What Is The “Recharging” Period & Can Guys Shorten It?


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There you are — in bed with your partner, panting, sweaty and ready for round two. Your brain is cocked and ready to rock, but your body just… Can’t. Literally. 

If you’ve ever wondered why you don’t have the limitless energy needed to keep up with the pace of your brain, we have a name you can give to this cosmic-level disappointment: the refractory period.

What is the refractory period? And why is it the natural enemy of our desire? Like the Friday before a long weekend, the purpose is unclear to most, but we have some answers.

Because, after all, the point is to get back to the thing that put you in this refractory state in the first place.

What is the Refractory Period?

The refractory period is the boneless period of time from after you come during intercourse or masturbation. It is sometimes referred to as part of the “resolution” phase of the body’s response cycle — that sharp transition where things go from “hot and heavy” to “I wonder what’s on TV.” 

After you come, your genitals return to a flaccid state and your level of interest in performing usually goes from intense to virtually non-existent. During this period, you won’t get aroused, nor will you spend much time thinking about activity.

You’ve undoubtedly experienced this countless times, but there’s a lot more going on than being hungry or sleepy.

The response cycle has four phases:

  • Excitement. During the first phase of the response cycle, your heart rate quickens and blood flow to your genitals increase.

  • Plateau. This phase begins after the excitement phase, allows for intercourse and continues until excitement starts to build just before you come.

  • Come. This phase is self-explanatory (we hope). Your pleasure becomes more intense and your heart rate and blood pressure reach their highest points. During this phase, you generally come in response to stimulation.

  • Resolution. Your body slowly returns to its normal functioning. Your heart rate decreases, your genitals become flaccid and you feel simultaneously satisfied and exhausted. Part of the resolution phase is the refractory period —  it is difficult or even impossible to come again.

Napping, by the way, is typically step number five. At least in our experience.

Why Does the Refractory Period Happen?

Like that strange noise your car makes in winter (and never at the shop), we actually have no idea why the refractory period happens.

One theory is that various hormones released during and after coming — including oxytocin — play specific roles in limiting arousal and preventing erection during the refractory period.

But experts still aren’t completely sure why the refractory period is a thing.

(RelatedWhat Is The Most Effective Male Enhancement Pill?)

What is the Average Refractory Period?

Now that you know at least a theory of how and why, we can discuss the more important question: how long does the refractory period fourth phase last?

Unfortunately, there’s no specific answer to that question because the refractory period can vary in time from one man to another. 

Some men may have a short refractory period that lasts only a few minutes, while others might not feel interested in performing for several hours.

While there are some connections between these numbers and other factors, the truth is that we don’t have much research on the topic.

Carrying out scientific research on the average refractory period isn’t particularly easy, after all — imagine asking hundreds of couples to monitor the amount of time that passes between rounds one and two.

Arguably, the more practical information is what can shorten or lengthen this period. That’s a topic on which we have more to share. 

What Factors Affect the Refractory Period?

Here’s the hard-hitting truth, fellas: some baseball players can handle a doubleheader, and some can’t. Some guys can squeeze in 36 holes, and some guys are lucky just to make it through the back nine.

As a society, we know a ton about men’s health, from how erections work to the causes of issues like ED. Why the refractory period happens, however, still isn’t one of those things.

There can be a lot of variables involved in the equation of a refractory timetable, but three that may play a role are: 

  • Age. According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, younger men may only need a few minutes to recover afteward, while for older guys, it may take as long as 12 to 24 hours.

  • Cardiovascular health. Erections are all about healthy blood flow. When you feel aroused, your genitals become erect as blood flows into your corpora cavernosa — the two areas of soft, sponge-like tissue that form the bulk of your genitals.

  • The arousal factor. If you’re in the mood for it, you might feel ready to go again in relatively little time. However, if you’re tired or just not feeling in the mood, you may take longer to feel ready for round two. 

All of these factors, in addition to the hormonal response that occurs in your body after coming, likely affect the amount of time it takes to recover afterward. 

