Sildenafil is a specific inhibitor of phosphodiesterase (PDE) type 5 and represents a powerful therapy for male erectile dysfunction (ED) of different aetiology. Recently, sildenafil has been shown to restore erections in temporary ED related to the need of semen collection for assisted reproductive techniques. In this study, we investigated whether sildenafil administration modifies seminal parameters and/or erectile function in normal healthy volunteers. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over two period investigation we enrolled 20 healthy male volunteers (mean +/- SE age 32 +/- 0.5 years). Subjects were not using any medication for the 3 month period prior to the study and were engaged in a stable relationship with proven fertility. The effects of sildenafil (100 mg) on seminal parameters and erectile function after audiovisual sexual stimulation were evaluated by semen analysis and by colour-Duplex ultrasound (the Resistive Index) respectively. In all subjects, sildenafil caused no changes in seminal and erection parameters when compared to placebo. Interestingly, sildenafil administration led to a marked reduction of the post-ejaculatory refractory time (10.8 +/- 0.9 min versus 2.6 +/- 0.7 min for placebo and sildenafil respectively; P < 0.0001). These results indicate that in normal subjects acute sildenafil treatment does not modify semen characteristics and has a positive influence over the resumption of erections following ejaculation in the presence of a continuous erotic stimulus.