Pills and bottles touting that they can boost your sex life may be appealing, but you might want to think twice before putting down your money. While their claims are tempting, they may not be backed by evidence and may even lead to unwanted side effects.
In fact, using male sexual enhancement supplements to boost your libido or address erectile dysfunction may do more harm than good. Ingredients can trigger side effects, cause allergic reactions and interact with other drugs. Some may even contain potentially dangerous impurities or small amounts of hidden pharmaceutical drugs that can produce dangerous reactions.
Talk with your doctor before trying a sexual enhancement supplement.
“Don’t be afraid to bring up a sexual health concern,” says Dr. Simone. “We’ve heard them all and are always ready to help you.”
Men’s sexual health supplements
Sexual enhancement supplements are supplements made from a natural substance. They may contain nutrients called amino acids, vitamins and minerals or herbs like palmetto, yohimbe or maca. Most products are tablets, caplets or tablets.
Sexual enhancements supplements have become more prevalent as the population ages and more people are diagnosed with disorders that require medication that may lead to sexual problems as side effects. In addition, increased consumption of alcohol and smoking have increased the prevalence of sexual health problems, such as erectile dysfunction.
Lifestyle changes can help boost sexual health
Remember, it’s always best to talk to your doctor about any sexual health problem that you may be experiencing.
“Do not self-diagnose and think that supplements are going to cure or prevent a problem from occurring,” Dr. Simone says. “Your doctor can discuss any sexual concern you may have and determine if there is an underlying cause for your symptoms that needs to be treated. If you have sexual side effects from medication you can ask your doctor if you can change your medication. Your doctor can also help you determine which supplements, if any, might help you.”
Male Sex Enhancement Supplements May Be Risky
There's no proof that over-the-counter sexual enhancement supplements for men work, and some are potentially dangerous, a new study reports.
Many men seeking medical help for sexual health issues report using dietary supplements. But with little regulation of dosage or ingredients, the health effects of these products are unknown, the researchers said in background notes.
And many of these products contain traces of an ingredient used in drugs like Viagra that can be dangerous to men with certain health problems, the researchers added.
The researchers identified top-selling male sexual-help supplements and analyzed the ingredients, including those in products marketed to enhance erections, desire and sexual performance.
Some of the most commonly used products include horny goat weed, ginseng, DHEA, Ginkgo biloba, fenugreek and maca, the researchers found.
For many of the products, there's no scientific evidence to support claims they can improve libido, erectile dysfunction or sexual performance, the researchers said.
They also found that some of the supposedly "natural" products have traces of phosphodiesterase-5-inhibitors (PDE5Is), the medication found in prescription drugs -- such as Viagra -- used to treat impotence.