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Does Viagra help psychological ED?

Written by Mojo, reviewed by Medical Doctor Dr Matthew Chan, and Psychosexual Therapist Amanda Barge

Mojo Co Founders Xander Gilbert and Angus Barge sit on a couch together.

When it comes to psychological impotence, no, Viagra won’t get you hard. We’ll break it all down in a minute. 

To get our heads around what’s going on here, we need to go back to basics.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when you can’t get or maintain an erection. And psychological ED is an umbrella term used to cover all the possible ways your mind can shut down your erections. You might have heard people calling it psychogenic ED or mental ED too.

It can be caused by stress, depression, general anxiety, sexual performance anxiety, and lots of other emotional or psychological problems. 

If this sounds like you, please don’t give yourself a hard time. 40% of men in the UK who suffer from ED have said it’s stress-related. You’re definitely not alone. 

Now we know exactly what psychological ED is, let’s get back to business.

Can Viagra help with psychological erectile dysfunction? The low-down

We’ve established that Viagra won’t help with psychological ED, but to explain why this is, we need to understand how the little blue pills actually work.

Viagra is the brand name for the drug Sildenafil and it belongs to a class of drugs known as PDE5 inhibitors. 

You might’ve heard of Cialis (Tadalafil), Stendra (Avanafil), and Levitra and Staxyn (Vardenafil) – they’re all PDE5 inhibitors too. 

“PDE5 inhibitors work by relaxing blood vessels. They allow increased blood blow, which helps the blood get to your penis and stay there for sex."

Dr Matthew Chan, Medical Doctor

So, if your erection issues are down to physical reasons like poor blood flow, Viagra could be the answer to your boner troubles.

But, if your erection problems are a result of psychological problems, Viagra can’t do much to help.

However, some guys reckon Viagra helps with their psychological ED. Amanda tells us why this might be:

“If you associate Viagra with reliable erections and you take one before sex, this could give you a new sense of confidence. It’s this confidence, not the pill itself, which might ease your psychological anxieties about sex.”

Amanda Barge, Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist

This might seem like a quick confidence-booster to sort out your problems, but it’s not what Viagra was designed for (we'll touch more on that below). At Mojo, we're all about getting to the root cause of your psychological erection issues, not putting a Viagra-shaped bandaid over them.

What Viagra is and isn’t for

Now we know that little blue pills aren’t the answer to psychological sex problems, let’s break down exactly what you should (and shouldn’t) use ED pills for. 

Viagra was developed for:

Viagra wasn't developed for:

Psychological effects of Viagra

There isn’t a lot of research out there on the psychological impact of Viagra. But there are a couple of things you should know.

Some researchers think that you can become psychologically dependent on Viagra, and this could turn into psychological ED when you stop taking it. 

But they think this only happens if you’ve been taking Viagra to try to enhance your sexual performance. So, if you’ve been using Viagra as it was intended (to help you get an erection if you have physical ED), you don’t need to worry.

“When you get into a sexual routine – like taking a Viagra before sex – it can be very easy to get stuck in that rut. You might end up convincing yourself you need to take one every time you have sex or you won’t be able to get it up.

This could then contribute to more anxieties about pill-free sex, and ultimately lead to more psychological ED issues.”

Amanda Barge, Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist

Treating psychological ED without Viagra

So, if Viagra doesn’t work for psychological ED, what does? Well, we’ve got good news on this one. There are tons of super effective treatments for psychological ED, they’re just not quite as famous as the little blue pills.

If you want the rundown on psychological ED treatment, this handy guide can help you figure out which option is best for you.

But to keep it short and sweet – psychosexual techniques paired with practical erection training exercises can help you overcome any erection issues and level up your sex life. 

With Mojo, you can: 

Thousands of guys have secured stronger erections through these techniques, so you know they work – no pills necessary. Sign up for a free trial here.

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Mojo aims to provide useful wellbeing resources to its users; however, you should not solely rely on opinions or advice available on the Website or given by the Community. Always seek advice from a qualified medical doctor or other healthcare professional before acting.