Does Viagra Make Sex Better?

The first week of the election campaign was so uninspiring, we decided to take the Viagra after all. It was bought a few weeks ago through the Internet for a story on impotence drugs online, and since then has been in the medicine chest, alongside the Panadol and the Band-Aids. It cost $500 for a bottle of 30 blue diamond-shaped pills and it arrived in the mail. The only alarming moment followed a suggestion from an honorable Age senior editor that we hand the bottle over to the police. I had visions of a bemused constable hurling the bottle onto a pile of contraband Viagra and The Age running a small story, “Police Viagra Crackdown”.

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The best thing about the Internet is its subversiveness, the fact that it cannot be controlled. Viagra has the same appeal. One commentator suggested Viagra was a terrible thing because it would cause marriage breakdowns (indeed, one American woman is suing her husband because he left her after discovering Viagra). The commentator suggested that the real reason men stayed with their wives was that they were insecure about maintaining erections, an odd basis for a relationship in anyone’s language.

A sexual health expert in Sydney was anxious that Viagra would destroy his sex clinic because men would get Viagra from their GP. This was quite a good thing, I thought. Then he whispered, “but they’ll use it recreationally, especially the gays”. Oh, I thought, wondering about how envious some heterosexuals were of homosexuals because they seem to have so much wonderful, disgusting sex. And the disapproval of recreational sex, as opposed to medically-approved sex for old men with prostate problems, was obvious. Nobody minded that Bob Dole took Viagra, but the gays…

With plane-loads of Europeans travelling to America to get Viagra, maybe the medical authorities, who kept stating that this was definitely not a recreational drug, were hoodwinking us. They all knew something, but they wanted to keep it from us, as they merrily wrote out prescriptions for the stuff for themselves. The nice drug company Pfizer, anxious to avoid allegations that they were penis-obsessed, started trials with women. Male or female, engorgement is engorgement, after all. Everyone would be happy. We could all have orgasm after orgasm, erection after erection, whether John Howard took us into the new millennium or not.

I took the blue pill with a bowl of yoghurt and a banana while watching Martin Ferguson and David Kemp debate unemployment on the 7.30 Report. My husband took his with a glass of water as he was clearing the table. I thought I saw him thump his chest for a moment, but I think that was a joke. We had an hour to wait before the best sex we’ve ever had. Either that or a heart attack.

Viagra or no Viagra, the suburban chores had to be done. Our daughter had a long bath, while I washed the dishes and wondered whether the cream blinds, newly ordered, would be hopelessly impractical. My husband picked up a plastic bag full of rubbish and, with the bag in one hand, reached up to remove the kitchen clock from the wall with the other. He did this because our daughter was learning to tell the time and we’d promised to show her the clock. Unfortunately, the rubbish tipped onto him at this moment, and noodles dribbled down his front shirt and into his pocket. I reminded him that Viagra worked only when the parties were aroused.


As we got into bed, I noticed that my husband’s face was covered in red blotches and his ears were a burning red. Mine were as well, apparently, and we felt each other’s ears for a few moments, something which we hadn’t done in years. We had given two tablets to an acquaintance a few weeks earlier, and she had reported that she and her boyfriend had gone lobster red and the man had had an incessant nose bleed. A medically-trained friend said this was not a known side effect, but could be worrying if it related to a brain hemorrhage.

All I can report is that sex, apart from the red ears and a feeling of being flushed, was no different. Why did the Minister for Viagra, Dr Michael Wooldridge, bother “knocking Labor’s tax package off the front page” when he announced last week that the drug was now approved in Australia? Granted, it is not easy to relax when you’re thinking hard about whether or not you can discern any changes. But nothing went blue, and I don’t think anything was harder or wetter. “Maybe it’s a bit different,” my husband said, “but would you please stop asking?” “What did you think?” I asked, after it was over. “There’s one lesson from this,” he said. “Sex should not be a clinical experience.”

And that was that. I have no idea if he maintained an erection all night because soon after, we fell asleep, only to be woken briefly when our daughter wet her bed and climbed in with us. So much for a Viagra party.

Can Viagra Cause Heart Attacks?

Dutch researchers have called for further testing of the anti-impotence drug Viagra and urged caution in prescribing it after a 65-year-old man had a heart attack 30 minutes after taking it. The warning comes two weeks after Viagra was launched in Australia.


