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I'd hate for you to miss out on the benefits of medications because you're avoiding their dreaded sex side effects. There are ways for you to have a better life and better sex, this video lists seven strategies.

1. Learn why: why are their sexual side effects? what happens when you take the pill? how was the medication designed?

2. Ask your doctor: let them know that you care about your sexual health

3. Pharmacogenetic testing: learn which meds work best in your body

4. Have sex: get baseline knowledge of what's really going on

5. Journal: keep track of your experiences and share them with your prescriber

6. Patience: give your body time to adjust to the med

7. Sexual enhancement: the changes to your sexuality are opportunities to have better sex

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I, Lindsey Doe, will be in
Oct 3-7 : Los Angeles, California
Oct. 14-16 : Denver, Colorado
Nov 6 - 11 : Aiken, South Carolina
Nov. 12 : Augusta, Georgia
Nov. 13 : Houston, Texas
Nov. 14 : Fort Worth, Texas
Feb. 13-17 : Statesboro, Georgia / TBD
Feb. 25-26 : Boston, Massachusetts
Dr. Lindsey Doe: Worried about the sexual side effects of the medications, or the ones you're considering? Let's talk about it.

-- Intro Cut Scene --

It's not uncommon for medications that help us manage anxiety, depression, blood pressure, even stuffy noses to correlate with sexual difficulties. There's: changes in sexual desire; trouble becoming aroused; difficulty getting or maintaining erections; difficulty reaching orgasm; discomfort; pain and sexual dissatisfaction. Add infertility, and then add all the physical side effects that may have sexual repercussions like: weight gain; nausea; dizziness; headaches; insomnia, and lethargy. Frustrating!!! You're taking the meds to improve one aspect of your well-being, and it messes up another.

Strategy One: Learn Why

One thing that can help is knowing what actually happens when you swallow the pill. For me, it's reassurance the medication is designed to deal with the problem I have, and not to torture me. Plus, I learned how various chemicals also affect me sexuality, and I can keep learning from there how to resolve this.

Strategy Two: Talk to your doctor (or prescriber or pharmacist)

Let them know that you really care about your sexual health, and that the side effects matter to you. You might say "Doc, i want an antidepressant that helps me get out of bed, but not one that's going to disrupt my sex life." Medical professionals are trained to make modifications - maybe lower or higher the dose, suggest a different time of day to take them (like after you have sex rather than before). Perhaps there's a similar drug with fewer side effects or one that will counteract them. Ask. If your provider doesn't care or won't help, please go elsewhere.

Strategy Three: Get your cheek swabbed.

One thing some offices are now capable of is "pharmacogenetic testing." With just a cheek swab, it's possible to determine which meds will work best in your body, and which ones won't work at all. Which is so great, because you don't have to trial and error meds and all of their sexual side effects. You can target treatment and focus on dealing with the sexual side effects of the correct med.

Strategy Four: Have Sex

Have sex a few times before starting a med, or if you've already started one, have sex right now, so that you have a realistic picture of your situation. Were you turned on mentally and physically? How long did it take to climax, if at all? Did you feel satisfied? Did your partner or partners observe anything? Was it really that bad, or were you psyching yourself out? Write it all down!

Strategy Five: Journal

Having a journal is a good way to track what's really happening and it's also something that you can share with your prescriber.

"Dear Journal, sex wasn't fun tonight, but it could be that the dinner was bad, not the birth control."

"Dear Journal, It definitely takes me longer to come on this med, but the sex is more pleasurable because I have time to really enjoy it."

"Dear Journal, I'm so much happier with my life in general now that I can exercise and breathe better, but I need to remember to set up and appointment for the sex side effects."

Strategy Six: Patience.

Give the med time - or rather, give your body time to adjust to the med. It's possible that sexual side effects will dissipate on their own, so what seemed unmanageable at the beginning might be no big deal after a few days or weeks.

Strategy Seven: Sexual Enhancement

When I'm working with clients who struggle with the sexual side effects of their medications, one of the most important things is to stress reevaluation of healthy sexuality. They may think that the 15-minute routine they're used to is "it" and that the meds will or have ruined their sex lives. In reality, changes to sexuality for whatever reason are opportunities  for sexual enhancement.  Changes in sexual desire could lead to experimentation with fantasies. Trouble becoming aroused could improve your foreplay. Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection could mean attention for other body parts, and difficulty reaching orgasm could put emphasis on sensuality - like kissing and erotic massage.

This strategy, and all the ones I mentioned are what sex therapists and clinical sexologists promote. Medications can be incredibly beneficial.  I'd hate for you to miss out on the health improvements they offer because you're scared or disappointed about the sexual effects. Please do your research and ask for help. It's possible to have a better life and better sex if you're willing to stay curious!

This episode was brought to you by Sexplanauts! Those of you who believe in and support our efforts to create honest accessible sex education via Patreon. We couldn't do it without you.

-- Outtakes --

In reality Boopedobedo Boop boop! Sexual enhancements!

*Random Vocalizations*