allowing for an EASIER erection.


Normally, your body is able to do this on its own when it releases Nitric Oxide (NO), which means you wouldn't need PDE5 inhibitors such as Viagra. When aroused, the brain sends signals to release nitric oxide into the penis. Which is great because it allows you to get enough blood flow to the penis in order to have sex.


In case you got lost in the terminology there... here it is simplified:

Viagra is essentially a 'helper' for your body's natural processes. When a guy gets excited, his body normally produces a nitric oxide that causes blood vessels in the penis to expand so that blood can rush in and create an erection.


Viagra's job is to support this process. It stops a specific enzyme from interfering, sort of like how a dam blocks water, allowing that nitric oxide to do its thing better, making sure enough blood gets to the right place.


Basically, if the body's natural method isn't up to speed, Viagra gives it a little nudge!


So in simple terms, Viagra was developed specifically to help with the symptoms of physical erectile dysfunction which are directly impacting blood flow.


Viagra Does NOT Mean You'll Get An Instant Erection!

infographic of rich from bdestyle talking about viagra

Viagra can’t work on its own; sexual arousal is necessary for it to be effective.

It's also important to note that when you take Viagra, it's not like a magic pill that will instantly get your dick hard in seconds (thanks to movies and bad advertisements, this is often the thought about it).


Viagra requires you to be sexually aroused as we previously mentioned, so if you're not "in the mood" or mentally prepared, it's probably not going to work.


Nitric Oxide & Younger Aged Men

Nitric Oxide (NO) is a key part of the body's cardiovascular system and is also essential for men to achieve erections. As we already mentioned when we talked about how Viagra works. Although the body naturally produces it, its presence declines as we age.


NO works by widening blood vessels and therefore increasing blood flow, which is especially important in maintaining an erection... obviously. When younger men produce enough NO, they can enjoy spontaneous erections without the need for external medical intervention. As men age though, their production of NO decreases significantly, leading to weaker or no erections at all.


So, most men in their younger years won't need it, otherwise, they could be exposing themselves to the possible side effects of the medication (priapism), all without actually needing too.

BUT what if you're a younger man and you're experiencing issues down stairs?


One thing to do is reflect inwards and into what is going on in your lifestyle or quality of life. Are you stressed? Had "one" bad erection day and now calling it erectile dysfunction?


It could be that there are situational and psychosocial factors at play that may be interfering with your ability to be comfortable, and present in these encounters to then become aroused (for that erection process to start)


We know that Viagra is used to treat the physical symptoms of ED and has been shown to be effective in men.


Do you have psychological ED? If so, should you be taking Viagra?


Psychological Erectile Dysfunction & Viagra

Now that we have a good idea on how Viagra works and interacts with your body, let's talk about psychological ED. We've talked about this before in many of our guides and blogs, but the first step to treating your erectile dysfunction is understanding the type and cause of your ED.


Psychological ED is exactly that, it's psychological and has nothing to do with physical issues (although men may experience both in some circumstances).


image for how do i know if my ed is psychological blog

The most common psychological factors associated with erectile dysfunction are related to stress and performance anxiety, relationship issues such as conflict or communication problems, depression, guilt or shame associated with sexual activity, body image issues, penis size insecurities, and past experiences.


Psychological ED doesn't have to do with the physical blood flow of the penis. And as we just recently learned at the beginning of this article, Viagra was designed specially to help facilitate the erection process, preserving nitric oxide release during arousal and dialing the blood vessels to ensure enough blood flow gets to the penis for full rigidity,


So, although Viagra is an ED medication, it cannot treat the underlying cause of Psychological ED as it is not related to a lack of blood flow but more so to psychological blocks.

Younger Guys Jumping The Gun on Taking Viagra

Many young men, particularly those with less sexual experience, might mistakenly believe that their natural variations in sexual performance or occasional difficulties getting hard are abnormal. This misconception can lead them to prematurely resort to medications like Viagra as quick fixes.


Quick fixes are never the answer, much like get rich schemes, they don't work out well in the end.

