By Jess Panther
CALGARY — Dick and vag aside, if you think about it, the brain is really one of the main sex organs in the body. While you may feel or see something that turns you on, your brain is the one that really processes your sexual response and creates the “sexual you.” So, it would make sense that when you take a drug that alters your brain that it might very well alter your sex.
Canada is one of the highest-ranking countries for antidepressant users in the world. As much as antidepressant medications hold a purpose, the sexual side effects are often off-putting. Not everyone will experience these effects, but they can often include a change in desire or libido, erectile difficulties or dysfunction, difficulty reaching orgasm, as well as a problem with arousal and sometimes discomfort.
One might wonder what the point of medicating ones self might be when its so likely to deprive the body from one of the great ecstasies in life. However, depression can be quite a mood killer on its own. For those who’ve sought out medical attention for this mental illness, there are methods for reuniting that bridge between your brain and your crotch.
Sometimes the easiest method of waiting it out is all it takes. The adjustment period is typically the most difficult in any situation, and allowing your body and brain to become comfortable with what’s going on isn’t an overnight scenario. It might take several weeks to reignite the fire beneath your belt.
There’s also the option to switch to a different medication. Certain types (like the brand Wellbutrin) have been shown to be less likely to affect your libido than others. Many SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) like citalopram and SNRIs (Selective and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors) like the brand Cimbalta are thought to have a higher instance of sexual interference.
Adding medications to boost your sex drive is another means of turning things around. There are a number of different drugs that have been reported to reverse antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. They vary from the obvious Viagra to antihistamines like Cyproheptadine and other anxiety medications like Buspirone. Herbal extracts like Gingko biloba have reported to encourage normal sexual function, also.
Adjusting the dosage, taking “drug vacations,” or (as unsexy as it might seem) scheduling time for sex before the typical time you take your pill(s) can also prove helpful for some. It could also simply mean adjusting to new and different ways of turning yourself on and relearning what works to make your body feel good.
In the end, talking with your doctor or therapist openly regarding any sexual issues with your prescriptions or any plans to change your current regiment is key. As important as it is to take care of your body in order to maintain a healthy sex life, your mental state plays a major part in your sexual state as well. Keep yourself educated and turn for help when you need to. As in all things, it won’t last forever. Stay happy and stay sexy.AB, Alberta, antidepressants, antidepressants and sexual health, sex