Sex, Drugs, and Rockin' Good Health

by Chris Shugart

The Cialis Experiment

Erection drugs do what they claim, but do they have other health benefits? Let's find out.

Talking to your doc about sex drugs is the second most awkward thing that happens in a doctor's office. (If you're over 40, you know what the number one most awkward situation is.) So, when I decided to experiment with tadalafil (Cialis), I didn't talk to my doctor. I went online and bought some off the gray market.

The only drawback? I was only able to get 20 mg tablets. I wanted 5 mg tablets, what's commonly known as "daily" Cialis. So, chop-chop-chop went the pill-splitter. I turned 20 tablets into 80 five-milligram doses, enough to last me almost a year because I wasn't even going to take it daily.

Here's the fun part: tadalafil is a drug for erectile dysfunction. I do not have ED. Things are fine down there, really. No, I wanted to use the drug for its potential health benefits.

How Tadalafil Works

Tadalafil/Cialis is a cousin to sildenafil/Viagra. Both are PDE5 inhibitors. It works in basically the same way, only tadalafil's effects kick in faster and last longer. Instead of lasting about 4 hours, tadalafil lasts 36 hours, maybe longer. Some call it the "weekender pill" because you can pop one on Friday night and achieve high-performance erections through Sunday afternoon.

It works like this:

During sexual stimulation, nitric oxide (NO) is released in the corpus cavernosum of the penis. NO activates the enzyme guanylate cyclase, which increases cGMP levels. cGMP causes the smooth muscles in the corpus cavernosum to relax, which allows blood to flow into the penis. Scientists call this a "woody."

Now, here comes the "villain" – PDE5.

That's an enzyme that breaks down cGMP and kiboshes the erection process. That's supposed to happen after carnal activities, but in men with erectile dysfunction, PDE5 activity may be too high, leading to excessive cGMP. In other cases, reduced NO production or impaired guanylate cyclase activation causes low cGMP levels: not enough cGMP to counteract PDE5’s cockblocking activity.

But here comes tadalafil to save the day! Our hero inhibits the action of PDE5, preventing the breakdown of cGMP. So, cGMP levels stay elevated and so does your lap rocket.

The OTHER Benefits of Low-Dose Tadalafil

So how is all this related to good general health? Well, despite exercise and a good diet, certain health issues can arise as you age, and tadalafil may help. Let's review those and talk about some "off label" benefits of tadalafil:

  1. Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy: Your prostate gland keeps growing as you age. BPH isn’t cancerous but it makes you a slow urinator due to the prostate pressing against the urethra and affecting pee-pee flow. Since tadalafil increases cGMP levels, it leads to smooth muscle relaxation in the prostate and bladder neck. Tadalafil helps alleviate BPH symptoms by reducing pressure on the urethra, which passes through the prostate. The standard dose of tadalafil for BPH is 5 mg, the same low daily dosage used for ED.
  2. Blood Pressure: Since tadalafil relaxes the smooth muscle cells in the walls of blood vessels, it widens them (vasodilation) which might help keep blood pressure in check.
  3. Estrogen Control: One study found that 10 mg. and 20 mg. doses of tadalafil, taken about ten times a month, significantly reduced estradiol levels. But this only seemed to work in men who weren't fat. (Fat guys have higher aromatase levels and convert testosterone to estradiol easily.) Lower doses might help keep estrogen under control.
  4. Workout & Sports Performance: There aren't many studies on this, but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) consider tadalafil a performance-enhancing substance. PDE-5 inhibitors increase the "pump" in the gym and may mildly boost testosterone. There might be some endurance-boosting effects as well.

What You Should Do

You should definitely not take any drug without a doctor's order. Tadalafil, like all drugs, has potential side effects and contraindications, and I'll let you Google them. Personally, I'm going to experiment with taking 5mg every two to three days. Some progressive experts think doctors may someday recommend tadalafil for general health benefits. I don't want to wait.

By the way, I threw all this evidence at my doctor and told him I was already self-prescribing. He said he'd like to see larger studies… but he wrote the script anyway. So, no more gray market for me.

Other Things to Consider

First, if you have any conditions requiring serious treatment, get that treatment.

Second, tadalafil doesn't cure BPH; it only treats the symptoms. We need to show our prostates some daily love by taking P-Well (Buy at Amazon). Its ingredients help protect prostate cells from oxidative stress and inflammation. It also boosts NO for stronger erections. Think of it as a "multivitamin" for overall male sexual health.


Third, if you're going to use a natural T booster, choose one that doesn't enlarge the prostate. Longjack is shown in studies to boost T without prostate enlargement (or testicular shrinkage). It also improves erectile harness. Omega-Man (Buy at Amazon) contains the high-absorption version of Longjack.

Buy Omega-Man at Amazon

Finally, remember that the most important thing you can do to prevent all the problems that tadalafil may be able to help is to exercise, eat well, not be fat, and supplement wisely. If you're already doing all of that, but you can't seem to stop aging, consider tadalafil.


Two insurmountable problems with PDE5 inhibitors for me: (1) terrible backache for several days following and (2) terrible heartburn for several WEEKS after using. Bummer.

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That sucks. Back pain and some stomach/digestion issues like dyspepsia are on the common side effects list, though. No issues here yet, but I’m on a low-dose, every 2-3 days schedule, not daily.