They often ignore the natural ebb and flow of sexual desire and performance, which can vary greatly due to factors such as stress, fatigue, or emotional state. In pursuit of an unrealistic standard of constant sexual readiness and peak performance (often perpetuated by media and pornography) these young men may turn to drugs such as Viagra.


young man on his cell research whether or not he should take viagra

It is crucial to educate younger men that it is NORMAL not to always have instantaneous or sustained erections. It's also important to understand that both men and women have different types of sexual desires (spontaneous vs. responsive desires).


We should be educating men on the erection process, how it works, what is required to achieve and maintain an erection. As well as talking more about our sexual responsive cycles.


Viagra was not designed to be taken as a "quick fix" for sexual performance anxiety, and it certainly isn't something that should be taken lightly. It's important to understand the underlying causes of your ED before turning to medication, especially if you're a younger man.


Treating Psychological ED

When it comes to treating psychological ED, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often seen as the go-to treatment. The goal of CBT is to identify and address any underlying mental health issues that may be contributing to the difficulty of achieving or maintaining an erection.


This form of therapy has proven studies and helps patients learn how to identify negative patterns in their thought processes and behavior that can lead them down a path of stress and anxiety, both of which are known as BIG contributors to erectile dysfunction.


In addition, during CBT sessions, the therapist usually works with patients to develop new coping mechanisms that they can use when they notice their thoughts or behavior leading them towards feelings of shame or guilt about sex.


These coping mechanisms often include relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery. Sometimes it may include things like sensate focus, or other regulatory strategies that helps with performance anxiety.


omgyes platform for improving sexual performance and intimacy

Furthermore, therapists can also provide individuals with strategies for improving communication with partners about their sexual needs and desires. This is important because individuals may feel more comfortable expressing themselves when they feel supported by their partner.


Platforms such as OMGYES have been leading the way in showing partners how to improve their sexual performance and intimacy together.


In some cases, couples’ therapy may also be recommended in order for both partners to better understand each other's perspectives on sexuality and intimacy.


Ultimately, treating psychological ED requires a multistep approach that addresses both physical and emotional components simultaneously. It is important for guys to identify that they do have psychological ED rather than physical so that they can begin to understand how to properly treat it.


Potential Side Effects of Using Viagra

Like any medication, Viagra may cause side effects in some guys.


When taken without proper medical advice, there is a risk of experiencing side effects with Viagra. According to the FDA, Viagra can cause headaches, dizziness, flushing, upset stomach, runny nose, back pain, changes in vision, and even rashes.


Taking Viagra when you don’t actually need it could also lead to dangerous interactions with other medications such as nitrates or alpha-blockers. Mixing Viagra and nitrates is potentially a fatal combination!


viagra pills for erectile dysfunction

In addition to that, if you're taking any blood pressure medications (blood pressure being another cause of physical ED), you should be cautious about taking Viagra. It can also be known to cause even more issues with your blood pressure.


Believe it or not, there are quite a lot of pharmaceutical drugs that can cause ED.


Lastly, Viagra can even cause priapism. Which is essentially where you can have a full erection for over 4-5 hours. Which may or may not sound great at first, but this can cause serious and permanent damage to your penis.


Which at this point, is the last thing you want!


Is Viagra an Addictive? Can I Take It Recreationally?

Physically, Viagra does not cause the body to become dependent on it in order for an erection to occur or dependent in any other way. However, because of the nature of ED, many men can begin to rely on Viagra as a crutch for their feelings of low self-esteem or inadequacy.


Studies show that this type of Viagra use could lead to psychological dependence, which could potentially turn into psychological erectile dysfunction.


Another study shows that the recreational use of Viagra was related to higher rates of ED (psychological). Going back to what we discussed early, this is because of the psychological factors involved such as like lack of confidence or lower sexual satisfaction.


While Viagra is not physically addictive like other drugs such as opioids or stimulants, it can still lead to psychological dependency if misused. Which is why you should avoid taking Viagra if you don't actually need it or if you are dealing with psychological ED rather than physical ED.

