When Viagra Isn't Helpful
There’s a growing trend for young men to try Viagra (or Cialis or Levitra, the other PDE5 Inhibitors) at the first sign of anything that they consider a sexual problem.
It doesn’t even always need to be an erection difficulty (which is what the PDE5 Inhibitors are designed to treat). I’ve had male patients ask for them when they had rapid ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, or low levels of sexual desire. There is a slight connection between lack of sexual desire and a PDE5 Inhibitor. Here it is: If a man also happens to have erection difficulties, he may find that using such a medication will strengthen his sexual desire because he has greater hopes (and probability) for a pleasing experience when using it.
When young men (under 40 years) have a sexual problem, it is most often due to a psychological issue rather than a physical one (there are exceptions, but the percentage is likely under 10%). Sometimes those who are somewhat anxious during sexual interaction are among the first to seek a PDE5 Inhibitor from their doctor — often before they have tried addressing it (even briefly) from a psychological perspective. I would hazard a guess that some young men consider as few as two negative sexual experiences reason enough to seek out this type of chemical help.
In my local weekly alternative newspaper, a journalist tried to see if he could get a prescription for Viagra when he didn’t really have a sexual problem. He reported on his “quest.” He fell into the category of “the curious.” He wanted to know if it would feel any better — sort of the same way that over time people have experimented with having sex while under the influence of other chemicals of all kinds.
I recommend that a male with an erection difficulty seek out a sex therapist for a quick assessment of whether the cause might be physiological or not. The best scenario includes that therapist having a good working relationship with a urologist who is interested in male sexual functioning. The sex therapist can work through what might be contributing psychologically and the urologist can make sure of the bodily health.
Some young men take the PDE5 Inhibitor path very early in their sexual difficulties and then grow dependent on it. They then sometimes grow very hesitant to have a sexual experience without it. It makes it somewhat more difficult to treat this from a psychological perspective — which is what is most commonly needed.