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What Happens When Women Use Viagra?

By Leah DiPlacido, Ph.D. ; Updated August 14, 2017

Viagra, the brand name for the medication sildenafil sulfate, is prescribed for treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. ED is a condition where a man has difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. But what happens when women take Viagra?

Pre-menopausal Women

According to a study in December 2003 from University of Catania in Italy, pre-menopausal woman taking sildenafil reported an increase in sexual arousal, almost twofold over placebo.

Post-menopausal women

A separate study reported on the effects of taking sildenafil by post-menopausal women. This study, completed in March 1999 by researchers at Columbia University in New York, reported that 18.1 percent of women who completed the study found a significant increase in their sexual function, including self-reported sexual arousal.

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Heart Rate

Data from a third study on pre-menopausal women in June 2000, by experts from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, demonstrated that sildenafil increased heart rate by approximately four to five beats per minute.

Blood Pressure

Data from the study by Sipski and colleagues also showed that sildenafil decreases blood pressure in women an average of 2-4 mm/Hg.

Side Effects

Common side effects experienced by women among all three studies were headache and dizziness; these side effects caused some of the women to stop taking the medication.

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