How to Shorten Your Refractory Period

Because we don’t know much about how or why the male refractory period occurs following arousal, there are very few proven, evidence-based strategies for reducing the length of your refractory period and getting ready for the bedroom faster after you come. 

However, research has identified a few techniques that may work, such as using medication for erectile dysfunction. We’ve discussed these findings below and explained how they might help you recover faster after arousal.

(RelatedHow Does ED Medication Work?)

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Medications

Currently, a possible option for shortening your post refractory period is using medication for erectile dysfunction. 

Oral ED medications belong to a class of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors, which work by increasing blood flow to your genitals when you feel aroused. 

ED medications aren’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for reducing the refractory period, and studies on whether they are effective at this are mixed. 

  • A study published in 2000 looked at the effects of sildenafil on 20 men’s recovery time. One group was given 100mg of sildenafil and the other group was given a non-therapeutic placebo. The men who received the sildenafil had a significantly shorter post refractory time (2.6 ± 0.7 minutes) than the men who were given the placebo (10.8 ± 0.9 minutes).

  • In A different study of men with PE participants were given either sildenafil or a placebo. Although sildenafil didn’t significantly improve latency, the men in the sildenafil group had an average postrefractory time of around half that of the men in the placebo group.

  • A 2005 study published in Urology concluded that while sildenafil has several benefits for performance, it doesn’t appear to shorten the refractory period after coming.

Currently, there are four medications approved by the FDA for erectile dysfunction, all of which can be taken before for improved erections and, potentially, a shorter refractory period.

They include:

  • Viagra (sildenafil)

  • Cialis (tadalafil)

  • Stendra (avanafil)

  • Levitra (vardenafil)

Other Techniques to Shorten Your Refractory Period

Beyond using erectile dysfunction medications like sildenafil (generic Viagra) or tadalafil, making certain other changes to your habits and lifestyle may help shorten your refractory period and enhance your performance — and we’re really stressing the may:

  • Pay attention to your cardiovascular health. Erections are all about blood and the way it flows in your body. If you find it difficult to get hard again (and especially if you’re prone to ED in round one), focusing on your overall health and, specifically, your cardiovascular health, may help. We’ve discussed these techniques in detail in our guide to improving blood flow.

  • Limit your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is closely linked with many forms of dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction and low drive. If you’d like to enjoy round two as soon as possible, it’s best to avoid drinking excessively. 

  • Try new positions, scenarios and fantasies. Optimal performance is all about stimulation and arousal, so to spice up your life, try something new. After you finish round one, try new forms of foreplay or positions to make you feel aroused, excited and ready to go.

  • Try to exercise and eat well. Generally speaking, staying active and maintaining a healthy body weight can do wonders for your performance. Our guide to techniques for a stronger erection lists tactics that you can use to improve your health and well-being. Simple things like eating heart-healthy foods and reducing your salt intake can majorly impact your performance. 

The Bottom Line on the Male Refractory Period

If your goal is to come multiple times a night, then you’ve got to work the system. And by “the system,” we mean “your body.” 

Understanding how your refractory period affects function is arguably the best way to “hack” more rounds into your life. 

To get more in, remember:

  • The time between the last time you come and your body ready for again is called your refractory period.

  • The refractory period varies from one man to another, meaning it might take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours for you to recover afterward. If you’re in your 40s, 50s or older, it might even take the better part of a day before you’re ready to have more again. 

  • It’s perfectly normal to lose interest in performing and have difficulty getting hard.

  • While there are no FDA-approved treatment options specifically for reducing a long refractory period, ED medications like sildenafil and tadalafil show potential.

This article originally appeared on Hims.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org

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The Do’s & Dont’s of Taking Metformin for Weight Loss

The Do’s & Dont’s of Taking Metformin for Weight Loss

We get it — no one enjoys taking medications. It’s just another thing to tackle on your neverending to-do list. 

If you’ve been prescribed metformin, it may be because you have prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, weight gain issues caused by antipsychotic medication or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Also sold under the brand names Glucophage®, Fortamet®, Riomet® and Glumetza®, it’s one of the most common drugs prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes. But metformin isn’t without its side effects.

