transgenders and viagra

Can Viagra be Taken by Transgenders

08 December of 2017

Probably every adult person has heard about Viagra. It is a powerful drug for fighting erectile dysfunction, which is used by millions of men.

  • But can it be used by transgender people?
  • What are the consequences of its use and how do genitals react to it?

Read on to know more.

Contents

  • 1 Who are Transgenders?
    • 1.1 Genital Reassignment & Transsexuals
  • 2 What is Viagra?
  • 3 Can Viagra be Taken by Transgenders?
    • 3.1 Safety for Health
    • 3.2 Reaction of Genitals
    • 3.3 Contraindications
  • 4 The Bottom Line on Viagra and Transgenders

Who are Transgenders?

Transgenders are individuals that have gender identity (expression), which is different from their real sex given at birth. Transgender is a complex term, it includes trans-men (female-to-male or FTM), trans-women (male-to-female or MTF), agender, and bigender people.

It is believed that sex is about the body, and gender is about consciousness. Hence it follows that a transgender is a person who is uncomfortable in his own body, and he/she feels himself to be a different sex. Simply put, it's a woman in a male body, and vice versa. Because transgender people feel themselves persons of the opposite sex, they can begin hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to acquire feminine or masculine traits, depending on the goal.

transgender transformationEarlier, transgender people did not have any special rights. But in connection with the development of human rights (the so-called 4th generation of human rights), many countries began recognizing & supporting transgender people and granting them special rights. For example, back in 2010, the Australian government passed a law according to which a person could independently choose his/her gender in the passport (if this choice is confirmed by a medical statement). Intersex people were granted a possibility to choose "X category" (indeterminate). In some countries, there are discussions about possible changes in legislation that will allow citizens to change sex independently without presenting medical evidence.

Genital Reassignment & Transsexuals

Transgenders who undergo surgery in connection with gender dysphoria, are sometimes called transsexuals. In FTM transgenders, the breast (mastectomy) and female genitalia are removed. Then the genital reassignment is performed. For this purpose, doctors use powerful hormonal therapy to increase the clitoris, or transplants from the tissues of the arm, thigh or stomach, as well as penile prosthesis.

Genital reassignment in MTF persons includes vaginoplasty that is surgical construction of the vagina using tissues of the penis.

What is Viagra?

generic viagraViagra is the very first drug from the class of PDE5 inhibitors, oral medicaments to treat male erectile dysfunction. It was released in 1998 and caused a furor among patients with ED. Genuine Viagra is produced by an American pharmaceutical giant called Pfizer. The drug is available in the form of blue tablets looking like diamonds, sometimes it is informally called "vitamin V" or "blue diamond".

The medication comes as a 25mg, 50mg, or 100mg pill to take orally. Typically, the recommended dose is 50mg. The drug is consumed approximately 30 minutes before the supposed sexual intercourse. Its effect lasts for up to 6 hours. Do not take more than one tablet a day. The drug works only if there is sexual stimulation, that is, it does not cause unwanted penile erections. Branded Viagra is quite expensive.

However, many cheaper generic versions of it are available both in brick-and-mortar and canadian online pharmacies. Generic is a complete analogue of the original drug, which has the same chemical formula but is produced by another company. The main advantage of generics is an attractive price.

Can Viagra be Taken by Transgenders?

Official instruction for the use of the drug doesn’t contain provisions regarding its application by transgenders. The use of PDE5 inhibitors by transgenders is a rather sensitive issue. Therefore, scientists have not conducted research on this matter. Generally speaking, the medication may be taken by these people.

However, individual results may vary significantly.

Safety for Health

As for male-to-female transgenders, Viagra is for the male body. The MTF transgender organism remains essentially male, however HRT leads to a decrease in testosterone rates and an increase in the production of female hormones. Viagra affects only the circulation in the genital area and in no way influences the hormonal background. Therefore, "blue pill" can be used by MTF persons.

Doctors specializing in transgender health say that Viagra can be used to save erectile function at any stage and under any regimen of feminizing hormone treatment. But the medicament cannot protect against physical atrophy caused by HRT. When using this drug, you should take into account the general contraindications and cautions specified in the official manufacturer's instructions. If you take hormones, you should check with the doctor whether Viagra may be used and what dosage is safe.

As for female-to-male transgenders, according to the instructions, Viagra is not indicated for use by assigned female at birth. However, a study by DasGupta R. (2004) shows that the drug may be effective in the treatment of females suffering from sexual dysfunction, which has secondary nature to multiple sclerosis. It improves blood flow in the clitoris. Research by S. Paine conducted in 2008 showed that Viagra increases the number of orgasms in women who have decreased libido due to the use of antidepressants. More recent studies, such as the research by Schoen C. and Bachmann G. (2009) concerning female sexual arousal disorder, showed similar results.

Basically, sildenafil is safe for the female body (but it cannot be used during pregnancy and lactation). Its safety is confirmed in particular by the fact that it is used as the main component in Revatio medication, which is intended for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension and can be used by both men and women.

At the moment, the use of the drug by transsexuals who have undergone genital reassignment is an almost unexplored issue, since very few people have ventured upon such a drastic step. Potentially, sildenafil can be used but its effect is unknown. Anyway, using the drug should be discussed with a doctor. If he/she advises against Viagra, don't use it!

Reaction of Genitals

Some male-to-female individuals who have a penis say that Viagra works well and provides a penile erection. However, it cannot increase sex drive, which is suppressed by testosterone deficiency. A person must provide sex drive himself/herself. If the hormonal treatment completely kills the libido, the individual can try another dosage or another kind of anti-androgens. While a person is still physically able to get an erection, drugs can help in this.

Use of Viagra by female-to-male persons is a more difficult issue. As we pointed out earlier, the drug can be effective in increasing the blood supply to the clitoris, which leads to improved excitation. But before taking the drug, this issue should be discussed with a healthcare professional.

Contraindications

Contraindications for the use of Viagra by transgenders are the same as for men suffering from erectile problems (the target audience of the drug).

The list of absolute contraindications includes:

  • increased sensitivity (the occurrence of allergic reactions) to sildenafil or any other ingredient of the drug;
  • combined use with other inhibitors of PDE5;
  • age under 18.

The drug can be used with caution in the following cases (relative contraindications):

  • severe anatomical deformities of the penis, for example, cavernous fibrosis;
  • diseases that predispose to the development of priapism of the penis (prolonged & painful erection);
  • stomach ulcer in acute form;
  • ailments accompanied by bleeding;
  • severe arterial hypertension or very low blood pressure;
  • a recent heart attack/stroke within the last six months, etc.

Caution: the drug should not be taken in combination with nitrates (drugs for the treatment of heart diseases). This can be life threatening.

The Bottom Line on Viagra and Transgenders

Theoretically, Viagra can be used by transgenders if contraindications are absent. However, its effect will vary depending on the individual (MTF or FTM). In MTF people who have a penis, the drug definitely works. In other cases, the effect may be achieved, but it will be less pronounced.

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