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Can the Refractory Period Be Shortened by ED Medications?

Learn more about if ED medications like Sildenafil and Tadalafil can shorten your sexual refractory time.

Read on

Well, maybe. The refractory period is the normal final stage of sex after orgasm in which everything dials down and you are unlikely to become physically aroused again for a period of time.

In women, this refractory period is commonly very short, often only lasting a matter of seconds or minutes. But, in men, the refractory period can last minutes, to hours, or even days until he is ready for another session.

Normally, a younger man is closer to the minutes range, but as men age, the refractory period may become longer and longer. In this article, we will take a look at the literature to see what effect the popular ED medications may have on his overall refractory time.

What can affect the refractory time in males?

The most common reason for a change in refractory time in males is normal aging. As a man gets older the refractory time commonly shifts from minutes to hours or even days.

Potential reasons for longer refractory times:

  • Age
  • Health conditions
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Low physical activity
  • Frequent sex schedule
  • Reduced arousal

To give yourself the best chance of reducing your refractory time, make sure you are in optimal health, limit alcohol consumption, and try out something new in bed to increase arousal.

Refractory period Viagra (Sildenafil) studies:

According to a few studies, the results are mixed as far as if Sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) can have an effect of reducing refractory time. One 2001 study looked at 9 men who did not have sexual dysfunction to identify any possible side effects of Viagra.

Half of the group reported a reduced refractory time with the use of Viagra. And, a 2005 study in men with premature ejaculation found a significant shortening of the refractory time from 6.4 minutes to 3.2 minutes in participants using Sildenafil. However, a 60 men placebo-controlled study in 2005 reported no shortening of the refractory period in the treatment group.

PDE-5 inhibition with Sildenafil and Tadalafil

When looking into the mechanism behind how Viagra, Cialis, and many other ED medications work, it seems plausible that a shortened refractory period may result.

For instance, these medications are PDE-5 inhibitors, which basically means that these drugs block the breakdown of the components produced by your body when you are aroused that bring blood flow to the area.

So, it makes sense that when taking these medications, after sexual activity, you should still have much more of these increased blood flow molecules around as compared to not taking an ED medication - potentially leading to a faster turn around for the second round of sexual activity.


While there still need to be more comprehensive studies done looking at the refractory period and ED medications, some studies show promise in terms of shortening the refractory period in men.

Also, the way that these medications function may leave a man open to increased blood flow to the area for a longer period of time.

The refractory period is different for every person, and many factors are at play including medical conditions, physical health, age, and the level of excitement.

If a man is already taking a PDE-5 inhibitor ED medication for the treatment of his ED, it is possible that the medication may also reduce the refractory period.

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