Hims is an innovator in online healthcare for men, combining the doctor’s visit and a pharmacy on the Internet. Hims got started after CEO Andrew Dudum’s sister confronted him in 2016 about his neglected health.
After starting in skin care, Dudum and Hims have expanded into sexual health treatments for men, including erectile dysfunction (ED). So how does Hims stack up? Does Hims provide a quality service that will lead to positive health outcomes for men dealing with ED? And how do the costs compare to alternatives? We thoroughly tested Hims to give you a breakdown of pros, cons and everything you can expect before you consider becoming a patient.
- Convenience - The entire doctor’s visit plus pharmacy is online.
- No waiting - Your online visit begins as soon as you sign up.
- Quality care - All Hims doctors are licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. and are Board-certified across many medical specialties.
- Low cost - generic drugs are especially well priced.
- Privacy - Your personal medical data is encrypted and never shared.
- Insurance coverage will vary depending on the prescription and plan.
- Most non-prescription treatments options would benefit from either self-guided research or, in some cases, an in-person doctor’s visit.
For men who know what they want and need, Hims is an excellent solution for ED treatment. Their service eliminates a trip both to a doctor’s office and to a pharmacy. For speed, convenience and low-priced generic drugs, we recommend Hims for ED treatment.
For our quick video review of the Hims online doctors visit for ED, watch here:
Hims provides fast, convenient online healthcare aimed at Erectile Dysfunction and sexual wellness.
Hims is one of the leading online sexual healthcare services for men. Now licensed in all 50 states, Hims gets high marks for doctor quality, privacy and convenience. *Prescription products require a consultation with a physician who will determine if prescription is appropriate.
- Why you should trust us
- How Hims works for ED
- What types of ED products does Hims offer?
- Hims ED pricing and subscriptions
- Is Hims for me?
- Alternatives and complements to Hims ED treatment
- Caveats but not deal-breakers
- What criteria do we use to evaluate home health products and services?
- HSA, FSA and health insurance
- Privacy considerations
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This review, like all medical-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for medical accuracy. Additionally we extensively test, experience and order from each medical service we review. In this case, our team has spent many hours testing the Hims ED service as a patient, chatting with Hims doctors on their messaging system and receiving Hims ED medication in the mail.
We try our best to give you, our readers, unbiased, marketing-jargon-free descriptions of all the at-home health services evaluated based on the latest scientific evidence and medical standards.
Hims has developed a very simple process for erectile dysfunction treatment. As most men coming to the site for this reason already know what they want, Hims has tailored a process that can take as little as 15 minutes to complete, from our testing. Here’s how the process for ED works.
Begin your online doctors visit
If you are a US resident, Hims offers a free online doctor’s visit. To start, patients complete a health, medical history and lifestyle questionnaire online. The approximately 20 questions are primarily multiple choice. Most of the questions can be answered easily, but patients will need to know their blood pressure in the last 6 months.
Review prescription options and prices
After your questionnaire is completed, patients get to review over four different possible prescription options with associated pricing. Later in our article we’ll review all treatment options and related pricing in detail.
Choose dosage and frequency
After indicating a treatment preference, you will let the doctors at Hims know how often you’d plan to use it (per month). If approved later for a prescription, this will help determine how many pills per month you might need. Additionally, if you have experience with ED medication, you can indicate your preference for dosage per pill. For example, Hims recommends 60 mg of Viagra® or generic equivalent per dose if you are new to the drug. Lastly in this step you select a shipping frequency: 1, 3 or 6 month plans are available.
Verify your identity
Next you will be asked to upload a photo of your ID and a recent selfie. This is an identity verification step that Hims requires in order to conduct medical and pharmacy care safely online.
Get matched with a doctor
At this step in the process, a doctor reviews your case. In our testing, we received a response within a minute on their secure messaging system, providing reading materials related to treatment options. And then within 8 hours we received a personalized message from a Hims doctor about our case. We were recommended ED medication based on our questionnaire responses. At this stage, patients can message any questions to the doctor about their individualized treatment recommendation in the Hims secure messaging system.