Lap rocket?
Only for health benefits?
Hmmmm :wink:

At 70 and with prior prostate cancer, been taking 5mg daily for several years (prescribed by my forward thinking urologist). Seems helpful.

Btw, in spite of replaced hips, shoulders, combat wounds, etc. , at 5’10”, 185 lbs plus, can still knock out multiple sets of pull ups, dips, weighted pushups, high rep goblet squats with 1/3 body weight, and, in spite of nightly shot or two of vodka and post reeaaal late meal followed by ice cream or cookies, still show four pack.

Aaaannnd wife 23 years younger.

Which is to say, the daily 5mg can’t hurt :person_tipping_hand:t3:


I take 5 mg every 3rd day. Only issue has been some blurred vision.

Well, if that isn’t an endorsement I don’t know what is! :grin:

Thanks for chiming in!

Since I’m on the same schedule, I’ll keep an eye out for that one. (See what I did there?)

You know, technically, every other day is probably best, but for some reason I’m thinking every 3 works well for general health purposes, and with fewer possible side effects.

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Eye do see what you did there.

I have no scientific backing for what I’m doing. It just felt right, so it’s interesting you’ve independently come to the same conclusion.

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Same. Made my back ache. I take sildenafil, which seems to lessen the backache issue, but I pretty much always wake up nauseous the next morning ( or middle of the night) and have a headache. Wish I didn’t need it, but stuff happens when you’re 53, I guess.

I was curious about the back pain issue, though I’m not experiencing it. Seems to be an odd side effect for a boner/BPH drug. Here’s what I found with a little ChatGPT’ing:

Levitra was the only one that didn’t stuff my nose up or give me a headache or backache. Why they quit making it is anyone’s guess, as there sure seems to be a hefty profit in the ED drugs at today’s prices.

make sure you have a normal blood pressure

I had it checked on Thursday and it was 127/83. So “high normal,” I guess?

Been on tadalafil for about 9 months. Civilian wrote it for mild to moderate bph issues. VA will not write it because it is 5 mg daily for bph even though I have service connected ED. VA will write me rx for sildenafil but cannot take side effects of stuffy nose and color vision issues. Zero side effects with tadalafil and helps immensely for my BPH and the bedroom. Guess I am lucky for that.

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Been on dr. prescribed 5mg Tadalafil daily for about 3 months now and am loving all aspects of it! The reason I brought it up to my doctor was, after doing some research online, I discovered that it could help ease urination symptoms like frequent need to urinate or waking up several times during the night to pee (that was what was bugging me), and my doc said no problem I’ll write the 5mg/ed for you, but your insurance will prob not cover it, which it did not. However, with my pharmacy applying their discount card/coupons (they have something like Good RX which they can apply to customers’ meds to give them a discount), I believe I pay around $13 for a month’s supply (30 5mg tablets). And I believe that BPH was what was causing my nighttime frequent urge to go, but I’ll note that my regular PSA results in my bloodwork are healthy and as are my “manual” prostate checks.

Only side effect I have, and it’s very hit or miss, is the stuffy, congested nose as sometimes around an hour after taking my daily dose in the morning, I will get quite congested. But I have an OTC nasal spray that takes care of that easily, I believe it’s called Astepro? It’s a non-steroidal spray and works much better than flonase. I only really use the spray when either I have a reaction to tadalafil or if my allergies in general are really bad, so NOT everyday as I do not want to be dependent.

I HIGHLY recommend any man here to ask their doctor to prescribe them tadalafil! Hell, even if you don’t have any TRT related BPH-urination issues, get on it for the great muscular pumps, the reduced blood pressure, the supposed heart-health benefits (google for info), for how the medication makes your junk hang lower/bigger just flacid, and of course, for how it makes you always ready for sex, with the ability of just a strong breeze to give you wood! I was fortunately not suffering any erectile issues prior to being on this medication, but being on it, you have this added confidence that if some regular kissing/contact with your spouse/gf starts to go beyond that, you have ZERO thoughts about your abilities to perform…multiple times in a row! I’ve recommended it to several of my lifting buddies and 1 or 2 did get on it and they confirmed that they love how they feel on it and they love the increased sexual confidence and stamina for multiple romps as well. IMHO, men everywhere should be taking this daily just like their fish oils or multivitamins, and you get two key benefits: enhanced health from the heart/BP effects and a better, more fulfilling sex life. Who in the hell wouldn’t want that?

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Thanks for the detailed, first-hand report! That’s one of the great values of this community.

Keep us posted on your results and observations from the 5 mg several times a week.

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Here’s an update:

I wrote in the article that I did not have ED. That’s true. But I have seen a difference.

Without getting too graphic, let’s just say that there’s a difference between teenager erections and middle-age man erections. Daily tadalafil along with P-Well gets you closer to the former, even if you didn’t really notice a difference with age. For example, speed of getting an erection and ability to maintain it 100% throughout an extended “session.”

And a slightly embarrassing example: I was wearing a fanny pack while on a light hike and it moved around to the front of my body. I have my concealed carry permit and had a 9MM bumping around near my stuff. Wasn’t thinking about anything sexual at the time (though my wife looked great in her Lululemons walking in front of me), but the bumpity-bump of the firearm was enough to get the blood flowing. Sorta like when you could sport spontaneous wood when a strong breeze hit you as a teenager.

Well, at least I don’t have to deal with teachers calling me up to the chalkboard at inopportune times these days.

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