These days, there more factors interfering with our sex lives than ever before…
If you’re in a relationship, maybe you’ve just spent too much time under the same roof with your partner (especially during lockdown). If you’re single, maybe you’ve been afraid to meet new people—much less to be intimate with them—in the age of COVID-19.
Plus, both stress and anxiety are also notorious libido squashers. And I think we can all agree that we’ve been struggling under a wave of upheaval since this pandemic started…
So we certainly don’t need any extra issues standing in the way of sexual satisfaction. And yet, some of the most common medications prescribed by mainstream M.D.s can hijack your sex life in ways you may have never realized…
Antihypertensives and diuretics
I often point out that Americans want a pill for everything, but cardiologists are one of the worst offenders with the prescription pad.
They focus on one organ and one organ only—the heart. And they never stop to consider how those pills they’re doling out might affect other parts of the body. Needless to say, many men care about a different organ at least as much as their heart.
As a reminder, erections are vascular events that heavily rely on healthy microcirculation. So if you’re taking anything that interferes with your body’s ability to produce blood flow to the penis, voila—you’ve got erectile dysfunction (ED).
That’s why diuretics like spironolactone—or any other drug in that class of blood pressure medications—are notorious offenders.
Not to mention the fact that your heart rate is supposed to go up during sex, assuming you’re actually having fun. So antihypertensives (which lower your heart rate) might as well be designed to limit your excitement, too.
These drugs are typically prescribed for prostate issues, like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). However, the first, early-generation drugs in this class—like terazosin and prazosin—are also antihypertensive medications.
And as I mentioned above, these can reduce blood flow to the penis and aggravate ED.
But there’s another side effect that’s common even in newer alpha-blockers (like tamsulosin or silodosin)—and that’s retrograde ejaculation, or “dry orgasm.” And while this may not bother everyone, it can be a big problem for some.
SSRIs and other antidepressants
As you know, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)—which include fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, and more—are a class of drugs prescribed to treat depression and anxiety. These drugs have several concerning side effects—including sexual dysfunction.
SSRIs can cause problems for men and women, including delayed ejaculation and delayed orgasm. In fact, this is such a common side effect that doctors will often prescribe yet another pill to help.
But that’s not the only aspect of your sex life that could suffer.
Almost all antidepressants—including other classes of drugs, like tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and antipsychotics—can crush your libido. And some (like citalopram) can lower your sperm count significantly, too.
Prostate Cancer Drugs
Advanced prostate cancer drugs—or any prostate cancer drug, for that matter—work by decreasing testosterone levels, which in turn can reduce libido. And that’s something all men should be made aware of.
At the end of the day, I’m not advising you to immediately stop taking any of these medications if you’re on them. Rather, I encourage you to start a conversation with your doctor—especially if your sexual function is suffering.
Of course, you might think that getting around the issue is as simple as taking a little blue pill. But PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra come with their own set of mood-ruining side effects—like headaches, nasal congestion, facial flushing, and heartburn.
So it’s a good thing there are so many alternative lifestyle change solutions to all of the drugs I mentioned above—whether it’s through proper diet, daily exercise, and/or targeted nutritional supplementation.
No matter what your concern is, you can bet I’ve got a recommendation for it. (And if I don’t, I encourage you to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can consider covering it in the future.)
A quick search of the archives on my website will turn up detailed discussions—and subscribers to my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives, have access to all of that and more. So if you haven’t already, consider signing up today!
“6 Meds That Can Mess With Your Patient’s Sex Life.” Medscape Medical News, 01/19/2021. (medscape.com/viewarticle/943985)