To you ageing Lothario out there – Viagra is not the wonder drug you think it is!

VIAGRA is no longer new on the market, and a lot of new brands of pills performing exactly the same I miracle’ have since flooded the chemist’s shelves. But is Viagra the magic pill men thought it would be? Dubbed I the little blue pill’, it was designed to turn every man into a stud and put a smile on every woman’s face. The ageing playboy publishers, Hugh Hefner, once admitted taking it as soon as it became available and his example has been followed by millions, but is Viagra all it’s cracked up to be?

According to one of American’s leading impotence experts, the answer is no. Dr. Abraham Morgentaler says that when it comes to relationships – as opposed to just sex – Viagra is a bit of a flop. It is prescribed for men who find it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection – a problem known as erectile dysfunction (ED). But less than 50 per cent of those who use it once ask for a repeat prescription, says Dr. Morgentaler, a specialist in men’s sexual health problems at Havard Medical School.

He explains that although Viagra works well in physical terms – by improving the blood flow to the penis – it can have a disastrous effect on the emotional side of the relationship. He believes the same problems will affect the three other impotence drugs available – Cialis, Levitra and Uprima.

According to him, “If a man is in a happy, stable relationship and the only problem is erectile dysfunction, then Viagra can work very well. However, many of my patients great erection will not solve their relationship problems and frequently makes them worst. Men and women can see sex in very different ways. For a man, it can be about the firmness of the penis, while for a woman, it also involves emotions, kindness and attention.

“Some couples stop all physical touching when they stop having sex – they don’t kiss and cuddle any more and in turn they become a lot less close. Taking a tablet which produces an erection will not restore that closeness. That is something which the couple will need to work on themselves. And this is not the only problem. Some couples feel that sex loses its spontaneity if they have to take a pill first. Sometimes, women think the tablet will turn their partner into a great lover, even if he wasn’t a great lover before. They become too demanding. Other women may be relieved that love making has stopped, and find it an imposition when the man gets frisky again.

“A woman may feel she’s so unattractive that her partner needs to take a pill before he can make love to her. A man might suspect that it is the effect of the pill which the woman loves, rather than him. It is all much more complicated than we expected” .

Dr. Cynthia McVey, a psychologist agrees that Viagra has caused problems, but believes these could be solved if couples were willing to take things more slowly. “If a man stops holding hands and cuddling his partner, she may feel unattractive, unloved and unwanted. Unless there is more time for courtship, sex will seem very mechanical and the woman may be resentful. This is likely to be worse if it is several years since the couple have had sex.

“The effects of Viagra wear off a few hours after it has been taken, which gives an added urgency to the situation. If you are interrupted by someone calling at your house at the wrong time, or if you have a row, then the opportunity is lost. Some of the new drugs on the market are longer acting, which can take some of the time pressure off. The problem is that people are expecting a drug to fix their emotional problems as well as the man’s physical problem. It is not enough to go back to having sex; many people will need to work on their relationships as well.

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