Viagra for Performance Anxiety – Does It Help?

Man thinking about taking Viagra for his performance anxiety

Viagra can help sexual performance anxiety but not in all cases. It usually depends on the underlying cause of the performance anxiety and its severity.

For instance, if performance anxiety is caused by physical erectile dysfunction, then yes., Viagra should work. It will help treat the physical aspects of erectile dysfunction, and therefore help the man regain his erection, restore his confidence and fix performance anxiety.

This study for example showed that men who were treated with 50mg and 100mg dosages of sildenafil (the generic version of Viagra), improved their erectile dysfunction and therefore experienced reduced performance anxiety. But if performance anxiety is the cause for your psychological erectile dysfunction?

Can Viagra help anxiety-induced erectile dysfunction?

Not always. To understand why, let’s talk about how erections work first:

The first two stages in the male sexual response are:

  1. Desire – psychological or physical stimulation causes the man to get sexually excited
  2. Arousal – Blood flows into the penis and inflates it. This leads to an erection.

Stress and performance anxiety, interfere with the desire stage and block arousal. Without arousal there is no erection. And if there already is an erection, performance anxiety usually triggers the “fight-or-flight” response which draws blood away from the penis to the larger organs which are needed for survival.

Erectile dysfunction medications like Viagra work by relaxing the walls of the blood vessels in the penis, making it easier for blood to flow. But your brain needs arousal to trigger the blood flow to the penis in the first place. This is why Viagra helps men with blood flow issues to have erections.

But since the problem with performance anxiety is not related to blood flow issues, Viagra doesn’t always work for erectile dysfunction that is caused by performance anxiety.

Some men wonder what the best ED medication for performance anxiety is? but the truth is that all ED medications (such as Viagra and Cialis) are drugs for the PDE5 inhibitors family, and they all work on the same principals.

How do I overcome performance anxiety?

Our recommendation is to always treat the root cause of the problem. There are several recommended psychological tools that can help you cure performance anxiety such as, mindfulness, guided imagery, sex therapy and relationship counseling. These will help you overcome performance anxiety before or while it happens.

Since performance anxiety doesn’t always block desire completely, some doctors like to prescribe low dosages (usually 25mg) of Viagra as a temporary solution. This can sometime help men who experience performance anxiety with a new partner break out of the performance anxiety cycle quickly. Some doctors also prescribe Xanax and Viagra for performance anxiety together.

But from our experience, there’s always the risk of the problem happening again, so it is best to simply learn how to deal with performance anxiety when it happens instead of relying on medications. If you don’t have a medical issues that is causing erectile dysfunction, you shouldn’t use Viagra as a long-term solution.

About Dr. Michael Stokes

Mental Health Counselor and Sex Therapist

Dr. Michael Stokes is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist in Rhode Island and a Licensed Professional Counselor in Connecticut who has a Doctorate in Professional Counseling and Supervision.

Dr. Stokes serves as a professional consultant for the Between Us Clinic. He is available for online teletherapy sessions. He also writes and reviews professional materials and articles.

In his private clinic, Dr. Stokes enjoys working with individuals and couples of all genders and sexual orientations who need additional support. He has years of experience providing sex therapy and can treat an array of sexual and intimacy disorders.