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Sildenafil (Viagra Generic)

Medically reviewed by Leann Poston, M.D. on 9/18/20

You may or may not be aware, but a lot is going on physiologically for a fella to get an erection. While you can just buy Viagra online and pop a pill. It hasn’t always been that way. Many complex systems have to work in harmony with one another for a man to achieve and sustain an erection. The brain must communicate with the rest of the nervous system, our hormones have to be in the game, muscles must relax, and the circulatory system has to get with the program. With all these moving parts, it’s easy to see why 5 percent of men that are 40 years old have complete erectile dysfunction, and that number increases to about 15 percent of men at age 70.¹ This is why the market for Viagra generic is so large.

This number may seem low, and like you don’t have much to worry about. I mean, those odds don’t seem too bad, right? Well, when expanded from complete erectile dysfunction, defined as the inability to maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse, to mild or moderate erectile dysfunction (consistently unsatisfactory for sexual activity), the number of men affected jumps up significantly. In fact, for every decade of life, the percentage of men that experience some degree of erectile dysfunction (ED) increases by 10%. Are you 50 years old? 50% of men your age have mild to moderate ED. Flash forward ten years to your 60’s and your odds are around 60%, and so on as the years go by. What can we do to stop this universally unwanted but seemingly inevitable byproduct of aging?

ED Treatment

There are a few potentially viable options to treat ED, including penile implants, vacuum pumps, and injections straight into your nether regions; none of which sound particularly favorable. Luckily, there is an easier option that has been prescribed to roughly two million men each year: a compound called sildenafil citrate. A relatively new discovery; sildenafil citrate (usually just referred to as sildenafil or Viagra generic) shines above other treatment options for its reliability and ease-of-use that patients seeking convenient relief appreciate. Today we’re just going to cover what we know it does, what it doesn’t do, possible contraindications and side effects, and where you can safely get a prescription for viagra online while avoiding a potentially uncomfortable visit to your doctor. 

Normal Male Sexual Function

Understanding why sildenafil (Viagra generic) has become so commonly prescribed in America requires a bit of information on normal male sexual function. There are three distinct components to male sexual function: interest/libido, the ability to obtain and sustain an erection, and ejaculation/climax. The last two are where the real complexity lies. You already know how physiologically complicated it is to achieve and sustain an erection, but you may not know how sildenafil can help you do so.

Well, first, we must bust a huge myth. Contrary to popular belief, sildenafil does not cause erections without the first component of male sexual function: interest. In the absence of sexual arousal, sildenafil won’t do its job. If that component is present, sildenafil acts by increasing nitric oxide (NO) in a specific part of the penis called the corpus cavernosum. Provided the right nervous system conditions are set, NO starts a chain reaction resulting in an enzyme being activated that causes the smooth muscle relaxation required for an erection to be achieved. Keep in mind that sildenafil (Viagra generic) has no direct muscle relaxation effects; it simply facilitates the process through NO. Ok, so erection achieved! Pretty straightforward process.

Maintaining the erection, on the other hand, is a different story. Sustaining this state requires the continued inhibition or blocking of another enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). Now, let’s all take a second to be thankful for PDE5 because it truly is an unsung hero. PDE5 prevents an erection from occurring every time the sympathetic nervous system is activated. It would be incredibly inconvenient if every time we were stressed out at work, narrowly avoided a car accident, or watched a scary movie, we had to also endure a consistent erection. Each of these events activates the sympathetic nervous system to varying degrees and would likely be incredibly awkward if it weren’t for PDE5. If you’re in a state of sympathetic (fight or flight) arousal, an erection would be unavoidable. But as Harvey Dent put it, “you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” and PDE5 is no exception. Although it is just doing its job, PDE5 is responsible for the breakdown of a molecular signal that allows for an erection to occur. Again, this is useful in certain scenarios but the bane of some men’s existence in others. This is where sildenafil comes in. Sildenafil essentially enhances the effect of NO by inhibiting PDE5, allowing for smooth muscle relaxation and a sustained erection.

Finding Sildenafil

Interestingly, scientists discovered this compound by researching a treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina pectoris (a symptom of ischaemic heart disease).² When subjects were being tested using sildenafil for this condition, the interesting side effect of improved erectile function became clear. Rumor has it that none of the medication from the test subjects was returned, but this could not be confirmed. The research focus was then shifted entirely to the use of the drug to treat erectile dysfunction (follow the money!).

Research attention has since returned to its use as a treatment for pulmonary hypertension and aiding other cardiovascular-related ailments by preventing heart muscle thickening and early-stage heart failure.³ It can affect multiple tissues and organs in the body because of the previously mentioned impact it has on inhibiting PDE5, which is found in many different places in the body, including the brain, lung tissue, heart, liver, kidneys, bladder, prostate, urethra, penis, uterus, and skeletal muscles.

Increasing NO production has also been a common topic of research for sports scientists because it can theoretically improve athletic performance primarily thanks to its vasodilating effects. Sildenafil’s (Viagra generic) potential muscle-building benefits are undoubtedly one of the reasons why viagra online has been discussed on bodybuilding forums since it was approved for ED in the ’90s. 

How Safe Is Sildenafil?

Like any drug, there is the potential for side effects with sildenafil (Viagra generic). Although it is beyond the scope of this article to list all of the potential side-effects, those most commonly identified by post-market research involve the cardiovascular system, which makes sense due to the drug’s effect on NO. In clinical research, observed adverse events are rarer due to selection criteria for study subjects. However, when they did occur, they typically had to do with blood pressure issues.

Because it is metabolized or broken down primarily in the liver, like most drugs, those taking sildenafil with other medication(s) may experience interactions. This is why it’s so important to speak with a medical professional to receive your sildenafil (Viagra generic) prescription instead of just buying viagra online without a prescription. There is certainly the potential for what is typically a safe compound to be harmful if not utilized responsibly.  Bearing this in mind, consider the fact that millions of men each year are prescribed sildenafil. Each of them had to decide whether the potential risks outweigh the potential for an increased quality of life thanks to improved sexual function.

Viagra Online

Understandably, visiting a medical professional’s office in person and discussing issues with erectile dysfunction may not sound like your idea of a good time. Luckily, companies are specializing in telehealth that can walk you through the process of attaining a prescription for viagra online (sildenafil). The process is safe, easy, and will save you from a face to face conversation; you may be dreading. Male sexual function is deeply linked to overall health. So keeping yourself generally healthy by eating a nutritious diet, exercising, and more may also help attenuate your risk for ED in the future or increase the efficacy of treatments like sildenafil when they are necessary.

DISCLAIMER

While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider.  You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case.  The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice. 

References:

¹ “Erectile Dysfunction (ED).” UW Health,  University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority, 2019. https://www.uwhealth.org/urology/erectile-dysfunction-ed/20537 Viagra Online

² “Viagra: How a Little Blue Pill Changed the World.” Drugs.com, 2019 https://www.drugs.com/slideshow/viagra-little-blue-pill-1043

³ Gianetti, Eliza, et. al. “Is chronic inhibition of phosphodiesterase type 5 cardioprotective and safe? A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” BMC Medicine, 12, Article number: 185 (2014).  https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-014-0185-3