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Recently I went on an antidepressant that has been LIFE CHANGING. It's been incredible how much my quality of life has improved since starting it. I've tried others, and this one I have seen the biggest improvement from.
The only downside is I really notice a difference in my ability to orgasm. I've always had a harder time achieving an orgasm during sex, but now it's even difficult when I masturbate, something that has never been an issue.
Is there anything I can do to help without going off my medication? It has been such a game changer that I really don't want to switch.
Thank you for your question!
A lot of people on antidepressants and antipsychotic medication are forced to pick sanity over sex. These drugs an cause decreased sex drive, decreased sexual performance, impotence, loss of feeling in your genitals, and diminished or delayed orgasms. One in six Americans take some form of psychiatric drug. Experiencing some kind of sexual dysfunction from this medication is extremely common yet rarely addressed by doctors.
Though it’s not completely understood why these issues occur, antidepressants affect the same neurotransmitters in the brain that deal with sexual arousal. Depression itself can take a toll on sex drive independent of medication so it can be frustrating that something you’re already suffering with can be worsened by the treatment.
Working through any kind of sexual dysfunction requires a lot of trial and error as each person's sexuality as well as drug regimen and interactions are unique. Here are some suggestions to help boost your sex life and sexual response back to where you’d like it to be.
Cannabis has been praised for thousands of years for its aphrodisiac qualities and could be the secret to boosting your sex life. There are certain strains developed to target arousal and desire. There are so many ways to consume weed from smoking and vaping, to edibles and tonics.
Cannabis based lubes like Good Clean Love Caragold or arousal oils can be directly applied to the genitals to help stimulate the areas where you may be experiencing decreased sensation.
Exploring cannabis in your sex life is trial and error in itself. You want enough to feel the effects yet not too much to feel like a zombie. If it's legal in your state, check with your doctor beforehand to ensure that cannabis won’t worsen your condition. Some mood disorders like bipolar or schizophrenia can actually be complicated by weed use.
Natural Libido Enhancers
As long as they don’t interact with your current medication, natural herbs and supplements can be a great way to enhance your libido.
Maca is a peruvian root that has flourished in popularity due to effect on sexual health. Not only can maca improve sexual function, it aids in balancing the body's natural hormones, boosts the immune system, and increases fertility.
Ginkgo biloba has been a common Chinese supplement for thousands of years. Supplying antioxidants and aiding with blood flow, ginkgo biloba can also help combat antidepressant induced sexual dysfunction.
Yohimbine is an alkaloid found in the bark of the Pausinystalia yohimbe tree in Central Africa. While still in it’s early stages of medical study, yohimbine is being coined the natural viagra due to its treatment of erectile disfunction.
If you have a vulva, the Magic Wand was made for this kind of situation. Investing in a strong vibrator can be a game changer for people finding it hard to reach orgasm, either via masturbation or partnered sex.
Cock rings are great with helping maintain an erection by restricting the blood flow in the penis — a good option for those experiencing erectile dysfunction. There are also vibrating options that can bring extra stimulation to the penis, testicles, and the perineum, like the We-vibe Verge.
If you are the partner being penetrated by someone wearing a vibrating cock ring, the added enhancement from the ring can help you achieve orgasm.
Focusing on Foreplay
A large part of the erotic build up of sex is in the mind. You may need to explore different methods of foreplay to get yourself into the sexy mindset your finding hard to get to. A few suggestion to explore are reading erotic novels, talking about fantasies, creating sexy games, watching porn together, or shopping for erotic gifts.
Invest a little more time in erotic turn ons. You’ve changed your body chemistry via medication, so you may need to change your approach to getting turned on as well.
Part of the pressure people on antidepressants feel when suffering from lack of sex drive is feeling that they are disappointing their partner. Though it may not sound as sexy as a spontaneous play time, planning sex can take off the edge of always declining a partner’s advances and help get expectations on the same level. This also gives you time to prepare yourself mentally and physically. Spend sometime before your planned date indulging in a bath, eating some aphrodisiac foods, or slipping into your favorite sexy outfit.
Although treating the same issues, different medications react differently in our bodies. Changing your medication could see a decline in some of the side effects you’re experiencing. However, the option of switching medication isn’t available for everyone.
Some people have a drug holiday, where they skip a few days of medication to enjoy a special evening or weekend with a partner. This can work for people taking low doses, who are in safe, comfortable situations, and are aware of ways to combat and control symptoms that may show up.
Anything concerning switching your medication or it’s dose should be discussed with doctor BEFORE doing so. Some medications have dramatic withdrawal side effects which need to be considered.
I hope this helped with your question. I’d like to add that I’m very happy you’re seeking help for your mental health issues and finding some relief. In a society where mental health isn’t a priority, I’m glad you’re getting the help you need and deserve.