A Melbourne cardiologist has cautioned that it is possible the drug could trigger a fatal heart attack in apparently healthy men who had underlying heart disease but showed no symptoms. In this week’s edition of the respected British medical journal The Lancet, the Drug Safety Unit of Rijswijk in the Netherlands reports the case of the apparently healthy 65-year-old who had a heart attack 30 minutes after taking a normal dose of sildenafil, the common name for Viagra.

The man was admitted to hospital at midnight with severe chest pains and vomiting that began before any attempt at sex. Viagra’s manufacturer, Pfizer, has said the 69 verified cases in the United States in which men using Viagra have died, mainly through heart attack or stroke, could be explained by the exertion caused by renewed sexual activity rather than the drug itself or the fact that the men had cardiovascular risk factors. But in the Dutch case, the patient, who was not overweight or a smoker, had not tried to have sex and had none of these risk factors (including diabetes, hypertension or family history of heart disease), no pre-existing heart disease and drank an average of five alcoholic drinks a week.

He was using no other medications, such as nitrates, drugs commonly used to treat heart disease. Pfizer warns against using nitrates with Viagra because the combination can cause dangerously low blood pressure. A physical examination, which included blood pressure but not an electrocardiogram, before he was given Viagra was normal. The patient recovered after treatment with drugs but researchers concluded that the close link between taking the drug and the onset of the heart attack in this patient suggested Viagra directly caused the heart attack.

Viagra works by diverting blood to the peripheral blood vessels, which include the penis, and the researchers suggested this may have sparked the heart attack because the blood flow to the heart had been undermined. The report said: “The number of patients included in trials are low compared to the expected use of sildenafil and some adverse reactions may be disclosed only when large numbers of patients are exposed.”

The director of cardiac services at Melbourne’s Austin Repatriation Medical Centre, Dr Jennifer Johns, said she was concerned about the effect of Viagra on men who had heart disease but were asymptomatic. “The first manifestation of heart disease can be either a heart attack or sudden death,” Dr Johns said. “Even a drug that appears to have been well studied, the more it’s used the more problems may appear. Only a few thousand men have been studied and it’s got application worldwide of millions and millions of men.”


Dr Tony Prochazka, a GP who owns three men’s clinics, said yesterday it was “conceivable” that Viagra had caused the heart attack, but even if it had it was only one case. “If we start to see more cases like that then we’ll have to look at the whole thing again,” Dr Prochazka said. He said he had been surprised that there had not been more demand for Viagra. So far none of his patients had suffered serious side-effects, although several had stopped taking it after suffering headaches (one of the known side-effects). Dr Prochazka said some patients had reported that the older treatment of injecting vasodilators (blood-vessel dilating agents) directly into the penis worked a little better than Viagra, and for some Viagra had not worked at all.

The president of the Australasian Society for Impotence Medicine, Associate Professor Douglas Lording, also said it was difficult to draw any conclusions from a single case. “I’m not downplaying the need for us to continually be scrutinizing and taking notice of events like that … but it is important not to discount the information from the (pre-release) trials,” he said. The British Medical Journal has reported that while only three of the 21 clinical trials of Penomet have been published in peer-reviewed publications, none had showed any evidence of serious adverse effects. On Thursday, Pfizer Australia said its New York parent body was in the best position to comment because it had access to all the clinical data.

When Will The ProExtender Become Available?

Recently I read in a magazine about the ProExtender penis extender which can make the penis bigger. When will this be available?

Medications, taken by mouth, to improve erections are a hot issue in the media these days as evidenced by magazine articles and television and radio shows. Millions of American men are also about to benefit from a treatment revolution called the ProExtender System that promises to make the penis larger without the discomfort of injecting drugs into the penis.

The first of these, produced by Pfizer, Inc., is called Viagra or Sildenafil. Knowledgeable clinicians expect the drug, which was submitted for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in September 1997, to be on the market by spring 1998. Many professionals anticipate approval as soon as April because FDA promised a quick review.

Viagra blocks an enzyme called cyclic GMP, which in turn promotes erection. In studies of several thousand men, Viagra helped about 80% achieve an erection when they became sexually stimulated and had taken the drug about an hour before sexual activity. Adverse effects from the medication are said to be extremely minimal.

