Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Medications that effect sexual function

Many medications and prescriptions have side effects that we don’t think about. Some of these can influence sexual function. These range from anti-depressants to over the counter medications. Because everyone’s body is different and will react differently to side effects, sometimes people aren’t even aware their body is being affected in a negative way until they consider the medications they are taking and note how this may be effecting their lives.

There are medications noted to increase or decrease sex drive because it effects hormones. Dopamine increases sex drive whereas serotonin inhibits it. Drugs that block testosterone in men, like steroids, will cause difficulty with libido and circulation. Birth control can suppress or increase sexual function, depending on how it plays on that woman’s natural hormonal balance. It can be pretty frustrating, possibly even more depressing, for people on an anti-depressant who suddenly lack a sex drive and have one more stress factor in their lives.

If an anti-histamine, allergy medicine, or birth control is noted to cause dry mouth, it may also have other dehydrating side effects. Some people may also experience headaches. The medication can also cause a lack of natural lubrication. Imagine if one is taking two medications which are dehydrating, such as an allergy medicine like Claritin and birth control. If a woman notices an increase of side effects due to the medications she is taking, there will probably be an increased need to use lubricating products.

What people often don’t consider is that there are over-the-counter medications like Benadryl and cold medications which are known to cause drowsiness. Being tired is going to decrease the sex drive.
Websites like Net Doctor, always suggest that if one notices side effects on sexual and is concerned, it is a bad idea to stop taking one’s medication. It is important to speak with a physician to see if there is an alternative medication available with fewer or different side effects.

Prescription medications that cause sexual dysfunctions include the following according to Harvard Guide to Women’s Health:
Opiates (codine, morphine and methadone)--effects libido
Anti-depressions--increases difficulty in achieving orgasm
Chemotherapy/Cancer (anti-estrogens, cyclophsphamide)--vaginal dryness, reduced libido, reduced ability to orgasm
Anti-hypertensives (beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics and anit-adrenergics)--reduces libido and ability to orgasm
Barbiturates --causes many different sexual dysfunctions at high doses
Anti-cholinergics (propantheline and methantheline)--reduces libido
Benzodiazepines (alprazolam and diazepam)--difficulty achieving orgasms

Switching prescriptions isn’t always an option. For those interested in learning natural remedies to aid sexual function, please see the post on Miracle Herbs and Aphrodisiacs later next month.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Out of Order: Natural Sexual Dysfunction Solutions

 “Yeah, all this aphrodisiac stuff is great and all but I need something a little stronger. I need something that’s more than just nutrition,”one who has read about aphrodisiacs might say.

The idea behind aphrodisiacs is that it provides the nutrients to heighten the body’s sexual functioning. A boost of Vitamin A, B, C etc. can increase energy, stamina and overall well being. Aphrodisiacs can also stimulate the psyche if one is eating a food or meal that reminds them of sexual organs such as bananas, asparagus, oysters or figs. Some plants have natural hormones or help increase hormones needed for sexual function such as soy which contains phytoestrogen for women or ginko for men.

Usually that is all one needs. But in some circumstances, the body needs more than vitamins. Sometimes one needs something to enhance the libido. That is where true aphrodisiacs come in. Damiana, yohimbe bark, chocolate, and fava beans stimulate serotonin and dopamine and help decrease depression. And when that isn’t enough, there are still other factors to examine.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association in a study reported in February 1999, about 43 % of women and 31 % of men suffer from sexual inadequacy.  In the article mentioned above, the causes for impotence ranges from lacking the ability to be aroused, inability to orgasm, premature ejaculation, or other sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction. The latter term specifically refers to not being able to achieve or maintain an erection hard enough for sexual intercourse 50 % of the time. Thirty million American men suffer from erectile dysfunction. Is it really so surprising that drugs such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis are so popular?
Below is a list of reasons one might develop sexual dysfunctions and potential preventative measures one can take to remedy this. These are all natural and drug free ways to aid sexual health

List of Potential Problems and Potential Cures

Inadequate diet
Providing the vitamins and minerals the body is lacking.
Too much Fat
The body doesn’t need Omega 9 since our diet is already so rich in it. Try to avoid too much corn and canola oil, transfats, etc.
Not enough fat
The body needs more Omega 3 and 6’s which are found it fish oil,
Not enough exercise
When one does aerobic exercise at least three times a week, the body has more energy through out the day, sleeps better at night, decreases depression and increases circulation and sexual hormone production.

Prescription Medications

Some medications ranging from anti-depressants to birth control effect the body’s hormone production and sexual functioning. If an alternative prescription can be substituted,  some times that is a happy alternative.
Causes poor circulation.
Decreases circulation.
Damages the blood vessels and can cause a little too much relaxation in some cases.
Too much caffeine
Can cause a variety of symptoms including headaches to the caffeine low.

Yeah, try to avoid that one.
Effect the psychological and physiological functioning.

Effect the psychological and physiological functioning. Kava kava and St. John’s Wort are common herbal remedies, (not recommended for women taking birth control as it makes the birth control ineffective!)

Seasonal Depression
If you need more sunlight or Vitamin D, go to a tanning salon, get some sunlight and eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit.