“The Impact of Anti-Depressants on Sex”
There are some scientists who debate whether or not antidepressants truly affect patients’ sexuality on a biological level. But people who actually take antidepressants often claim the drugs do make a difference in their libido and performance.
Possible Sexual Side Effects
Some side effects of antidepressant drugs in women might include delayed or blocked orgasm (anorgasmia) and a decreased sex drive. Men might suffer from erectile dysfunction or problems in ejaculating. The delaying of an orgasm is not a positive side effect though some individuals and even drug manufacturers confuse it as such. The side effect would hinder the person’s ability to enjoy sex, much less orgasm normally. A lowered libido is hardly the price a man wants to pay in the treatment of premature ejaculation.
Prozac, a common type of antidepressant has been reported to cause side effects including not only a decrease in sexual desire but anorgasmia, which is the inability to experience orgasm even with direct stimulation. Other well known drugs include Wellbutrin, Serzone, and Desyrel, Zoloft, Lexapro, Elavi, Tofranil and Nardil and each has listed possible sexual side effects. Often times, patients don’t volunteer such personal information as lowered sexual desire to their doctors, which just adds to the couple’s frustration.
Medication Is Not A Sexual Death Sentence
This is not to say that antidepressants are always the cause of sexual problems. For example, in cases where a partner’s libido is decreased when with a spouse but can still become excited with another person, this indicates the response is psychological. Also, if a person can reach orgasm through masturbation or oral sex but not through regular intercourse, this would also rule out medication as the root cause. Some antidepressant users have claimed that limiting their dosage or taking pills every other day can improve their sexual desire. While this is unverified and not recommended without a doctor’s consent, it does prove that there is no certain rule that says if you take antidepressants you will lose your sex drive.
It is important to keep lines of communication open between you and your partner. If you don’t talk about your problems this can lead to misunderstandings. Your partner may begin to feel unattractive, that there is some hostility, or that you are losing interest in them. Being open and honest is the best way to prevent hurt feelings from developing.
Some people misunderstand what is happening to their bodies, believing that because they are feeling happier and working better, sex is something expendable. But it doesn’t have to be that way. People who take antidepressants can still enjoy sex—it simply takes education, understanding and planning.
Find A Professional Who Wants To Help
The first option would be to consult with your psychiatrist and see if the dosage or brand of antidepressant could be responsible for sexual side effects. However, consider a word of caution: Some doctors might dismiss any complaints, suggesting that patients are much better off than before and that any loss of sexual appetite is just a necessary price to pay. Sex is a normal, vibrant part of life and if you are asked to stifle that desire and also deprive your partner of their needs, then that simply sounds like bad medical advice.
That is not to say that you should mistrust your doctor entirely, or worse yet ignore his recommended prescription. In fact, going against a doctor’s orders regarding dosage can prove dangerously unhealthy.
But also know that you are in control of your own life and if your complaints are ignored by a doctor, you can seek additional help elsewhere. Some people choose to seek counseling whether by a psychologist, sex therapist or sex surrogate when a doctor cannot help them beyond medical treatment. These licensed professionals would be more inclined to listen and probably more qualified to deal with sexual problems. In choosing a practitioner, it is important that your source be knowledgeable in sexuality and specifically in dealing with sexual problems since that will be the focal point of the visit.
Seeking help from a professional when problems arise! Consider it a form of keeping up good health. And the sooner the better, because it can be more difficult to cure sexual problems the longer you wait. Don’t substitute life happiness for sexual fulfillment. You can have both if you really want to.
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