If you’ve ever searched for information about enhancing your sexual performance, you’ve likely come across reviews and advertisements for fast-acting “male enhancement” pills.
These pills, which often contain herbal ingredients, are marketed as treatments for issues such as erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation (PE) and other common complaints related to sexual performance.
Many of these supplements also claim to make your penis larger, enhance your semen volume and offer other sexual benefits.
Unfortunately, most of the claims made about male enhancement products aren’t supported by any scientific evidence. Investigations have also shown that many over-the-counter pills make use of unlabeled, potentially dangerous ingredients.
However, real, science-based treatments are available for common sexual performance issues such as ED and PE. Below, we’ve explained what’s available, as well as which options offer the fastest relief and biggest benefits for your performance in bed.
Male enhancement pills can seem appealing. Most are marketed aggressively using bold claims about their effects on your sexual performance. They’re also available without any need to get a prescription, making them easier to access than proven ED medications.
Behind the suggestive ads and online testimonials, the reality of male enhancement products is that very few are backed up by real science.
As such, any claims about being “fast-acting” or “highly effective” should be treated with a large amount of skepticism.
It’s important to understand that most of these products are supplements, not medications. This means that they’re regulated by the FDA as food and, unlike medications, don’t need to back up their marketing claims with real evidence from clinical trials and other tests.
We’ve talked about this topic more in our guide to the best male enhancement pills, with specific examples of popular male enhancement products.
Now, this doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to enhance your sexual performance or treat issues like erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.
Proven, science-based treatments for these issues are available and often have been for a long time.
However, they’re medications, not supplements. This means that you’ll need to talk to a licensed healthcare provider before you can purchase and use them.
We’ve listed these options below, with sections for common sexual performance issues such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and low sex drive.
The fastest-acting, most effective treatments for erectile dysfunction are medications referred to as PDE5 inhibitors.
These medications work by increasing the rate of blood flow to your penis, making it easier for you to get and maintain an erection when you feel sexually aroused.
Currently, the FDA has approved four PDE5 inhibitor medications for erectile dysfunction, all of which are available in pill form. They are:
These medications are easy to use and ideal if you often find it difficult to get or maintain a firm enough erection for satisfying penetrative sex. Our guide to what to expect from ED medication explains more about how these medications work and their potential side effects.
We offer a wide range of FDA-approved ED medications online, following a consultation with a physician who will determine if a prescription is appropriate.
Many male enhancement pills claim to increase your sexual stamina, allowing you to have sex for longer before you reach orgasm and ejaculate.
Just like with ED, there’s very little convincing evidence that the herbal pills sold in gas stations, convenience stores and online have any effect on your ejaculation latency time -- the amount of time that passes between the start of sex and ejaculation.
However, several proven, science-based medications are available that can treat PE and allow you to have sex for longer. These include:
As a man, testosterone plays a major role in your physical and mental wellbeing. It’s also one of the most vital hormones for promoting a healthy sex drive. In fact, research shows that men with low levels of testosterone often have a low level of interest in sex.
Many male enhancement pills claim to rapidly increase your testosterone levels and strengthen your libido.
There’s some evidence that certain herbal ingredients, such as zinc, ashwagandha and others, may boost testosterone. We’ve talked about these more in our detailed guide to increasing your testosterone levels.
However, none of these ingredients are fast-acting, meaning you won’t be able to take a pill just before sex and experience an immediate testosterone boost.
If you have clinically low testosterone, you may be able to increase your testosterone levels via testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). This involves using pills, patches, gels or an injectable form of testosterone to supplement your body’s own testosterone production.
While TRT is effective, it can cause side effects. Our guide to testosterone replacement therapy discusses these and other effects of TRT in more detail.
If you’re affected by erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, the medications listed above can provide fast-acting, real benefits that improve your sexual performance and enjoyment.
However, using medication isn’t the only way to improve your sexual performance and deal with issues such as ED and PE. Other ways to improve your sexual performance include:
Although most male enhancement products aren’t supported by any scientific evidence, several fast-acting, science-based medications are available to treat erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
If you’d like to use these medications, you can talk to a healthcare provider online to learn more about your options.