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Does Viagra Keep You Hard After Coming?

Katelyn Hagerty FNP

Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 10/22/2022

The desire to go “all night” is arguably everyone’s sexual McGuffin, second perhaps only to reaching the top tier of penis size. There have been plenty of snake oil salesmen peddling just that sort of magic for centuries.

Recently, we’ve made some incredible advances in medicine that can make men hard, hard for longer and hard practically on command in the form of Viagra® and similar medications. But does Viagra keep you hard after coming? 

There’s give and take to the idea of maintaining an erection after ejaculation. For some men, in some circumstances, being able to keep going after finishing could be seen as a superpower. For others, it could be a reason for serious panic to set in. 

Before we get into the weeds on medical advice, though, it’s probably a good idea for you to understand how Viagra actually works. 

So let’s start with the simplest question: how, exactly, does Viagra keep you hard?

How Viagra Keeps You Hard

Viagra and other penis pills are designed to treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction and keep you harder, longer. 

Viagra, its generic version (sildenafil) and other popular medications in this space are called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors. PDE5 inhibitors essentially work to increase blood to certain tissues in your body — including the tissue in your penis.

Originally, Viagra and its siblings in this category were designed as an effective treatment for hypertension, but the active ingredient that can adjust blood pressure was consequentially found to be great for another blood-flow-related problem that some men face — erectile dysfunction.

While all ED medications produce similar results, each has its own unique symptoms, side effects and onset of action or, the time it takes for the medication to become active. Viagra, in particular, is typically taken about one hour before sex and can last for four to six hours. 

It’s also important to take Viagra exactly as it’s prescribed by your healthcare provider — so, don’t get any funny ideas.

But we’re here to talk about what happens after that first orgasm, so let’s look at the post-ejaculatory period.

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Why You Stop Being Hard After You Come

So, you finished. You came. You popped the champagne. However you want to put it, you have achieved orgasm. 

And, as usual, your once-hard erection is not so erect. Cue the Leaning Tower of Pisa references.

Every male orgasm precedes something called the refractory period. Essentially, the period of rest or reset after an orgasm. Most men know this as the minutes that can feel like hours before you’re ready for another round. It’s different for all men — and it’s different for each man at different times of his life.

The refractory period isn’t well understood in terms of specific functions. 

Your refractory period may have felt nearly nonexistent as a teen, but sometime in your 20s, it will begin to increase. For the most part, it gets longer for the rest of your life (unlike, we’re sorry to say, your penis).

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Can Viagra Keep You Hard After You Come?

So, can Viagra make you an unstoppable machine in bed? A superhero, able to maintain an erection in a single bound? 

Eh, not exactly. 

Some men actually see a shortening of the refractory period while using Viagra, but the study results aren’t exactly clear. 

For instance, one small clinical study from 2005 looked specifically at sildenafil’s ability to reduce the refractory period and found no correlation between sildenafil use and reduced refractory timing. 

Other studies have shown different results, but given that your refractory period can differ without the inclusion of medication, it’s difficult to link to medication. 

To make things more complicated, experts generally agree the refractory period is still substantially poorly understood. Numerous studies haven’t yielded much in the way of information about what does and doesn’t affect your refractory period.

More bluntly, there’s no evidence that you can eliminate the refractory time whatsoever. We’ve all gotten lucky at one point or another, but it seems like the refractory period is here to stay.

Maintaining a partial erection doesn’t mean you’ve eliminated your refractory period so much as it indicates you’ve become proficient at rope pushing. 

Additionally, erections can actually last too long. As much as it may sound like a dream come true, the reality is that those warnings about erections lasting longer than four hours come from a serious place: erections that last too long — known as priapism — can do permanent and irreversible damage to your equipment. 

So, while that 12-hour session might sound incredible, it could very well end up being your last if it doesn’t go away.

Be sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice an erection that lasts longer than four hours or if you experience a painful erection.

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Staying Hard After Coming: The Big Picture

Viagra and its generic form, sildenafil, are a treatment for erectile dysfunction. They’re designed to keep you hard long enough for everyone to enjoy themselves. At the end of the day, that’s the goal, right? 

The reality is that erectile dysfunction medication is designed to do just that: treat erectile dysfunction — and that’s all. 

If you’re taking Viagra hoping that it can help keep you going even after the race is over, you’re taking it for the wrong reasons.

Taking too much Viagra that you’re prescribed in the hopes that it’ll help you skip your refractory period can be dangerous, and that’s not to count the adverse effects of Viagra, which can include common side effects like nasal congestion and potentially fatal ones like heart attack (read more in our guide to the side effects of Viagra).

If you want a permanent erection, there are plenty of sleeves and other sex toys out there that can assist your sexual performance (and increase your partner’s sexual satisfaction and pleasure) in the bedroom. Hell, we make some ourselves. 

If you’re struggling to get hard, stay hard and finish hard, you should talk to a healthcare provider. Many problems with erectile function can be solved with the intervention or support of a medical professional.

Though, for the record, you should be honest about health conditions including heart conditions like heart disease or a history of chest pain. 

The only thing standing between you and that support is your willingness to ask for help.

If you’re ready to do so but feeling ashamed, don’t. It’s a widespread problem that affects millions of men worldwide

But if you don’t want to look a healthcare professional in the eye to talk about it, consider having the conversation remotely via our sexual health resources.

Either way, know this: you don’t need to go all night to please your partner, you just need to listen, communicate, and take care of your sexual health (and other issues like premature ejaculation). Start working on those things today.

9 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Sildenafil: Medlineplus drug information. MedlinePlus. Retrieved August 23, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a699015.html.
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  6. Priapism: Causes, treatment, diagnosis & outlook. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10042-priapism.
  7. Alwaal A, Breyer BN, Lue TF. Normal male sexual function: emphasis on orgasm and ejaculation. Fertil Steril. 2015 Nov;104(5):1051-60. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.08.033. Epub 2015 Sep 16. PMID: 26385403; PMCID: PMC4896089. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4896089/.
  8. Evans JD, Hill SR. A comparison of the available phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors in the treatment of erectile dysfunction: a focus on avanafil. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2015 Aug 12;9:1159-64. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S56002. PMID: 26316720; PMCID: PMC4542406. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4542406/.
  9. Ferrini MG, Gonzalez-Cadavid NF, Rajfer J. Aging related erectile dysfunction-potential mechanism to halt or delay its onset. Transl Androl Urol. 2017 Feb;6(1):20-27. doi: 10.21037/tau.2016.11.18. PMID: 28217447; PMCID: PMC5313305. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313305/.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.