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Trying To Fix Your Love Life With Sex Pills (Medicine)? Here’s What You Need To Know

Trying To Fix Your Love Life With Sex Pills (Medicine)? Here’s What You Need To Know

Could a simple pill boost your sex drive? We investigate the latest sex pills on the market and alternatives.

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The market is flooded with pills claiming to improve sex life dramatically. (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

*Note– Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works.

 
We humans do love a quick fix for everything that could possibly trouble us, including our sex lives. Men and women who do not feel confident about their sexual performance will often turn to what they perceive as quick and easy solutions.

While those immediate sexual band-aids, like Levitra and Vyleesi, may help alleviate some issues some of the time, there’s often a dark downside to their use.

 

What Exactly Is A Sex Pill?

For men, prescription pills used for erectile dysfunction include Viagra, Levitra, Cialis and Stendra, Staxyn and Spedra.

Viagra, the best known and more commonly prescribed among those, was originally a treatment for pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the heart and lungs), that was later discovered to have the unusual side effect of causing erections.

All of these pharmaceuticals alter blood pressure and are likely to increase blood flow to the genitals, creating a greater chance for enduring erections.

For women, Addyi, is the only pharmaceutical pill available. Originally, it was used as an antidepressant but was found to assist some premenopausal women with the physical aspects of sexual arousal.

There are a number of other “natural” pills that serve as alternatives to these medications. These are mostly a combination of herbs and supplements, but since this form of a pill is not regulated or approved by any authority overseeing product standards, you never know what you might really be getting.

Some may even be filled with potentially dangerous substances, or substances that may not be dangerous to some, but dangerous to others who take certain medications or have particular preexisting health conditions.

Others may be nothing more than “snake oil,” relying on the placebo effect to be the thing that helps hopeful consumers with anxiety about physical interactions.

 

Where Do I Get A Prescription?

Prescription “sex pills,” can be attained through your urologist, OBGYN, or gynecologist. You may also talk to your psychiatrist or general practitioner about concerns as they may either be able to prescribe or refer you to the right doctor for the job.

 

How Much Will A Libido Boost Cost Me?

Since everyone has different medical coverage, everyone’s cost for their pills will vary. That being said, a consumer might expect to pay somewhere between $15-$20 per pill. Also, expect the number of pills you can get each month to be limited.

It’s more difficult to offer an estimate of what an unregulated enhancement pill might cost as prices, like results, vary greatly. Generally speaking, they could be $5-$20 per pill, or the price might lower if you buy in bulk.

 

How Does It Work?

Pills for men contain nitric oxide, which relax and open blood vessels. When vessels are open, blood is able to flow more easily to all parts of the body. When blood flows more easily, erections can develop and maintain with more ease.

A man can take any of these prescribed pills and usually begin to feel effects in about 30 minutes. While each brand is known to have its strongest effects for different amounts of time, a consumer could expect to have increased blood flow anywhere between 4-36 hours, with an average of 4-6 hours for most pills and male sexual dietary supplements such as Cilexin, TestoMAX 200, and VigRX Plus.

It’s recommended that these pills are taken on an empty stomach or with smart, healthy food. Heavy, high-fat meals can inhibit the absorption of these medicines. These kinds of meals are the kind that can lead to pulmonary issues in the first place anyway, so they are generally ill-advised.

Addyi, the pill for women, works on the brain rather than the body. It’s meant to balance neurotransmitters so that the user feels a normal sexual drive again. Like other antidepressants, Addyi must be taken daily and can take 2 – 12 weeks before the user begins to feel any effects.

This does not act like the medicine available for men, so women don’t take this specifically before erotic encounters, but daily at or around the same time to increase their blood flow on an ongoing basis.

 

How Does It Change Sex?

Unfortunately, although these pills may make the body physically more capable of having sex, they do not promise a good time, connection, sensuality, love, fun, or orgasm.

These simply make the bodies of some users more prepared for the actual mechanics of sex, but as sex is largely mental for both men and women, medications, whether FDA approved or bought at a gas station, can not make up for the greatest factors needed for satisfaction between partners.

In addition, some people find a drink or two before an erotic encounter helps them to relax and enjoy the experience more. However, when taking pills, it is highly recommended to avoid alcohol. Not only can alcohol decrease the chances or erection and vaginal lubrication, but it could also make a user sick.

