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ED Pills Are Not A Panacea

The development and widespread use of erectile-dysfunction drugs Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra is often viewed as a means to improve or even save relationships. However, according to a new report from Harvard Medical School, these pills offer no help in untangling the emotional and relationship pressures that frequently accompany erectile dysfunction (ED).

For one thing, the medications work only if the man is feeling sexual desire for his partner. If emotional issues are impinging on libido, the pills won’t help.

A man struggling with ED may be so embarrassed that he is no longer willing to attempt sexual activity, and his partner may mistakenly believe that he is no longer attracted to her. She may assume that her partner’s newfound erections are merely a chemical phenomenon, not the result of his interest in her. In these cases, sex therapy may be helpful.

When intercourse is suddenly a possibility again, relationship issues can emerge or resurface, as can dramatic differences in libido. The bottom line is that couples should try to regard these drugs as an opportunity to renew their sexual relationship, while realizing that ED drugs are neither a mandate to have intercourse nor a panacea for every problem in the bedroom.

A new report, Sexuality in Midlife and Beyond, is a 48-page synopsis edited by Alan Altman, M.D., Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and Suki Hanfling, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., certified sex therapist. This report helps readers understand:

    • sexuality and attitudes about sexuality and aging, including emotional and social issues
    • how health problems, including medications, affect sexuality
    • the pros and cons of treatments for common sexual problems
    • the role of sex therapy and what to expect
    • how to use self-help strategies and put the fun back into sex.

Source: Harvard Health Publications

ED Pills Are Not A Panacea

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). ED Pills Are Not A Panacea. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.