Dodging SSRI Sideffects

High Eff High Eff
Hello, you all.

My partner has been taking Prozac for a little while now, because of her depression, and it obviously had its toll on her libido and arousal. While she can experience sexual desire again, she still has a lot--a whole lot of difficulty reaching orgasm when masturbating. It's nigh impossible.

We both know it is a "normal" sideffect of all SSRI drugs, but it is unfair for her, to say the least. She has inquired about Wellbutrin (another antidepressant that does not affect arousal or libido) but it apparently would be no real good for her.

While waiting for the sideffects to "calm down," if one can say so, I would like to know what any of you would suggest.

I am considering getting her some kind of arousal gel to see if it could help her. The tricky part is that she is very sensitive to anything minty (mild form of allergy I believe), so I am not sure what to pick for her. Any directions, tips, or bits of personal experience would be greatly appreciated.
07/19/2009
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Backseat Boohoo Backseat Boohoo
When you mean minty, do you mean menthol? That might be an issue; I know a lot of arousal creams use menthol to get the tingle.

What about a warming lubricant, or an especially strong vibrator?
07/20/2009
High Eff High Eff
Quote:
Originally posted by Backseat Boohoo
When you mean minty, do you mean menthol? That might be an issue; I know a lot of arousal creams use menthol to get the tingle.

What about a warming lubricant, or an especially strong vibrator?
Ohyeah, a strong vibrator is definitely going to be in the lot; the Golden Nugget, to be more precise. Worked wonders with her, untill it broke.

And yeah, I probably meant menthol. I wasn't sure if it *was* related to mint or mint oils in any way, so... I know it would be an issue to find a gel that does not use it. But depending on the concentration of it there is in the product, perhaps it would be possible to find a few things?
07/20/2009
Red Red
Quote:
Originally posted by High Eff
Hello, you all.

My partner has been taking Prozac for a little while now, because of her depression, and it obviously had its toll on her libido and arousal. While she can experience sexual desire again, she still has a lot--a whole lot of ... More
Hi High Eff

When I went on anti depressants, my clitoral orgasms went bye bye, but they came back about 6 months in - from my efforts, from getting used to it....who knows?

She may wish to discuss this with her doctor. Prozac is a little old school I think - I know a lot of people who have been on anti depressants at one time or another (as I am in gradschool and like everyone in grad school is on an anti-depressant) and I'm pretty sure I don't know anyone on Prozac. Prozac is apparently really bad on the sex drive.

My husband had a stunted sex drive on celexa, and got "better" in that regard with switching to effexor.

Everyone is, of course, different. A doctor will know best, but I will go out on a limb and say she has options other than prozac (based on very little of course!). If her doctor doesn't seem to think so, perhaps a second opinion is warranted? Some doctors are funny about sex, but my doctor outright said "an anti depressant that interferes with a happy sex life is probably not working well with your body chemistry"

be well and best of luck!

There are a lot of options other than wellbutin too (which, by the way, I once asked about, and it's supposed to be no so good as an antidepressant) -
07/20/2009
Red Red
Quote:
Originally posted by Red
Hi High Eff

When I went on anti depressants, my clitoral orgasms went bye bye, but they came back about 6 months in - from my efforts, from getting used to it....who knows?

She may wish to discuss this with her doctor. Prozac is a ... More
oops ignore the last line "There are a lot of options other than wellbutin too (which, by the way, I once asked about, and it's supposed to be no so good as an antidepressant) -"