Receive your treatment
If you are a good candidate for ED medication, and have no further questions, the doctor will prescribe your treatment. At this point your drugs will be sent to your home. In our case, medication arrived within a few days.
The Hims ED medication we received:
Hims offers a wide variety of ED medications, many available for a fraction of the price you would pay via traditional routes.
- Sildenafil - the active ingredient in Viagra® that is significantly cheaper than the little blue pill. It is the most popular Hims ED treatment.
- Tadalafil (generic Cialis®, one of the best ED treatments available) is more expensive than Sildenafil, but can help maintain erections with a simple daily dosage and is still more affordable than the brand name Cialis®.
- Stendra® (avanafil) is the fastest acting ED medication and can work in as little as 15 min for many men.
- Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) is the most well known and also available. Viagra® is expensive (over 10 times more expensive than the generic at Hims), but the proven track record of Viagra® is appealing to some patients.
Pricing varies broadly across erectile dysfunction medications. One of the main drivers is whether patients choose a generic or a brand name ED drug.
- Sildenafil: $4/dose.
- Generic Viagra®: $34/dose.
- Viagra®: $70/dose.
- Tadalafil: $240/month (unlike Viagra® equivalents, this generic Cialis® drug is sold on a monthly plan by Hims).
- Stendra®: $175/month (like Tadalafil, also sold on a monthly plan).
Here is a view of the pricing plan on the Hims ED platform:
Hims is a great service if you know that ED medication is a good solution for you. Patients get to bypass going to an office for an in-person visit followed by what would normally be another visit to a pharmacy. The speed and convenience of Hims are far superior to a traditional route.
Though Hims does talk about non-drug influences on ED, such as stress, exercise and sleep, Hims might not be a perfect fit for someone who wants to treat drugs as a last resort and explore non-prescription solutions first. However, for men who know what they want, Hims is an excellent service.
As an alternative or compliment to a Hims prescription ED treatment, we recommend exploring some of the latest scientific research around sexuality and desire. Most men don’t understand that over the last 20 years, the most scientifically respected model of sexuality is called the dual control model. It posits that sexual arousal is influenced by a series of “accelerators,” while inhibition is influenced by “brakes.” These accelerators and brakes can be highly influenced by environment and psychological factors.
Everyone’s accelerators and brakes are different and our most highly recommended book exploring this research for the general public is Come as You Are by sex researcher Dr. Emily Nagoski. In addition to reviewing the latest science, it contains a quiz that helps readers understand and self-diagnose their own accelerator and brakes system. This kind of sexual self-awareness can be a replacement or great complement to prescription drug treatment.
In our testing, when we received our Hims prescription in the mail for Sildenafil, the pharmacy paperwork described the drug as follows: “It is used to treat high blood pressure in the lungs. It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.” Because of our research background, we know that Sildenafil is an FDA-approved medication for ED treatment, but the paperwork didn’t mention anything about the reason we were prescribed the drug by Hims.
Prescription drugs are often prescribed for different reasons. In this case, Sildenafil is sometimes prescribed for patients with blood pressure conditions, but it is also effective for ED. We wanted to point this out in advance because otherwise the messaging may confuse some patients who expect their prescription paperwork to be all about erectile dysfunction.
We customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For most online healthcare services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Quality: Are the doctors on the service licensed to practice in the US? Are the physicians board-certified in the relevant practice areas? Do they have a high quality medical review board with oversight? Are their treatment options FDA-approved?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the test provider offer discounts or free services to our readers?
Customer support: How well does the healthcare provider help you choose the best treatment? How clearly are the options presented? How well does the healthcare company help you understand options and get treatment if necessary?
Privacy: Are all treatments sent in discreet packaging? Will your data be stored securely? Could your data ever be shared without your permission?
Speed: How fast will you receive your treatment from the moment you click “buy?” Are doctors and medical professionals responsive to your questions and needs when you are messaging them? Are the waiting times stated by the company accurate and consistent?
Insurance coverage will vary depending on the prescription and plan. We recommend prospective patients check out their insurance plans carefully to ensure that out of network services like Hims will be covered. For the inexpensive generic drug options and the overall convenience, some patients prefer Hims regardless of insurance coverage for the convenience and speed of care.