Does viagra keep you hard after ejaculation?

Written by
The Manual Team
Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
4th May 2021
In 30 seconds

Does Viagra keep you hard after ejaculation? Not exactly, no. The famous drug for erectile dysfunction (or, more accurately, its active ingredient, Sildenafil) helps you to achieve and sustain an erection. Your penis will probably stop being erect after orgasm. Because that’s just what naturally happens.

Studies do suggest that Viagra can shorten your refractory period (the period after orgasm before you become hard again). But it probably won’t reduce it to zero. And, by the way, Viagra is not designed as a treatment for premature ejaculation, either.

What Sildenafil can do, though, is boost your chances of an erection hard enough for sex over a period of 4-6 hours. So, when you do ejaculate, you will usually be able to get hard again without a hitch.

Introducing Viagra and Sildenafil

Pfizer’s Viagra goes under many different names. Vitamin V. The Little Blue Pill. Sildenafil, the active chemical ingredient, actually does the heavy lifting. Whatever you call it, you may well be interested in the powers it wields. And that’s where we at Manual can help.

The drug – and its cousins, Cialis (brand-name: Tadalafil) and Levitra (Vardenafil) – has been known to do a lot of great things for men. It can boost their self-confidence. It can improve their sexual satisfaction. And it can reduce the difficult symptoms of performance anxiety.

But it is designed for one thing specifically. That’s treating erectile dysfunction, the condition in which men struggle to achieve or sustain an erection long enough to have sex.

However, there is a common question that many men have about the drug: does Viagra keep you hard after ejaculation? The honest answer is no – you shouldn’t bet on it. However, studies do show that Sildenafil reduces the time between orgasm and your next erection.

Let’s find out a little more.

What does Viagra do?

Viagra is a licensed and effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, or ED. To give it its technical name, it is a PDE5 inhibitor, meaning that it targets the enzyme responsible for smooth muscle contraction of the blood vessels in the penis. By inhibiting this enzyme, the Sildenafil that Viagra contains improves blood flow to where you want it – and thereby boosts the chances that you will achieve and sustain an erection.

That, fundamentally, is Sildenafil’s job. And it’s a job the drug is pretty good at. According to major studies, Viagra works to enable as much as 80% of men who use it to achieve an erection long enough for sex.

Importantly, Viagra is effective for about 4 hours (at least) after you have taken it. The vast majority of men find this more than enough to have the satisfying sex that they want with their partner. 

However, there is a common misunderstanding of Sildenafil. It will not give you an erection for 4 hours solid. You will need sexual stimulation for that. And your blood vessels will relax (and your erection will disappear) if you are not sexually aroused – or if you have just ejaculated.

Does Viagra Keep You Hard after Ejaculation?

All of this brings us round to the central question we are concerned with here: does Sildenafil help you stay hard after ejaculating?

The answer, strictly speaking, is no. Viagra’s job is to support you to achieve an erection – not to force an erection even when you are not sexually aroused. (This we call priapism, and it is one of the nastier side effects of Viagra.) As a result, as your penis will naturally stop being hard after orgasm without Viagra, the same is true when using the ED medication.

The opposite is also true, however. It is possible that you can stay hard after orgasm – and that applies both with and without Viagra.

Viagra and the Refractory Period

Something that is important to know, though, is the effect of Viagra on the so-called refractory period (or refractory time). That’s the amount of time it takes for men to become hard again after ejaculation.

While lots of different things affect this time – from stress to antidepressants to physical activity and health – studies suggest that Viagra generally shortens it. That means that you can go from orgasm to another erection more quickly than before. In fact, the study found that you can achieve an erection 4 or 5 times quicker after ejaculation when on Sildenafil.

Another study showed similar results, reducing the refractory period in younger men to a third of their normal time. However, not all studies agree. A 2005 study, for example, did not find any effect of Sildenafil on the refractory period.

Viagra and Premature Ejaculation?

The results of these studies encouraged scientists to consider the possible use of Viagra for the treatment of premature ejaculation (PE) – the sexual dysfunction in which men ejaculate more quickly than the average during sexual activity.

PE is a condition that can be accompanied by significant distress – for both the man and their partner. And, so the thought process goes, if you can reduce the length of the refractory period with Viagra, maybe you could reduce some of the psychological impacts of PE too.

However, this has not yet been backed up by hard scientific evidence. One study found, for example, that the time before ejaculation did improve – but not to a degree that was statistically significant. Another study, meanwhile, found that it was a preferred treatment option for PE among patients – but the effectiveness was not necessarily higher than other treatments.

As a result, we can’t say that Viagra will help you to last longer in bed by effectively treating premature ejaculation. However, it may well give you greater confidence – and help you to enjoy your sexual experiences that little bit more.

Key Takeaways…

Viagra (and generic unbranded Sildenafil) is designed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction – and it is licensed specifically for this role. No scientific study or medical advice has yet confirmed its ability to treat premature ejaculation effectively.

And does Viagra keep you hard after ejaculation? The answer remains no. However, it can improve your confidence and enjoyment of sexual intercourse – and these can help to improve your perception of your sexual performance.

References

  1. Stanley E AlthofMichael P O’learyJoseph C CappelleriKyle HvidstenVera J StecherSidney GlinaRosie KingRichard L SiegelInternational SEAR Study Group (2006). Sildenafil citrate improves self-esteem, confidence, and relationships in men with erectile dysfunction: Results from an international, multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16681478/

  2. Chris G McMahonBronwyn G A StuckeyMorten AndersenKenneth PurvisNandan KoppikerScott HaughieMitra Boolell (2005). Efficacy of sildenafil citrate (Viagra) in men with premature ejaculation: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16422868/

  3. Stanley E AlthofMichael M BernerIrwin GoldsteinHubert I M ClaesJoseph C CappelleriAndrew G BushmakinTara SymondsGabriel Schnetzler (2010). Interrelationship of sildenafil treatment effects on the physiological and psychosocial aspects of erectile dysfunction of mixed or organic etiology: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20626608/

  4. Andrew R McCullough (2002). Four-Year Review of Sildenafil Citrate: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1476025/

  5. Antonio Aversa, Fernando Mazzilli, Tiziana Rossi, Michele Delfino, Andrea M. Isidori, Andrea Fabbri (2000). Effects of sildenafil (Viagra™) administration on seminal parameters and post-ejaculatory refractory time in normal males* – https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/15/1/131/702038

  6.  & Sildenafil does not improve sexual function in men without erectile dysfunction but does reduce the postorgasmic refractory time – https://www.nature.com/articles/3901005

  7. Oğuz EkmekçioğluMehmet InciDeniz DemirciAtila Tatlişen (2005). Effects of sildenafil citrate on ejaculation latency, detumescence time, and refractory period: placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover laboratory setting study – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15708051/

  8. Chris G. McMahon, MB, BS, FACSHP,* Bronwyn G. A. Stuckey, BA, MBBS, FRACP, Morten Andersen, MD, Kenneth Purvis, MD, PhD, Nandan Koppiker, MD, FRCP, Scott Haughie, MSc, and Mitra Boolell, MD. (2005). Efficacy of Sildenafil Citrate (Viagra) in Men with Premature Ejaculation – https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(15)31180-2/abstract

  9. Wei-Fu WangYang WangSuks MinhasDavid J Ralph (2007). Can sildenafil treat primary premature ejaculation? A prospective clinical study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17470165/

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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