“Testosterone Improves Antidepressant-Emergent Loss of Libido in Women: Findings from a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial,” Women’s Health Research Program, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. In other words, testosterone can help if you experience low libido side effects from taking an anti-depressant.
Published in January 2014, Journal of Sexual Medicine, this study followed women between the ages of 35-55 for 12 weeks. They wore patches. One group had a placebo patch and the other group had a testosterone patch. But, they didn’t know if they had medicine in their patch or not.
The results are very hopeful. The testosterone group had 2.3 more positive sexual experiences per month than those on placebo. The biggest jump in effect was seen at the fourth week. The positive effect held steady until week 12, the end of the study.
Distress associated with low libido was alleviated slightly in the testosterone group, too.
There were no significant adverse reactions to the testosterone. One woman had a site reaction to the patch but did not discontinue use. No woman withdrew because of adverse effects.
Not all antidepressants adversely affect sexual desire, just those categorized as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Not only do they dampen your drive, they can also affect genital sensations and the ability to orgasm. I’ve heard it described as a wet fog that settles over sexual intimacy.
Here is an excellent article that explains why SSRI’s cause sexual dysfunction from Current Psychiatry.
If you are between a rock and a hard place, between keeping the darkness of depression at bay and coping with the stress of low libido in your marriage, the Australian study shines a fragile ray of hope.
As one who is currently on testosterone for perimenopausal symptoms, I can tell you it is not the quick fix of Viagra. You can’t see your testosterone level rise before your eyes. The effects of testosterone sneak in subtly. But, they are positive and can be felt.
Ask your local compounding pharmacy who prescribes testosterone in your area, and see:
Depression DOES NOT mean that you have a weak faith because you can’t seem to pull yourself out of the muddy, mired, slimy pit. Depression is a mix of imbalanced brain chemicals and environmental stressers. God gave us the ability to use our intellect to understand the chemistry of our bodies and apply outside intervention to better our quality of life. It’s OK to seek help from counselors and medication if you are feeling a profound sense of emptiness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.
And of course, continually to look God for answers and direction. But, consider that some of his direction may include outside intervention. He gave us the Holy Spirit, but he also gave us real tangible tools to use.
Depression doesn’t have to cloud your life or your marriage’s sexual intimacy. Sex is so very important for your overall health and the health of your marriage. I’m not saying that to condemn but to convict and encourage.
According to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 10 adults experience depression each year. 2/3rds don’t seek help. Women are twice as likely to be depressed as men.
We are rounding into autumn which can start or worsen depressive episodes. Please, seek help if you are feeling excruciating fatigue, you’ve lost interest in things you used to really love and just don’t want to interact with anyone for fear you’ll just feel worse about yourself.
God hears your cry and turns to you. Let God put a new song in your mouth. God wants you to have peace and worth in your heart, so does your family.
It’s easy to remain one of the 2/3rd that doesn’t seek help. Be courageous, make the choice to talk with your spouse about what’s going on in your head and heart.
It is very very hard to make the first step and talk about it. But, not impossible, because God always shows up in impossible situations. I have confidence you can make this first step. You have the bravery and backing of the Lord to be in the 1/3rd.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,” John 14:27. God’s promises are for everyone, even for the depressed who don’t feel the hope.
God’s promises are for everyone, even for the depressed who don’t feel the hope.
More on depression: 16 Ways to Pray for Depression When It Affects Your Marriage