LIFESTYLE
28/11/2013 06:42 GMT | Updated 28/11/2013 06:43 GMT

Viagra Does Not Make Men Happier Or Improve Relationships, Says Study

While taking Viagra may improve men's sexual satisfaction and self-esteem, it doesn't necessarily improve their relationships or make them happier.

Erectile dysfunction drugs provide a physical solution to the issue - PDE5 inhibitors relax the blood vessels, allowing blood flow to the penis - they do not address the psychological causes for impotence.

Reviewing 40 clinical trials of men with erectile dysfunction, scientists analysed the impact of medication on patients' lives.

man unhappy

Before taking medication men described their relationships and quality of life as 'relatively good' but many reported little sexual satisfaction.

After completing the course of medication, their sex lives and self-esteem had improved but their overall quality of life or relationships had not.

Commenting on the study, urologist Dr. Andrew Kramer told Live Science that the findings highlight the need for psychological treatment not just physical.

"It's simplistic to think that fixing an erection issue would solve relationship issues. Happiness is very complicated, and erections are just one small piece of it," Dr Kramer said.

Dr Arun Ghosh, a GP specialising in sexual health at the Spire Liverpool Hospital, said in a statement: “One of the main roles of any treatment is to give men a psychological boost.

“It's vitally important to use treatment alongside some kind of sexual counselling or therapy, even if the cause is due to something physical such as diabetes.”

The study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) means that you cannot get and/or maintain an erection.

In some cases the penis becomes partly erect, but not hard enough to have full sex. Where as in other cases, there is no swelling of the penis at all.

Who does it affect?

Men of any age can experience ED. Many men will experience the condition now and again, due to tiredness, stress or alcohol consumption - but this is temporary.

Others have recurring ED. This occurs in about half of men ages between 40 and 70, and 7 in 10 men aged 70 or above.