Though the side effects can be a bummer, a key strategy for mitigating them is timing. In other words, taking metformin at the right time of day can help curb unwanted effects.

Wondering what the best time of day to take metformin is to reduce side effects? It really depends.

Kind of an annoying answer, right? Don’t worry — we’ll cover how to determine when to take metformin, the best way to avoid side effects and how to stick with a schedule. Let’s get into it.

Tatsiana Niamera/istockphoto

It’s super important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions on how to take your version of metformin. The rule of thumb is to start low and adjust slowly.

Everyone’s reactions to the medication are different, so there’s no fixed dose for people with diabetes. 

How do you decide when to take metformin each day? First, you’ll need to know which type of metformin you’re prescribed and what your daily dosage is.

Dosages vary, as metformin treatment is based on the effectiveness of the medication and your tolerance — how much metformin your body can handle without side effects.

Metformin medication comes in immediate-release tablets, extended-release tablets and liquid form. Each has different requirements in terms of when and how to take it: 

  • Regular metformin tablets are taken with meals two or three times a day.

  • The extended-release metformin tablet is typically taken once a day with your evening meal.

  • Liquid metformin is typically taken with meals once or twice a day.

Here are the recommended methods for your starting dose:

  • Take 500 milligrams (mg) orally once a day or 850 milligrams once a day with meals. 

  • Increase the dose in increments of 500 milligrams weekly or 850 milligrams every one to two weeks, up to a maximum dose of 2,550 milligrams per day, taken in divided doses.

  • Doses above 2,000 milligrams may be better tolerated when given three times a day with meals.

The gist is always to take your metformin with food and aim to take your medications at the same time each day to keep yourself on a routine. Avoid taking it on an empty stomach, as you might end up with an upset stomach. 

As always, if you ever have questions about your prescription, please let your healthcare provider know. Never make assumptions about a medication, especially a new one. Remember, you didn’t go to that appointment and pay the copay for nothing.

(Related: Metformin for Weight Loss)


All medications come with an instruction manual and FDA disclaimers, but who’s reading those? If you accidentally tossed your information packet in the trash, it’s okay — we’ll guide you through taking metformin.

As mentioned above, you should always take your metformin medication with food. Doing this can help limit stomach or bowel problems, commonly occurring within the first few weeks of treatment.

Depending on your health, your healthcare provider may provide a personalized diet plan to help you manage diabetes.

Here are the dos and don’ts for taking metformin tablets:

  1. Don’t chew or crush the tablets. Unless instructed by a healthcare professional, don’t chew or crush your tablets, as this can release all the medicine at once, thus increasing your risk of gastrointestinal side effects.

  2. Don’t split the tablet. Unless your healthcare provider tells you to do so, don’t split the tablet.

  3. Do swallow the whole tablet. Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to wash down the tablet.

  4. Do take your medication at the same time each day. Make it a habit to take your metformin medicine at the same time each day.

Here are the steps for taking the liquid form of metformin:

  1. Measure the liquid. You can use a marked measuring spoon, a medicine cup or an oral syringe. Avoid using a teaspoon from your kitchen, as it may not hold the proper amount of liquid.

  2. Use your dosing cup. You’ll need this to measure the mixed extended-release oral suspension.


As noted, timing your metformin dosage is crucial for mitigating the risk — and overall severity — of side effects. But what are those side effects, exactly?

For metformin, the most common side effects are diarrhea, nausea and upset stomach.

In rare instances, metformin may lead to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This may happen if you’re not eating enough food, are drinking alcohol or are taking other medications to lower blood sugar.

A more severe but uncommon side effect of taking metformin is lactic acidosis. The condition occurs when there’s a buildup of lactic acid in the bloodstream. Lactic acid is produced when your oxygen levels become low in areas of the body where metabolism occurs or in response to sympathetic overactivity.

Metformin is one of many medications that can cause lactic acidosis. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include nausea, vomiting and weakness. Fortunately, the risk of lactic acidosis is a rare side effect of metformin.

