Sildenafil for Women: Can it Help with Sexual Dysfunction

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Written By Julie Ingram
sildenafil for women

Sildenafil, popularly known as Viagra, is used for treating Erectile Dysfunction (ED)  in men or Assigned Males at Birth (AMAB).

Erectile Dysfunction is the inability of men or AMAB to get and maintain a firm erection. 

However, recent discussions have analyzed Sildenafil’s potential benefits for women or Assigned Females at Birth (AFAB). 

Sildenafil is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat sexual dysfunction in women or AFAB but may get prescribed by doctors. 

This article will explore the potential of “Sildenafil for women” as a promising approach to address Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD).

We will also discuss what Sildenafil is, how it works for women, safety concerns, and alternatives.

What is Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD)

Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) is a broad term that encompasses several disorders:

  • Lack of sexual interest or willingness to be sexual
  • Have sexual desire but difficulty with arousal or unable to maintain arousal
  • Pain during sexual stimulation or vaginal contact
  • Persistent or recurrent difficulty in achieving orgasm even after sufficient sexual arousal

FSD is a persistent, recurrent problem that distresses you or strains your relationship with your partner. 

Many women have problems with sexual function at some point in their life. Female sexual dysfunction can occur at any stage of life.

A study found that 40% of women are affected by FSD.

FSD often develops when your hormones are in inconstancy. These include:

  • After having a baby
  • During menopause
  • Major illnesses like cancer, diabetes, or Cardiovascular disease
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Sildenafil for sexual dysfunction in women

Sildenafil (Viagra) may help women who experience FSD due to insufficient blood flow to the genital area. 

The clitoris and surrounding vaginal tissues are rich in blood vessels. By dilating these blood vessels, Sildenafil can improve the blood flow in this area. 

During sexual arousal, increased blood flow can lead to enhanced sensitivity and arousal.

Thus, helping women or AFAB to have a satisfactory sexual experience. 

In a 2014 study, conducted on postmenopausal women with sexual arousal disorder. As per this study, some women experienced vaginal lubrication, improved arousal, and orgasm. But women with FSD due to neurological or vascular problems have fewer improvements.

According to a study by Mayo Clinic doctors, limited-quality research is available to confirm its effectiveness.

Sildenafil is not yet FDA-approved for treating FSD. Consult a healthcare professional before starting any new medication.

Safety concerns of Sildenafil in women


A clinical trial was conducted for Viagra containing Sildenafil for treating arousal disorder in women. It reported mild to moderate side effects similar to when taken for Erectile Dysfunction.

The most common side effects of Sildenafil reported are:

  • Headache 
  • Flushing 
  • Nausea
  • Rhinitis
  • Nasal congestion
  • Visual disturbances

Sildenafil in women presents an exciting potential avenue for the treatment of FSD. It’s crucial to approach it with caution.

Discuss these things with your doctor when considering Sildenafil. 

  • Any drugs you are taking and if they might interact with Sildenafil
  • If you are pregnant or lactating
  • Any ongoing or past health problems or medical conditions
  • If there are any long-term effects of taking Sildenafil
  • Potential side-effects it might cause and how to react when that happens
These side effects have been primarily studied in men. Women may experience different or additional side effects. More research is required to understand the potential adverse reactions in women fully. Always consult your doctor before taking Sildenafil.

Alternative treatments for Female Sexual Dysfunction

Sildenafil shows potential as a treatment for FSD. But it’s important to remember that it is just one of the many potential treatment options.

These options include hormonal and psychological therapy, lifestyle change, etc.

Hormones like estrogen and testosterone play crucial roles in women’s sexual health. 

When these hormones become imbalanced, issues related to sexual function can arise. Hormonal therapy can be a viable option to address FSD.

Psychotherapy can address underlying psychological issues that might contribute to FSD. It includes anxiety, depression, or stress.

Lifestyle choices can significantly impact sexual function. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep can enhance overall health. Good health will, in turn, improve sexual health.

Pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegel exercises, can improve sexual function. They strengthen the muscles that support sexual arousal and orgasm.

Specific devices like vaginal dilators or massagers may help with some types of FSD.

The best treatment for FSD is usually a combination of several approaches tailored to an individual’s needs. A doctor can provide personalized advice and guidance.

A comprehensive approach to treating FSD can lead to more successful outcomes and improved sexual health.


Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) is a complex issue that can impact a woman’s quality of life.

Sildenafil, a medication used for ED, is being explored as a possible treatment for FSD.

Sildenafil works by relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow to the genitals. In men, it causes an erection of the penis. In women, it helps by increasing sensitivity and arousal.

FDA has not yet approved its use for FSD. Doctors still prescribe Sildenafil for off-label use for treating FSD.

There are some side effects of Sildenafil. Most of them are similar to treating ED in men or AMAB. Always consult your doctor as some additional side effects might occur in women.

Other than Sildenafil for women, lifestyle changes can also help to improve sexual health by improving overall health. Healthy lifestyle changes include regular exercise, a healthy diet, quitting smoking and, drinking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Sildenafil interact with other medications?

Yes, Sildenafil can interact with certain medications. For instance, it shouldn’t be taken with nitrates or certain blood pressure medicines. 
Also, its interaction with women’s medications, like birth control pills or hormone therapies, is not fully known.

What are the safety concerns of Sildenafil in women?

Safety concerns for Sildenafil in women include possible side effects and interactions with other medications.
Most of these side effects are similar to those in men. Women might have some additional side effects. It is best to consult to doctor.

What other treatments are there for Female Sexual Dysfunction?

There’s a broad range of treatments for FSD. 
These include hormonal therapy, psychotherapy, lifestyle modifications, pelvic exercises, non-hormonal medications, natural remedies, and non-pharmacological therapies like laser treatments.

What is hormonal therapy for FSD?

Hormonal therapy for FSD involves supplementing hormones that may be deficient, like estrogen or testosterone. This can help address low sexual desire or pain during sex due to menopausal changes.

What should I do if I think I have FSD?

If you suspect you have FSD, discussing your concerns with a healthcare provider is essential. They can help diagnose issues and create a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Is Sildenafil effective for all types of Female Sexual Dysfunction?

It is not yet confirmed if Sildenafil works for all types of Female Sexual Dysfunction. Some studies show it might help with problems related to sexual arousal or issues caused by antidepressant use. But we need more research to know for sure.

What should I do if I experience side effects from Sildenafil?

If you take Sildenafil and notice side effects, stop use and talk to your doctor. Your doctor can suggest you keep taking the medicine or change the dose.

Does Sildenafil affect fertility?

Currently, there is no substantial evidence that Sildenafil affects fertility in women. However, if you’re trying to conceive and are considering Sildenafil, discuss this with your healthcare provider.

Can Sildenafil be used to treat menopause symptoms?

Sildenafil is primarily studied for its effects on sexual dysfunction, and its impact on broader menopause symptoms is less understood.

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