Senior couple smiling at each other in bed, close-up
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Sexuality is a fact of life. Either because of boredom or medical or psychological problems, the pleasure of sexual relations between two people can be diminished. The desire to be loved and to love is common among human beings. Physicians prescribe a variety of medications designed to help both partners enjoy their sexuality without problems. There also are over-the-counter drugs that claim to enhance sex.


The generic drug sildenafil citrate is marketed in the United States under the brand names Viagra and Revatio. It is classified as a PDE5, or phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor, medicine, the Mayo Clinic reports. This prescription medication helps to promote sustainable erections for an eight-hour period. Sildenafil citrate enhances the erection of the penis in most men. The medication typically may be used by men who have difficulties maintaining erections.


Marketed in the United States as Adcirca and Cialis, tadalafil also may be prescribed to promote an erection in men who are having difficulties due to medications, medical problems or age. Tadalafil, too, is a PDE5 medication. It functions to inhibit the phosphodiesterase type-5 enzyme from acting too rapidly. The effects of this medication are felt for approximately 36 hours after the first dose. The Mayo Clinic reports that this medication typically may be administered in two ways. It may be used in 10 mg doses only once each day at least half an hour before sexual activity. It also may be taken in smaller doses—generally 2.5 mg—each day at the same hour to help prevent erectile dysfunction.

Natural Herbs

There also are several natural herbs being studied for their effectiveness in treating sexual dysfunction and in enhancing sex. While these are available over the counter, there are no conclusive clinical studies for their effectiveness, the National Institutes of Health reports. For example, ginkgo biloba may help men and women overcome sexual dysfunction, but the NIH states that more controlled studies are needed. Damiana leaf or folium turneraceae, suma root and motherwort also are herbs that may help increase sexual satisfaction in women.