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Erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation (PE) are relatively common. While there are several prescription medications that can help, there are also many over-the-counter (OTC) supplements that advertise having the same effects too, but often offer little evidence.

One of those supplements is VigRX Plus. Though it doesn’t require a prescription, it promises to provide harder erections and increased stamina, and it claims to be clinically proven with no known side effects.

But the product’s health claims are somewhat misleading, and there isn’t much safety or efficacy data to back its promises.

Below, we’ll explore the research behind the supplement’s claims. We’ll also highlight trusted alternatives for improved sexual experiences.

VigRX Plus is marketed as a male enhancement pill fortified with what the company calls “potent aphrodisiacs.”

In addition to stated benefits, like increased stamina and harder erections, VigRX Plus also assures users faster recovery and increased satisfaction from sexual encounters.

This supplement is marketed primarily toward those who experience:

VigRX Plus claims to help improve sexual performance by using herbal ingredients that increase testosterone production, increase blood flow and libido, and maybe even encourage better sleep and reduce fatigue.

Here are the listed active ingredients in each VigRX Plus pill:

  • Korean red ginseng. Reputed to have benefits, like reducing inflammation and increasing energy, ginseng has also been popularly recommended for those experiencing ED.
  • Saw palmetto. This shrub is touted to treat everything from hair loss and migraine to low testosterone, though there isn’t sufficient research to support these claims.
  • Hawthorn berry. These popular berries are high in antioxidants.
  • Ginkgo biloba leaf. Ginkgo biloba may improve blood circulation — an important feature for lasting erections — and a 2021 review noted its potential as a natural phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. PDE5 inhibitors in the form of prescription medications, like Viagra and Cialis, are commonly used to treat ED.
  • Damiana leaf. This plant has long been considered an aphrodisiac, but evidence on its effectiveness is lacking.
  • Tribulus terrestris vine. Said to improve libido, research on tribulus terrestri is mixed.
  • Catuaba bark. This plant is included in some supplements to help reduce fatigue.
  • Muira puama bark. This is a type of bush native to the Amazon.
  • Cuscuta seed extract. Also known as dodders, Cuscuta is a group of parasitic plants.
  • Horny goat weed. Horny goat weed is thought to be useful for ED, but evidence is mixed.
  • Bioperine. This patented ingredient is made from black pepper and contains a high amount of piperine, a naturally occurring black pepper compound. Bioperine is especially noted for being a bioavailability enhancer, meaning it can help increase the absorption of other vitamins and minerals.

You’ll also find inactive ingredients, like dicalcium phosphate, cellulose, and red food dye, on the list.

Pros

  • some reviewers report seeing results in just a month
  • orders processed and shipped within 48 hours with a tracking number
  • ships in discrete packaging with a generic name listed as the shipping address.
  • offers a “no questions asked” return policy within 67 days of purchase
  • company website shows survey results from users with both positive and negative responses

Cons

  • limited research on overall effectiveness
  • may take up to 3 months to see full results, according to the manufacturer
  • continued use is required to maintain any positive effects
  • can be pricey for some budgets

You may want to hold off on placing an order for this supplement. While there’s limited evidence on some of these ingredients being effective for sexual health, there isn’t enough quality research to say they definitely work.

Additionally, a 2010 study of 85 people with ED found no statistically significant effects of VigRX Plus compared with a placebo.

This is in contrast with claims made by VigRX Plus. The brand claims its study on 78 men found that VigRX Plus caused increases in sexual satisfaction, erection capabilities, sex drive, and more.

However, this study was conducted by a research firm, and doesn’t appear to have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

VigRX Plus consists mostly of herbal supplements, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe.

For starters, it isn’t clear whether the company routinely tests its product for purity and quality. There isn’t any third-party testing information on the VigRX Plus site, and it doesn’t appear to be NSF Certified.

Similarly, safety, efficacy, and side effect information is lacking. Though the brand links to one safety and efficacy study on the company site, it’s an animal study from more than 10 years ago, and it notes that more studies are needed to fully evaluate the product’s long-term safety.

Additionally, two animal studies on side effects published on the VigRX Plus website were completed by a research group in 2005 and don’t appear to have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The first study notes that a dosage of 30 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day resulted in a significant decrease in liver and kidney weight, while the second study found no organ changes at a dosage of 15 mg/kg/day.

Additionally, there’s evidence that some ingredients in VigRX Plus may cause side effects for some people.

For instance, insomnia is a potential side effect of ginseng, and saw palmetto may cause digestive issues or headaches. Ginkgo biloba can also cause side effects, and it may interact with some medications, like blood thinners.

If you still want to try VigRX Plus, talk with your doctor first. This is especially important if you take any other supplements or medications.

The makers of VigRX Plus recommend taking it daily. Each box is a 1-month supply with a cost of about $90. If you purchase more than one box, the price per box goes down.

VigRX appears to have a clean record when it comes to safety and legal compliance.

The brand is a part of Leading Edge Health Inc, an organization founded in 2002. The company hasn’t been issued any warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and have an A+ rating within the organization.

If you experience ED, ejaculation difficulties, or libido concerns, there are other treatments you may want to explore.

ED treatments

Prescription medications commonly prescribed for ED include:

  • sildenafil (Viagra)
  • avanafil (Stendra)
  • tadalafil (Cialis)
  • vardenafil (Levitra)

There are other options, like:

PE treatments

Common treatments for PE include:

Libido

If you want to increase your libido, you may want to try one of these tips.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of ED, PE, or general sexual performance issues, it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor. Conditions like ED and PE can begin due to a number of factors, including dietary changes, mental health changes, lifestyle changes, and an increase in stress.

While herbal supplements and remedies may help alleviate some of your symptoms, very few things can replace the advice of a medical professional who knows your personal medical history.

Also, consider talking with your doctor if you choose to take any supplements that are outside of your usual nutritional intake. They can advise you about any of the ingredients that might cause a negative or allergic reaction, and they can offer you their opinion on a supplement’s effectiveness.

Does VigRX Plus work?

While VigRX Plus is alleged to enhance stamina, libido, and satisfaction from sex, there’s very little scientific backing to these claims.

Besides a study from VigRX confirming its effectiveness, an external review found the medication to be no more effective than a placebo.

Is VigRX Plus safe?

VigRX Plus contains herbal supplements, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe.

It’s best to talk with a doctor before trying any new supplement, especially if you currently take any other supplements or medications.

Is VigRX Plus FDA approved?

No. The FDA doesn’t approve dietary supplements like VigRX Plus.

VigRX Plus is an over-the-counter supplement said to increase libido and sexual satisfaction and provide harder erections. However, there isn’t much evidence to back these claims.

Although the supplement mainly contains herbs, it’s best to talk with your doctor before trying it or any other supplements.


Courtesy of Beth Plumptre

Elizabeth Plumptre is a freelance health and wellness writer. She has spent the last 4 years helping brands like Hims, MindBodyGreen, and Prose create content that resonates with diverse readers. You can check out more of her work by visiting bethwrotethat.com.