Depression and Sexual Health
In This Article
Depression and Sexual Health
Updated on October 31, 2023
Medically verified by Dr. Arya
Fact checked by Dr. Sharon
A complex, but very common mental health condition, Depression has become a buzzword these days. Affecting millions worldwide, depression is known to impact one's mood, energy levels, and overall well-being.
But what we often tend to miss is how Depression can also take a toll on a person's sexual health. Wondering how? That’s what Mykare Health will explain to you, here.
We will take you through the intricate relationship between depression and sexual health and explore the causes of sexual dysfunction in individuals with depression.
Ready for some meaty discussion on the role of antidepressants? And some practical tips for amping up sex during this difficult journey? Read on….
What is Depression?
Before decoding the missing link, let us understand what Depression is.
Depression is more than just feeling sad. It's a mental health disorder that involves persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. You may also lose interest in activities that you enjoyed earlier.
It can manifest physically and emotionally, affecting various aspects of your life.
How Does Depression Affect Sex?
Depression doesn't discriminate, and its impact on sexual health can be significant. Just as any other physical ailments like Diabetes may have on sexual health.
Here's how it can affect your sex life -
Low Libido: Difficulty Arousing: Depression can make it challenging to become sexually aroused. Causing physical barriers to having sex.
Difficulty Arousing: Depression can make it challenging to become sexually aroused. Causing physical barriers to having sex.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Men with depression often experience ED. That makes it difficult to achieve and maintain an erection.
Anorgasmia: Some individuals with depression find it difficult to reach orgasm. This brings down the pleasure in their sexual experiences.
Also read: How To Maintain Intimacy During Hemorrhoid FlareUps
Depression & Sex - Finding the Missing Link
Sexual health and mental health are closely connected.
Depression can disrupt the brain's chemical balance. And impact mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. These are involved in sexual desire and arousal.
Ways Depression Can Cause Sexual Dysfunction
Depression can cause sexual dysfunction through various mechanisms, like
Psychological Factors: Feelings of sadness, anxiety, or worthlessness can dampen sexual desire.
Fatigue: Depression often leads to extreme tiredness, leaving individuals with little energy for sex.
Medication Side Effects: Some antidepressants can cause sexual side effects, exacerbating existing issues.
Do Antidepressants Cause Sexual Side Effects?
Yes, some antidepressants are known to have sexual side effects.
These side effects are reduced libido, difficulty achieving orgasm, and erectile dysfunction.
Do discuss these potential side effects with your healthcare provider when considering medication options. Mykare Health’s experts can guide you in this.
How are Depression and Sexual Problems Diagnosed?
Both depression and sexual dysfunction are diagnosed through clinical evaluation.
Honest and open communication with a healthcare provider or mental health professional is crucial for an accurate diagnosis.
|Clinical Evaluation||Healthcare professionals assess symptoms, medical history, and conduct interviews to diagnose depression and sexual dysfunction.|
|Psychological Assessments||Standardised questionnaires can help evaluate the severity of depression and sexual problems.|
|Blood Tests||In some cases, blood tests may be conducted to rule out underlying medical conditions contributing to sexual dysfunction.|
|Hormone Level Testing||Measuring hormone levels, especially testosterone, can identify hormonal imbalances affecting sexual health.|
|Imaging Studies||Brain scans, like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), may provide insights into the neurological aspects of depression and sexual function.|
|Sleep Studies||Sleep disorders, often linked to depression, can impact sexual health. Sleep studies can diagnose such issues.|
|Medication Review||A review of current medications, including antidepressants, helps identify potential contributors to sexual side effects.|
|Psychiatric Assessment||Psychiatric evaluations by mental health specialists help in diagnosing and treating depression.|
|Sexual Function Questionnaires||Specialised questionnaires can assess sexual function.|
In case you want to communicate with an expert, Mykare Health can be at your service.
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How are Depression and Sexual Dysfunction Treated?
Treatment for depression and its associated sexual problems may involve a combination of approaches.
Psychotherapy: Talk therapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), can help address both depression and sexual issues.
Medication Management: You may consider adjusting antidepressant medications or try alternative options with fewer sexual side effects.
Lifestyle Changes: Engage in regular exercise, maintain a healthy diet, and manage stress. These can positively impact both depression and sexual health.
Antidepressants in India with Sexual Side Effects
Here's a list of some common antidepressants available in India that may have sexual side effects:
|Antidepressants||Potential Sexual Side Effects|
|Fluoxetine (Prozac)||Reduced libido, difficulty achieving orgasm|
|Sertraline (Zoloft)||Erectile dysfunction, anorgasmia|
|Paroxetine (Paxil)||Delayed ejaculation, anorgasmia|
|Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)|
|Amitriptyline||Erectile dysfunction, reduced libido|
|Imipramine||Erectile dysfunction, anorgasmia|
|Phenelzine||Reduced libido, difficulty achieving orgasm|
|Isocarboxazid||Erectile dysfunction, anorgasmia|
Practical Tips on Enhancing Sex During Depression
Communication: Openly discuss your feelings, fears, and desires with your partner. A supportive and understanding partner can make a significant difference.
Mindfulness: Practise mindfulness techniques to stay present during sex. This reduces anxiety and enhances pleasure.
Professional Help: Seek guidance from a therapist. Or a counsellor who specialises in sexual health and mental well-being.
Medication Adjustment: Consult your healthcare provider about potential medication adjustments or alternatives with fewer sexual side effects.
Lifestyle Changes: Incorporate exercise, a balanced diet, and stress management into your daily routine to improve overall well-being.
1.Can depression cause permanent sexual dysfunction?
No, with proper treatment, many individuals experience improvements in sexual health.
2. Is sexual dysfunction common in people with depression?
Yes, it's relatively common, but it can be managed with the right interventions.
3.Should I stop taking antidepressants due to sexual side effects?
Never stop medication without consulting your healthcare provider. They can help you find a suitable alternative or adjust your current treatment plan.
Depression and sexual health are intertwined, but there is hope. With the right approach, treatment, and support, individuals can regain their sexual well-being while managing their depression.
Mykare’s professional help could be a crucial step towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Depression is a widespread mental health condition impacting mood, energy levels, and overall well-being.
Depression also takes a toll on sexual health, leading to issues like reduced libido, difficulty getting aroused, erectile dysfunction, and anorgasmia.
Depression and sexual health are closely linked as it affects neurotransmitters involved in sexual desire and arousal.
Depression can cause sexual dysfunction through psychological factors, fatigue, and medication side effects.
Some antidepressants are known to cause sexual side effects like reduced libido, difficulty achieving orgasm, and erectile dysfunction.
Diagnosis involves clinical evaluation, psychological assessments, blood tests, hormone level testing, imaging studies, sleep studies, medication review, psychiatric assessment, and specialised questionnaires.
Treatment for depression and sexual problems includes psychotherapy, medication management, lifestyle changes, and addressing medication side effects.
Some common antidepressants available in India may have sexual side effects, such as Fluoxetine, Sertraline, Paroxetine, and Tricyclic Antidepressants.
Practical tips for enhancing sexual health during depression include open communication, mindfulness techniques, seeking professional help, medication adjustment, and lifestyle changes.