If you experience serious side effects, seek medical advice immediately. Things can worsen quickly if you don’t get medical help.

If you have any questions or concerns about taking metformin, reach out to your healthcare provider.

(Related: Weight Loss Medication: Are They Effective?)


Now that you know a bit more about metformin dosing, side effects and the recommendations for taking it, we’ve got a few tips for you.

As mentioned, the best time to take metformin really depends on your unique needs and how you react to the medication. The one constant here is that you should take it with food and water. So, working backward, the best time to take metformin is based on when you eat.

Here are some tips and considerations to keep in mind:

  • If you’re not a breakfast person, taking metformin in the morning might not be a great option. Think about what time you typically have your first meal and take your pill after that.

  • Alternatively, if you usually skip lunch or eat light dinners, taking metformin in the morning after breakfast could work best.

  • Stomach and bowel issues can be metformin side effects, especially when you’re first starting out. If you work from home and are close to a bathroom, you may be fine taking your meds at any time. However, if you have a long morning commute or work at an office, you might want to take metformin at night when you’re home, at least for the first month or so.

  • If you’re struggling to remember to take your meds, try stacking this habit onto another one. For example, leave your pills next to something you use or do each day, like your toothbrush or coffee maker. Do you feed your pet at the same time every day? Take your metformin at that time, too.


It’s not the end of the world if you forget to take your daily metformin dose. Just don’t make it a habit, okay?

If you miss one dose of metformin, try to take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s close to the time of your next dose, just skip the missed dose and continue taking it according to your normal schedule. You should never take two doses at the same time to make up for a forgotten dose.

Keep in mind, the purpose of taking metformin is to regulate your blood glucose levels. So if you miss too many doses, hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) may occur.

If it’s difficult to remember when to take metformin, set an alarm to remind yourself. You can also ask your healthcare provider for tips on remembering to take your medication. 

As easy as it can be to forget a dose of metformin here and there, there’s a maximum daily dose, so it’s possible to take too much metformin. 

Metformin overdose can include hypoglycemia and the following symptoms:

  • Abnormally fast or slow heartbeat

  • Decreased appetite

  • Deep, rapid breathing

  • Dizziness

  • General discomfort

  • Extreme tiredness

  • Feeling cold

  • Flushing of the skin

  • Vomiting

  • Nausea

  • Stomach pain

  • Lightheadedness

  • Muscle pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Weakness

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, please contact the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222 or call emergency services. 


Life gets busy, and it can be easy to forget to take your prescription drugs. Remembering all the instructions on dosage and timing can be another hurdle.

Still, it’s crucial to understand what you’re taking so you don’t have to deal with those nasty side effects. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Metformin is a first-line medication for type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes take metformin to help control high blood sugar levels. Diabetes can cause many health issues, including sexual health challenges like erectile dysfunction (ED). Besides type 2 diabetes management, metformin has been shown to help non-diabetic people lose weight. The medication isn’t prescribed for type 1 diabetes.

  • The best time to take metformin depends on the medication type and dosage. Some people take metformin once, twice or even three times a day, depending on the type of metformin (tablet or liquid) and how many milligrams they’re prescribed.

  • Always take metformin with food and water. It’s recommended to take metformin after eating food and wash it down with fluids, such as water. 

  • Don’t alter the tablets. Unless instructed by a healthcare professional, never crush, chew or split the tablets, as this can alter the effectiveness of the medicine in your body. You’ll want to store them at room temperature too.

  • Prepare for potential side effects. Taking metformin may cause unpleasant side effects like diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach and, in rare cases, lactic acidosis. 

  • Don’t double up on metformin if you miss a dose. Instead, just skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your regular time.

Interested in learning more about how certain medical conditions and medications cause weight loss? Here’s a look at the connection between weight loss and depression and whether antidepressants lead to weight loss

If you’re looking to learn more about weight loss treatments, our telehealth services can connect you with a licensed healthcare provider who can answer your questions and offer medical guidance.

This article originally appeared on Forhers.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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