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Does Viagra Make You Last Longer in Bed?

Katelyn Hagerty FNP

Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 6/8/2021

Worried about your sexual stamina? You’re not alone. Medical study data shows that premature ejaculation is one of the most common sexual performance complaints from men, with up to 39 percent of men stating that they ejaculate earlier than they’d like to during sexual activity. 

Because it is thought of as a “cure-all” for sex ailments, many men turn to Viagra to make them last longer in bed. 

However, Viagra may not necessarily be the best choice for treating premature ejaculation.

Does Viagra Make You Last Longer: An Overview

  • There is some evidence that Viagra and other ED medications may help you last longer in bed, but options such as PE spray or masturbating before sex are more standard treatments for delaying orgasm.

  • If you are having trouble lasting for an extended period of time, talk to a healthcare professional about premature ejaculation treatment options, including Viagra and delay spray

  • Viagra won’t boost your sex drive, prevent performance anxiety or make your penis larger. 

  • You shouldn’t take Viagra if you are under the age of 18, are taking nitrates, or have certain health conditions, such as liver or heart disease. 

Even for men who don’t meet the clinical definition of premature ejaculation, it’s quite common to want to improve your sexual stamina and last longer in bed.  

Today, a variety of treatments are available for premature ejaculation, ranging from sprays like lidocaine-based premature ejaculation spray to techniques like the stop-start strategy, the squeeze technique and masturbating before sex.

Then, there’s Viagra. Although the "little blue pill"  is designed and marketed primarily as a treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED), many men believe that taking a dose of Viagra can make it easier to last longer in bed.

Below, we’ve looked into the evidence for and against sildenafil citrate (the active ingredient in brand name Viagra) as a treatment for boosting sexual stamina and lasting longer in bed. 

We’ve also listed a range of real, science-backed options for improving your sexual stamina and performance.

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Can Viagra Help You Last Longer?

Viagra works by increasing the ability of blood to flow into the soft, erectile tissue and blood vessels of your penis. 

This makes it easier for you to get and keep an erection. It can also give you a firmer erection that improves the sexual experience for you and your partner. 

That said, PDE5 inhibitors such as Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil) or Levitra (vardenafil) are not a standard treatment for premature ejaculation. 

This means erectile dysfunction treatments such as Viagra likely won’t affect the amount of time that you can have sex before you ejaculate or the amount of sensitivity you experience during sex when you orgasm and ejaculate.

Despite this, there are a few interesting studies about Viagra’s effects on premature ejaculation that are worth mentioning:

  • In a small 2007 study, researchers found that sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) was linked to an increase in ejaculation time in men affected by premature ejaculation.

  • Another study from 2005 found that men who used sildenafil experienced a small increase in time before ejaculation. However, the increase compared to placebo wasn’t statistically significant.

  • One 2017 study notes that sildenafil (in comparison to other ED treatments and a placebo) proved to be more effective at treating PE. 

While these are interesting studies, they’re not enough to make Viagra a standard treatment option for increasing the amount of time you can last in bed before ejaculating

If you notice any results, it’s best to think of them as a bonus side effect, not as a primary effect of sildenafil.  

However, there is one situation in which Viagra can definitely help you last longer in bed. 

If you tend to lose your erection during sex and need to stop because you’re no longer hard, Viagra’s effects could help you have sex for longer without being affected by erectile dysfunction. 

On average, Viagra can help you get an erection for up to four hours after you take your dose.

How long does Viagra last? Learn more.

What Else Won’t Viagra Do?

Like many other popular medications, Viagra’s effects are often exaggerated and misunderstood by people who haven’t used the medication. 

Media reports on Viagra, which often present it as a “fix anything” sex drug, have helped to spread these misconceptions.

In addition to potentially only having little effect on the amount of time you can last before you climax and ejaculate, Viagra also won’t:

  • Boost your sex drive. Contrary to popular belief, Viagra won’t make you hornier or help you feel sexually aroused when you otherwise wouldn’t be interested in sex. All it will do is make it easier to get an erection when you’re already sexually aroused.

  • Prevent you from getting tired. While Viagra does have some effects on blood flow throughout your body, there is no evidence that it increases your physical fitness during sexual activity and helps you last longer before getting tired.

  • Prevent performance anxiety. While taking Viagra to increase the ability to maintain an erection may boost confidence and lower the risk of sexual performance anxiety, Viagra will not act as an anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication to treat the psychological causes of ED. For your best result, seek medical advice, or talk to a mental healthcare professional. 

