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The sexual side effects of anti-depressants and how to manage them effectively

Antidepressants are a necessary treatment for those battling depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.

However, many people who take antidepressants experience a range of sexual side effects.

These can include a low libido, difficulty achieving orgasm, and erectile dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction can be a significant setback on the healing journey, but there are ways to manage and reduce these side effects.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 70% of people taking antidepressants experience some level of sexual dysfunction. This side effect is not just limited to one sex either, but both men and women experience it.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage these side effects. The first step is to speak with your healthcare provider to discuss alternative medications that could have less of an impact on sexual function.

Sometimes changing the dose or switching medications can help alleviate or reduce the side effects. However, managing the issue does not just stop there; there are other ways to regain intimacy.

It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone experiences sexual side effects in the same way, and people shouldn’t suffer in silence.

One should raise the issue and communicate openly with your healthcare practitioner so that each can collaborate on how to discover a solution that best suits the patient’s needs.

You can control the sexual negative effects of antidepressants by being proactive and keeping attention focused on enhancing general mental and physical wellness.

This includes being aware of any underlying physical health issues that may contribute to the problem, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. In such cases, addressing those issues can also work in tandem with addressing the sexual side effects of antidepressants.

Talk to your doctor

If you haven't already, it’s crucial to speak to your healthcare provider. They may recommend alternatives to your current antidepressant which may have fewer sexual side effects. Be transparent about how the side effects are impacting you and any concerns you have.

Exercise regularly

Exercising is not just a great way to manage your mental and physical health, but it can also enhance your sexual function. Regular exercise helps increase blood flow to the genitals, resulting in more fulfilling sexual experiences.


Incorporating mindfulness techniques into your daily routine could help regulate your hormonal balance and promote positive changes in your sexual health.

Consider psychotherapy

Counselling can help you develop coping mechanisms that may assist in alleviating any emotional stress associated with sexual dysfunction. Building a more positive attitude around sex can lead to more fulfilling sexual experiences.

Try new forms of intimacy

Experimenting with new forms of intimacy such as cuddling, holding hands, and massages can help alleviate some of the stress around sexual performance. These gestures can also help build deeper emotional connections with your partner.

Sexual side effects of antidepressants can often feel like an obstacle, but they don’t have to be.

Seeking guidance from your healthcare provider, daily exercise, incorporating mindfulness techniques, psychotherapy, addressing underlying health issues, and trying out new forms of intimacy can improve your sexual function and quality of life.

Remember not to suffer in silence – addressing these side effects of antidepressants is a crucial aspect of managing your overall wellness.

This article was originally published on IOL.

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