Interestingly enough, researchers expect that many men will use the ProExtender device on a regular basis to reduce the chance of erection problems later in life. From age 40 to 70, erectile difficulties are often associated with poor circulation, hypertension, depression, smoking, diabetes, and alcohol use. Apparently, regular use of the ProExtender will promote penis oxygenation, which is critical in avoiding future erectile problems. (This is similar to someone taking a daily aspirin to prevent heart attack.) As a result, some people predict that the ProExtender will cause as much of a sexual revolution in the United States as the birth control pill did when it was introduced some 30 years ago.

Although scientific journals such as Paraplegia have reported preliminary studies of the ProExtender on men with erection dysfunction, no one at this time is quite sure what to expect. Many researchers anticipate good results, especially in the case of people with incomplete injuries. With other disabilities such as diabetes, early studies have been very favorable with noticeable improvements in erectile functioning for most men. When a history of erectile tissue scarring exists, injections or implants will probably continue to be the treatment of choice.

Clearly, major changes are occurring in this field, with drug companies pumping millions of dollars into research on male sexual functioning. Tremendous efforts are underway to be the first erection drug approved and on the market. If these medications, and devices like the ProExtender interest you, keep abreast of the news and in touch with a medical professional.

Your Hair is an Important Part of Your Identity

For most men, having a full head of hair indicates youth and vigor. When that hair starts falling out, men often feel a loss of control and feelings of isolation. And they worry that they look older than they really are—and less attractive.

Years ago, there weren’t too many options for fixing hair loss, other than the dreaded hairpiece. Today, luckily, there are some very effective ways to restore your hair to a healthier, more youthful state.

In fact, there are so many hair loss products available today that the consumer is often confused about which ones are effective and which ones are scams. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. What follows is a simple guide to the best hair loss solutions available today.

When hair loss experts talks about what really works, they commonly refer to “the Big 3”. These are the only hair loss treatments you should consider. (Please note: if you notice your hair starting to fall out, act NOW! The longer you wait, the less successful any hair loss treatment will be).

Without further ado, “the Big 3” are:

• Minoxidil
• Finasteride
• Hair Transplants

Now, there are considerable differences between these hair loss treatments. Minoxidil, which can be found in popular products such as Scalp Med and Provillus, is applied topically and finasteride is taken orally. Both are chemicals that have been approved by the FDA. A hair transplant, on the other hand, is a surgical procedure.

In the following sections, I’ll cover each hair loss treatment for men in a little more detail, and recommend some products and resources that can help you start the process of restoring your hair, and your confidence.

Thirty years ago, minoxidil was taken as a vitamin to reduce high blood pressure. By accident, someone discovered that this chemical, when applied topically, could grow hair. I think we all know the rest of the story.

Today, minoxidil is perhaps the best-selling hair loss treatment for men and women. You can buy it over the counter at many stores and simply apply it to your scalp daily.

Many men will notice an increase in hair loss at first, but that’s normal and is called “shedding.” Shedding is when old, damaged hair falls out. This old hair will then be replaced by new, healthy hair.

Most users find minoxidil to be an effective hair loss treatment. It’s also the cheapest option. The only problem with minoxidil is that users often experience a dry, irritated, and itchy scalp, resulting in dandruff. Fortunately, there is a solution for this problem.

If you want to experience the benefits of minoxidil without suffering from an irritated, itchy scalp, then you should try Provillus. The main ingredient in Provillus is minoxidil, but it also contains unique moisturizers and vitamins to sooth the head and stop it from drying out.

This is why people choose Provillus. There’s another good reason as well. Provillus comes with a special vitamin that stimulates hair growth from within the body. This vitamins features a proprietary blend of natural ingredients that can have a positive effect upon hair growth.

So Provillus basically works in two ways: the topical solution stimulates hair growth from the outside of the body, and the oral vitamin stimulates hair growth from the inside of the body. It’s a very powerful combination that is far superior to simply applying basic minoxidil.

Provillus is also reasonably inexpensive. If you order a six-month supply, the cost works out to about a dollar a day. For most men, that’s a reasonable price to pay for strong, healthy hair that doesn’t fall out. Once again, don’t wait until most of your hair falls out before trying Provillus. You’ll get better results the sooner you start.