half thought that didn't add to what I was saying....
07/20/2009
solita solita
I don't know if this is relevant anymore, but if it is, I have a good deal of experience with this same problem! Frankly, what I did to overcome sexual side effects of SSRIs was to pierce my clitoral hood. It worked wonders, but clearly I wouldn't recommend this to everyone. That being said, I would definitely talk to a doctor about switching. Different drugs to different things to different people, and you just have to try different ones until you find one you're pretty compatible with.
05/31/2010
Blinker Blinker
I was on an SSRI for years (Effexor). It has a high probablity of fucking up your sex life. The only option other than boudoir enhancements would be to talk to the psychiatrist. She has to, not you. Since I switched to an SNRI, my sexual function has returned. Wellbutrin is a great one; it has no negative sexual side effects, and helps one to quit smoking. Cymbalta is wonderful. Tell your wife to research options. Being upfront with your doctor about the results you want can help him/her better accommodate you with drugs that treat depression but don't kill your sexual function. Pristiq is a new one, but it carries sexual dysfunction risks. I'm quite surprised the doctor recommended Prozac. It's very old-fashioned and pharmaceutical companies have made great strides in anti-depressant meds since then. Talk about switching doctors. I can't imagine any decent psychiatrist saying a medicine "wouldn't do her any good".
06/19/2010
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Blinker
I was on an SSRI for years (Effexor). It has a high probablity of fucking up your sex life. The only option other than boudoir enhancements would be to talk to the psychiatrist. She has to, not you. Since I switched to an SNRI, my sexual function has ... More
Be sure to do your research and have a list of other drugs that you feel might be more effective before talking to your doctor. Some doctors have a "who the hell cares about your sex drive when you're depressed?" attitude and my former Doctor rudely and curtly told me that ALL antidepressants have a risk of sexual side effects like I was a fool and stupid woman for worrying about a silly thing like orgasms...I got rid of that Doctor and my current one is very willing to understand that sexual satisfaction is a necessity in my life as well as in my partner's lives.
06/21/2010
P'Gell P'Gell
I was on Prozac years ago, and although my libido was fine, I had a hard time having an orgasm. I marched into the Psych's office and said, "I will NOT take this as a side effect. Yeah, I'm depressed (2 babies and one miscarriage in 2 years) but there are things I will not tolerate, and an interruption in my sex life is one of them!" He hemmed and hawed for a while, I held firm, then switched me to a different SSRI (Zoloft) which, for me, has had NO sexual side effects at all.

The problem returned when I started peri-menopause, but it was hormonal, not drug related. Some of us have finicky orgasms, and we need to stand up and Protect Our Right to Come!

Sex is one of the only reliable things to pull me OUT of a depressive episode, so I won't tolerate anything I have control over messing up my sex life.

There are PLENTY of other anti-depressants out there, it is highly doubtful that ONLY Prozac is the right drug for her and chances are that an other, less side effect intense SSRI will probably do the trick.

As a nurse, I'd also like to know, without trying it, HOW the doctor knows that Welbutrin won't work for her. Prescribing Antidepressants are more an art than a science, and one doesn't know which one will do what until it is tried.

If she is too timid or depressed to stand up for herself, you go into the doctor's office with her and demand something be done. However, it would be better if it came from her, or the two of you together. Psychiatrists have fragile Egos, so be nice, but stay firm on your convictions. There is no reason NOT to let the doctor know this is NOT an acceptable side effect. It's as bad as the depression for most of us!

Good luck. I know how frustrating difficult orgasm can be, I hope you and your wife can find a way to solve your problem.
06/23/2010
Shelli Shelli
After about 3 years, and even an up in dosage (to 40 mg. a day) , my sex drive returned x10. Problem is, now his sex drive is gone due to his high blood pressure medication. Go figure.
07/09/2010
Geekhyena Geekhyena
After being on SSRIs for years (migraines), I had no sex drive whatsoever until I went off them, when it really ramped up. I wish my doctor had told me about the sexual side effects before I went on the SSRIs (or how my libido would go into overdrive after I stopped taking them)...I thought something was wrong with me, never being interested in sex.
08/01/2010
NymphetamineKiss NymphetamineKiss
I don't know how long she's been on them for - I take Cipralex (Lexapro in the states I think) and lost my libido for the first month or so.. I took that hard as I do normally have a high sex drive (according to the bf, it's higher than anyone else he knows... I think that has to be wrong..) - so I was lucky that it cleared up after a while.

The sort of problem I faced was that I was still very much capable of wanting sex (slightly dulled compared to normal, but the baseline desire was still there) but that orgasm was next to impossible. I have an orgasm gel that contains argenine (IIRC) but I don't know if it's available in the US, I got it here in the UK. I find it really effective though - and it did help during that time, to just make orgasm a touch easier to get to... So if you can find one that is usable for her, I'd recommend giving it a shot.

Best of luck with it x
08/02/2010
NightNight NightNight
I've taken Zoloft, Effexor, and Cymbalta. I had a diminished sex drive with all of them BUT I was also still very depressed if not completely unaffected while taking them.

I think my sex drive didn't improve until I gained more self-esteem and self-confidence and stopped carrying so many mental burdens (same with my depression/anxiety). That was my experience at least.
08/03/2010
Total posts: 13
Unique posters: 11