  • Make your penis larger than normal. If you have erectile dysfunction and normally find it difficult to get a complete erection, Viagra might cause your erection to feel bigger than normal. However, it will not make your penis physically larger than its regular size even if you take a higher dose

Our guide to what Viagra does to your sexual experience goes into more detail on these myths, as well as the actual type of experience you can expect from using Viagra.

What Does Viagra Do?

Viagra’s primary benefit is well known — it makes it easier for you to develop an erection and maintain it during sexual stimulation. 

However, there are also several secondary effects of Viagra that can improve your sexual experience and, in some cases, boost your sexual performance. By using Viagra, you could:

  • Improve your confidence. Because Viagra makes it easier to become hard and remain hard during sex, it could increase your sexual confidence. This can increase sexual enjoyment for you and your partner and reduce any feelings of anxiety or nervousness.

  • Shorten your refractory period. Your refractory period is the amount of time your body needs to recover after sex before getting an erection again. There’s some evidence that sildenafil can shorten this post-orgasm recovery window.

  • Enhance your sexual experience. Most men with erectile dysfunction who use Viagra report a significantly improved sexual experience — a topic we’ve covered in more detail in this guide

Related Post: Is Viagra Over The Counter?

Who Can't Use Viagra?

If you are looking to try Viagra to help you last longer, talk to your healthcare provider about sildenafil for PE. 

If you are otherwise healthy, this may be a treatment option for you. However, like most medications, Viagra isn’t right for everyone. You should not use Viagra if you: 

  • Are under the age of 18

  • Are taking medicine containing nitrates 

  • Have certain health conditions, such as liver disease, blood pressure or hypertension  

  • Have heart disease or recently had a heart attack

  • Have had a stroke recently

  • Have low blood pressure or hypertension

How to Last Longer in Bed

While Viagra may or may not help you last longer in bed, it’s still worth considering if you’re prone to erectile dysfunction.

Luckily, there are several proven, science-backed treatments available that can help you delay ejaculation and last longer in bed

We’ve listed these below, along with the scientific study data to back up each option.

Premature Ejaculation Spray

Premature ejaculation sprays use substances like lidocaine to reduce the sensitivity of certain parts of your penis, all without making them feel overly numb. 

This helps give you more control over how and when you ejaculate, allowing you to last longer in bed.

Studies show that lidocaine-based sprays are extremely effective as treatments for premature ejaculation. 

In a 2003 study, men with PE were able to increase their ejaculation latency from 74 seconds to 11 minutes and 21 seconds after applying a lidocaine-based spray. 

You can learn more about how these sprays work in our guide to lidocaine sprays for treating premature ejaculation

Our premature ejaculation spray is designed for application five to 10 minutes before you have sex, making it easy to use before you get into bed with your partner. 

It absorbs quickly and only affects the parts of your penis to which it’s applied, meaning you won’t lose any enjoyment.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs, such as sertraline, were originally developed as treatments for depression and other psychiatric disorders. 

However, certain SSRIs are also effective at prolonging sexual activity before orgasm and treating premature ejaculation.

In a 2007 study, researchers found that men with premature ejaculation who used paroxetine, fluoxetine, or escitalopram experienced reduced premature ejaculation symptoms and improved sexual performance.

Today, sertraline (the active ingredient in Zoloft)  is one of several SSRIs used to treat PE and improve sexual performance

Our Sertraline 101 guide covers this in more detail, with data on sertraline’s effects and benefits as a PE treatment.

Talk to a Hims provider about sertraline for PE.

Non-Pharmaceutical Treatments

Beyond medications such as lidocaine and sertraline, there are several ways to increase your time before ejaculation and improve your sexual performance without using drugs.

These include simple techniques like masturbating before sex, which takes advantage of your body’s natural refractory period to make you last longer before ejaculating a second time, plus science-backed techniques like the “stop-start” method. 

It’s also often possible to improve your sexual performance through behavioral therapy, which could increase your ejaculation time. 

Our guide to stopping premature ejaculation covers all of these approaches in more detail, with scientific data to back up each treatment option.

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Lasting Longer in Bed

Does Viagra make you last longer in bed? There isn’t a clear answer either way. 

While results may appear, there is not enough evidence to sufficiently name Viagra as a standard premature ejaculation treatment. 

If you are looking to simply maintain an erection for a longer period of time, ED medications such as Viagra could be the option for you. 

Want to learn more? Learn about the differences between Viagra and Cialis, your options for premature ejaculation pills and the available premature ejaculation treatments.

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.

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