This doesn’t mean consumers can’t enjoy a glass (or bottle of red wine) over a meal before a date, but each user should be aware of their personal tolerance and reactions and handle with care as this may contribute to a positive or negative effect on their sex lives depending on their own individual makeup.

 

What About Safety?

Prescription pills, when taken with caution and as directed by your doctor, are safe. These medicines have been tested and reviewed by scientists before being deemed safe and useful.

As long as you follow your doctor’s guidelines for taking them, you should not be at risk, although, like any other prescription medication, each pill does come with its own potential side effects.

These side effects could be:

CAUTION: If you experience side effects that cause you distress, you should stop taking your medication and speak to your healthcare provider about the issue.

Because over the counter pills don’t require a visit with a healthcare provider to attain, people taking these pills or other similar substances could find these dubious, easy to access alternatives potentially dangerous. What is a safe dose and set of ingredients to one person may be very different to another.

Different people have different chemical makeup, diets, bodies, tolerances, neurochemistry, health conditions and medical treatments, so there are no two people who will get exactly the same effect from the same over the counter pill or powder.

Doctors can suggest an FDA approved solution and dosage based on a full understanding of your medical history, so it’s much safer to have a medical professional advice and supervise your medication.

Even if you’re lucky enough to;

  1. get something that actually works
  2. not to have an adverse reaction, you need to remember that these pills have effects on your brain and organs, too

WARNING: Prolonged use or a dosage that is too high for an individual could be toxic for the body, regardless of a user’s ability to detect it immediately.

 

If Not Take A Pill, What Else Can I Do?

Here’s the part where I tell you what you most need to hear but least likely want to. Of the great number of people taking “libido enhancing” pills, very few of them have a sexual problem that roots in blood flow.

Sexual enhancement pills, though possibly effective in ways, are destructive in ways, too. Unfortunately, most people reach for these supplements and medications as a quick solution, only to prolong their true issues.

Just as there are no short roads in life, there is no quick fix for sex. Sexual problems are almost always not about your penis or vagina not working correctly. They’re about you being stuck in your head.

Here’s a list of critical factors you may be overlooking that are likely to directly impact your sexual responses:

  • Anxiety/nerves
  • Stress
  • Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Insecurity
  • Resentment
  • Disinterest in a partner
  • Poor exercise routine
  • Guilt
  • Grief/loss

All of these can all effect a person’s libido and performance. Unfortunately, rather than addressing the emotional and mental origins of our sexual issues, we go straight for the physical.

Why do we rush to fix an internal problem with what an external cover-up? We do this because we’re lazy. If we take a pill for the body, despite it simply altering a symptom and not being a cure for the actual cause, it seems like a quick fix. It allows us to avoid having to do any actual work, at least, temporarily.

We will become increasingly frustrated and disappointed if we rely on symptom bandaging rather than real problem-solving. While there are some people who might find themselves cured with a pill because theirs is truly an issue with blood vessel problems, most would be better off with a solution like therapy, or at least some good, long sessions of introspection and reflection.

 

What Therapy Can Do For Your Sex Life That Pills Can’t

A legitimate and respectable, long-term solution like therapy can help us sort out those factors that get into our head and block our pleasure capacity.

Therapy is for everyone, on any budget, and it can benefit us in ways like:

  • Helping to identify our hangups
  • Giving us the tools to effectively communicate
  • Helping develop our empathy
  • Debunking myths and fears we’ve been grasping
  • Bringing awareness to our behavior
  • Helping us to make lifestyle changes
  • Improving our self-esteem.

Even if we’ve convinced ourselves there’s no connection, all of these things can and will affect our sex lives. Physicality is a part of sex but sex is not wholly physical. Intimacy is holistic and a pill will, for most, never be a cure for the real problems at hand.

In both men and women, the most important sexual organ is our brain. Sexual ‘dysfunction,” in those with no true vascular disorder need to be worked on in healthier, more direct ways, not through a pill.

However, if you do decide to try pills out, whether over the counter or preferably, by prescription after visiting your physician, remember to be an educated consumer. Know as much as you can about what you’re putting into your body and keep working on your life and relationships as a whole.

Pills may be quick, but the actual fix won’t happen until all aspects of our sexuality and relationship happiness are actively worked on.

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Valerie Baber, MA

Valerie delivers discussion on the topics of sex, society, and health to help battle stigma and increase empathy for others....

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