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Viagra Not Always the Magical Cure

Sometimes, it hurts marital relationships

The little blue pill that saves erections also can instigate marital problems and divorces. In many men with erectile problems, Viagra (sildenafil) has transformed their love life, but, unfortunately, not always for the better.

Viagra "changes the status quo" among couples who have grown used to infrequent or absent sex, says Philadelphia area sex therapist Nancy Gambescia. A man who suddenly finds his sexual prowess restored may discover that his wife no longer shares his interest in lovemaking. The reverse situation occurs, too, in which a wife pressures her spouse to use Viagra when he's not interested.

The drug itself is innocent in this situation. Viagra has no effect on libido. It simply provides a temporary fix for what is essentially a mechanical defect that prevents men from maintaining erections. Men with erectile dysfunction often have a healthy sex drive, but simply lack the physical ability to engage in sex as they would like.

A feature from the Philadelphia Inquirer describes how Viagra has touched off a wave of marital tension. You also can read these HealthScout stories on Viagra.

Viagra isn't always the answer. Sometimes the cause of erectile dysfunction can be traced to side effects of other medications. Many drugs taken by older persons can interfere with erections and the libido of both men and women. The Orange County Register describes how blood pressure medications, antidepressants, tranquilizers and other drugs can affect someone's sex life.

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