Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 6/12/2022
Semenax: male enhancement pill or the worst energy drink concept in modern history? If you answered “A,” congratulations, you guessed it — with a couple caveats.
Many over-the-counter male enhancement supplements make bold claims, but these claims are often unsubstantiated, not backed by any scientific studies — or only backed by questionable studies — and not approved by the FDA. The reason is simple: dietary supplements aren’t regulated by the same government entities as the male enhancement drugs you get from your doctor, with a prescription.
Is Semenax one of these questionable supplements or something different? Or, put another way, does Semenax work for male enhancement?
These are all good questions. The facts behind Semenax aren’t as clear as you (or we) might hope, so let’s start with the basics.
Semenax is, according to the brand’s own website, a proprietary blend of ingredients designed to increase semen volume, semen production and fluid production, including natural amino acids and herbal concentrates specifically selected for their long scientific track records or that have been used by a variety of cultures for sexual wellness since ancient times — at least according to Semenax.
The many ingredients in question are:
Swedish flower pollen
Pine bark extract
Avena sativa extract
Aside from sounding like the most pretentious trail mix ever, this ingredient list comes with some substantiated claims, again according to the Semenax brand.
Sarsparilla, for instance, has diuretic properties and contains steroidal-like substances that are thought to increase sexual desire in men. Hawthorne is an antioxidant with cardiovascular benefits that Semenax claims improve the intensity and hardness of erections. Pumpkin seed is naturally high in zinc and has been shown to support prostate health.
With claims like this, and a manufacturer that complies with the same standards as pharmaceutical manufacturers, Semenax is leading you to the idea that this grab bag of super ingredients is a natural alternative to the other, behind-the-curve male enhancement treatments available now.
So does this mix of ingredients actually work? Well, we can’t answer that.
The fact is that in order to demonstrate efficacy, someone would need to objectively test Semenax for effectiveness — someone not related to the brand. To date, we can’t find any evidence of that having happened.
What we have to go on then is a body of conflict-free research into the erectile value of the compounds listed on the company’s website. And that research doesn’t make the facts any clearer.
Consider some of the finer points. A study of L-arginine may have yielded some positive results somewhere, but one of the first studies we came across that looked at the benefits of L-arginine was actually halted early because several people died while taking the compound (there were no placebo group deaths).
As for zinc, one 1996 study found a relationship between serum testosterone level and zinc deficiency in adult men, but they didn’t correlate that to erectile dysfunction.
More recent research has shown no evidence that zinc could address low testosterone levels or the condition hypogonadism, which is a frequent cause of erectile dysfunction.
The exhaustive list of ingredients may vary in the research behind them, but making a dietary supplement with a lot of natural ingredients with “encouraging potential” does not necessarily make an effective treatment.
So aside from the one ingredient that killed people, are there side effects to Semenax? The answer is, you guessed it, unclear.
We doubt very seriously that products like Semenax can be fatal — many of them may not even be dangerous — but there’s reason to be cautious about using supplements in general.
This isn’t just our warning — a 2013 Pharmacognosy Review study concluded that using supplemental products for natural male enhancement may be risky, due to a lack of safety data, unclear mechanisms of action for many of their active ingredients and a lack of knowledge about the safety of frequent or extended use of these substances, among other factors.
Put simply, they concluded that there are too many unanswered questions about long-term supplement use, so these products are just not worth it — especially when other options exist.
In the big picture, supplements like Semenax and other over-the-counter options with questionable scientific backing all come with the same warnings. The data isn’t convincing, and many of these supplements just worry most experts.
One study from 2019 found that some supplements for sexual enhancement can include chemicals not listed on the packaging. These gas station sex pills like horny goat weed might contain ingredients that could cause side effects like blood pressure fluctuations, headaches and other symptoms experienced by people taking prescription ED medications.
This is all retread ground though — in 2015 the FDA advised consumers of the safety concerns of products like “herb Viagra” and other natural male enhancement supplements. The supplements in question in that case actually contained prescription sildenafil, the active ingredient for Viagra.
We highly doubt this is the case with current herbal supplement brands — you’d have to be really, really dumb to try a dangerous doping strategy that others have already been caught for. But supplements’ lack of regulation makes them quantifiably less safe than FDA-approved medications and treatments.
Let’s look at some of those instead.
Treatment for erectile dysfunction may include the occasional male enhancement product if your healthcare provider suggests it — after all, vitamin and mineral deficiencies may play into your individual issues with erectile function.
But chances are that, with the guidance of an expert, your treatment for erectile dysfunction will take the form of prescription medications, lifestyle changes and potentially therapy.
There are plenty of reasons to consider the psychological causes of ED, especially if you suffer from performance anxierty, low self esteem, intimacy issues or have previously experienced trauma or sexual assualt.
Forms of active therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy can give you the tools you need to deal with anxious or intrusive thoughts and stop letting them have power over your sex life.
And medications designed to treat the problem on a chemical level might benefit you too. Cialis® (tadalafil) and Viagra® (sildenafil) are just two of the most popular medications for erectile dysfunction. These medications — phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors — work to enhance blood vessel dilation in your penis, which can help you achieve both initial launch and sustained flight.
Likewise, making substantial and healthy changes to your habits and lifestyle can put a dent in ED issues, without having to swallow questionable capsules. Talk to your doctor about exercise, diet and your smoking and drinking habits, which all might be affecting your prelaunch checklist in bed.
Sexual satisfaction is important to all of us, and the best way to get the most out of your sexual function isn’t a one-size-fits-all question. If Semenax is working for you, great. We’re very happy to hear that, and you might already be one of the positive voices in the collection of Semenax reviews out there. Have you talked to your doctor about it, though?
Even with positive results in hand, you might want to consider the long-term effects of supplements, and a healthcare provider can help you learn more and weigh your options.
While they’re doing that, they might also recommend other, safer and more effective treatments, rather than something that sounds like it goes in your laundry room and deals with very particular types of stains.
For our money, the best treatment isn’t necessarily prescription or therapy or supplement or diet —it’s what your healthcare provider recommends based on your individual needs.
To find out what those needs are, talk to a healthcare professional today. It’s the best way to “supplement” your sexual health, today or any other day.