If you are considering using Viagra despite not really needing it, ask yourself if the potential benefits outweigh these risks or if there are safer alternatives available for addressing your concerns about performance or pleasure during sex.


should your or should you not take viagra quote from rich at bdestyle.com

Although Viagra can help some men with physical ED, it was not designed and shouldn't be exaggerated (much like we see in the movies and mainstream social media) as:

  • A long-term fix for ED

  • Fix for premature ejaculation

  • A way to increase sensitivity during sex

  • A cure for sexual performance anxiety, psychological ED, etc.

  • improving low sex drive also known as libido

  • Increasing penis size

  • Increasing stamina


Recreational Use and Micro-dosing for Improving Endothelial Function

Now, let's touch on recreational use and the concept of "micro-dosing" Viagra to potentially protect endothelial function... particularly in younger men. After all, there seems to be a trend these days on younger and younger men using these pills without a script.


Endothelial function is a huge part of our cardiovascular health, allowing the ability of the endothelium (the thin membrane lining the inside of the heart and blood vessels) to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting, and various other functions (such as erections).


Endothelial cells line the inner walls of blood vessels, including those in the penis. They play a vital role in regulating blood flow by releasing substances like nitric oxide to promote our erections. As we age though, these endothelial cells can become damaged or dysfunctional (which can contribute to one of the 3 types of vasculogenic ED.


So, what does this have to do with recreational use or micro-dosing of Viagra? Well, there is research to suggest that small, intermittent doses of Viagra may help preserve endothelial function, particularly in younger men who may not necessarily need it for ED treatment.


should you take Viagra?

One study shows that the daily use of sildenafil improves endothelial function in men with type 2 diabetes.


In addition to that study, there are two others we'll share with you:



The idea is that by occasionally using Viagra in low doses, individuals could potentially support the health of their endothelial cells, thus maintaining optimal blood flow to the penis and potentially reducing the risk of developing ED later in life.


Now, before you start popping Viagra like candy though, it's important to approach this concept with caution. While research is promising there are always long-term effects to consider of recreational Viagra use or micro-dosing that are not yet fully understood.


So, while there may be some merit in the idea of using Viagra to protect your endothelial function, especially for younger guys, you should always try to prioritize overall health and should consider consulting with a healthcare professional (or two) before experimenting with an approach like that.


Should You Take Viagra?

Ultimately, whether or not you should take Viagra depends on your individual circumstances and what your doctor recommends after assessing your medical condition and lifestyle factors.


We strongly recommend that you do not attempt to self-medicate with any form of ED medication without consulting your doctor first, doing so could potentially put your health at risk or make your sexual and erection health worse!


rich explaining when you should and when you shouldn't take viagra

But with that being said, generally:


When Should You Take Viagra:

Viagra should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor.

Your doctor will likely prescribe Viagra if:

  • You have been diagnosed with physical ED (generally with older men)

  • Your ED is caused by medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure, to name a few....)

  • You are not taking any medications or supplements that could potentially interact negatively with Viagra

  • You have no history of cardiovascular disease or other serious health conditions that could be worsened by the use of Viagra


When Shouldn't You Take Viagra:

Viagra should not be taken if:

  • The root cause of your ED is psychological, not physical.

    • You're only using it as a fail safe when you should be addressing your issues emotionally an psychologically and with your partner(s).

    • You have poor misconceptions on what the drug actually does. For example, you thought it would give you an automatic or instantaneous erection when that's not how erections work

  • You take certain nitrates or medications that may cause fatal side effects

  • If your friend gives you a pill, but you never consulted with a urologist to get cleared to take these pills.


In conclusion, while Viagra has its uses and can temporarily help men with their physical ED, it's not for everyone and it's not a fail safe. It's not a magic pill that is going to cure your ED.

The only way to treat your ED is by finding the root cause and from there you can find a proper solution or multi-step approach to addressing . Whether it's through therapy, lifestyle changes, or other forms of medication and therapies.


Don't try to self-diagnose or self-medicate, always seek professional medical advice and guidance.


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Disclaimer: The content provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Please note that the information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional and not delay seeking medical assistance based on information found here.

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