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Investigating Women's Preference for Sildenafil or Tadalafil Use by Their Partners with Erectile Dysfunction: The Partners' Preference Study


Helen M. Conaglen, PhD, PO Box 4423, Hamilton East, Hamilton, New Zealand 3247. Tel: +64-7-834-1520; Fax: +64-7-834-1519; E-mail:


Introduction.  Several preference studies comparing a short-acting with a longer-acting phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor have been conducted in men. Most men in those studies preferred tadalafil rather than sildenafil, and recent post hoc analysis of one study described several factors associated with men's treatment preference. No prospective studies have investigated the woman partners' preferences.

Aim.  To investigate the treatment preference of women who were partners of men using oral medications for erectile dysfunction (ED) in a single-center open-label crossover study.

Methods.  One hundred heterosexual couples in stable relationships, with male partners having ED based on the erectile function subscale of the International Index of Erectile Function, were randomly assigned to receive sildenafil or tadalafil for a 12-week phase, followed by another 12-week period using the alternate drug. Male and female participants completed sexual event diaries during both study phases, and the female participants were interviewed at baseline, midpoint, and end of study.

Main Outcome Measures.  Primary outcome data were the women's final interviews during which they were asked which drug they preferred and their reasons for that preference.

Results.  A total of 79.2% of the women preferred their partners' use of tadalafil, while 15.6% preferred sildenafil. Preference was not affected by age or treatment order randomization. Women preferring tadalafil reported feeling more relaxed, experiencing less pressure, and enjoying a more natural or spontaneous sexual experience as reasons for their choice. Mean number of tablets used, events recorded, events per week, and days between events were not significantly different during each study phase.

Conclusion.  Women's preferences were similar to men when using these two drugs. While the women's reasons for preferring tadalafil emphasized relaxed, satisfying, longer-lasting sexual experiences, those preferring sildenafil focused on satisfaction and drug effectiveness for their partner. Conaglen HM, and Conaglen JV. Investigating women's preference for sildenafil or tadalafil use by their partners with erectile dysfunction: The partners' preference study. J Sex Med 2008;5:1198–1207.