Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It may be Too Much Information

If you aren't interested in details of my sex drive, you might want to go somewhere else. I could be helpful and put up a link to somewhere more pleasant, but I just can't be bothered.

So, you all know that I went on a lovely medication earlier this year that has helped me immensely with my depression and anxiety. Well, one of the downplayed side-effects of it was some sexual disfunction - mainly decreased sex drive or anorgasmia.

These side-effects are downplayed, I've learned, because most studies for anti-depressants are done within the first few months of their initiation. People who have been depressed enough to seek out pharmaceutical assistance are also probably experiencing a lack of sex drive anyway. After the cessation of depressed symptoms, some drive may return but even if it doesn't, the relief of not being depressed can outweigh any thought or worry of lack of sex drive, initially.

For me it was a subtle change that gradually got worse. I noticed a difference in my ability to achieve orgasms quickly through masturbation which was my baseline sexual experience, anyway. But lately, I'd started to notice that I was growing frustrated with my inability to reach orgasm. It's just not as fun to get all aroused and then suddenly feel too sensitive to want to continue (without that lovely peak/release).

So being the internet junky I am, I went online and started doing a little research. I really didn't want to switch antidepressants because this one is working generally pretty well for me...and the prospect of three weeks of acclimation to a new one was daunting.

I typed in "anorgasmia" and "antidepressants" into Google and found, pretty quickly, some interesting information I wanted to share. Apparently, ginkgo biloba is shown to have some efficacy in increasing peripheral vascular functioning...and as a result, has been effective in decreasing (and sometimes reversing) the effects of SSRIs on sexual joy. The research specifically sites SSRIs and indicated that in one particular study, women reported 93% positive effect while regularly taking ginkgo biloba.

So you can guess what I did...I ran right out and got myself a bottle. I've been taking the stuff for about 2 weeks, and I can attest that (whether placebo or real) there has been a change for the better. The sites that I read indicated that the effects can take 4-6 weeks to be noticeable, so you know that I'm completely psyched about that prospect.

I just wanted to share all of this with a greater audience...not just to celebrate the return of my joy, but also as an FYI. Medications aren't perfect, and sometimes you realize after you start taking them that they aren't working just right for you. Don't just accept that you can't have everything you want (sometimes it's true that you can't...), but investigate and ask questions. Sometimes you can get what you want and what you need, all at the same time.

I suppose that I should note that none of this is a substitute for medical advise and that you all should do further research to corroborate anything written here because I am not a medical professional. Okay, that's all.


LavaLady said...

Thanks for sharing this. That kind of urogenital funny business is why I've been EXTREMELY hesitant to go back on meds, despite my depression being debilitating - I don't want to lose my last joy in life!

Very good to be reminded that there are options out there. Thank you.

the urban fox said...

I don't think I've ever heard the word "anorgasmia" before. It strikes me as a marvellous name for a goth band, for some reason.

Glad you're feeling perky again, Spinsy! Go get 'em.

Hippy Chick said...

Hooray! I'm so happy to hear it's working for you :)

Cody Bones said...

Good for you, I also have heard firsthand(female friend), that the viagra, cialis's of the world work well too. Just another thought, if Ginko Biloba works, don't mess with it. Good luck

Lord Bargain said...

does this work for fellas as well?

Without going into great detail, I can honestly say that the majir side effect of the antidepressants I have been taking is *exactly* the same thing.

Weird. Or not.

Prior to this, for me, it was a bit of a "catch 22". I could take the antidepressants which made my mood ok but if I took anyone home I was panicking about my, er, "ability", or I could not take them and be too f*cking miserable to pull in the first place.

more info!!! ok for blokes?

P'tit-Loup said...

Glad to hear it worked for you! As if depression wasn't bad enough, you can feel better mood wise, but give up one of the pleasures in life too! Good to hear there are solutions that are more on the natural side than more syntetic product.

spinsterwitch said...

Yay! I'm glad that this info is helpful to more than me!

LB - the studies I found showed that there was a benefit for most men in the studies that had been done as well. I can't find the original article that I read, but other's report an 86% efficacy rate. The only side effects are reported as gastrointestinal upset and some headaches, but I haven't experienced any of those...and neither has my mother who takes ginkgo for her memory.

Mark said...

when I was on prozac I wanted to fuck all night but couldn't come. horrible.