Depression affects approximately 5% of adults globally[1]. When someone is diagnosed with depression, the doctor will likely prescribe antidepressants, which are a type of medication that works on neurotransmitters to improve the mood and reduce depressive symptoms. However, some people may notice a decrease in their libido while taking antidepressants. If you’re experiencing this, you may be asking how to have better sex while on antidepressants. This guide will provide some information on why this happens and offer some natural methods to boost your libido.

What Happens To Your Sex Drive On Antidepressants?

It’s important to understand why antidepressants can have an impact on your sex life. Knowing why this happens can help you understand when things like libido pills or other supplements could be a good idea or when you should rather see your doctor.

Antidepressants work on chemicals that are found in your brain. These chemicals are also known as neurotransmitters.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also known as SSRIs, are the most common kind of antidepressants doctors prescribe. These antidepressants block the reuptake of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter.

Some antidepressants work on other neurotransmitters at the same time. These usually include dopamine and norepinephrine.

Sexual side effects are common in people who take these antidepressants. One study[2] interviewed a group of people taking SSRI medication and found that 73% had at least some level of sexual problems while they were on these drugs.

It causes quite the opposite of a situation where someone would ask, “Why is my sex drive so high?”

Boosting Your Libido While You’re Using Antidepressants

Now that you have a better understanding of how antidepressants affect sex drive and your overall sexual performance, we should take a closer look at what you can do. In this section, we’ll share some of the best ways you can improve your libido while you’re on antidepressants, often without the need for pills to increase sex drive.

1. Talk To Your Doctor

Although it’s possible to compare your sexual performance with the average sex timing of a healthy man, it’s important to keep in mind that each person’s situation is unique and different. Therefore, addressing sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressants often requires a personalized approach.

Talking to your doctor is one of the first things you should do. If you notice that your libido isn’t what it was before you started the antidepressants, contact your healthcare provider and tell them about these side effects.

Your doctor might suggest you wait a few weeks if you’ve just started taking the medication. Alternatively, they could consider changing the dosage or switching you to a different type of antidepressant. It may take some experimenting to find a dose and specific antidepressant that works best for you without causing problems with your sex life.

2. Exercise And Diet

While low libido can be a side effect of antidepressants, some other issues are also to blame. For example, many people who are depressed don’t attend to their health as they usually do. This may mean eating unhealthy foods and skipping out on the gym.

After starting antidepressants and feeling better, an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle can negatively impact your sex life. Thus, when it comes to learning how to increase sexual stamina, boost your libido, and reignite your passion in the bedroom, it would be wise to examine your lifestyle. Start by assessing your daily diet. If you consume a lot of fatty foods and carbohydrates, it might be a good idea to reduce your intake.

This is important for anyone experiencing sexual difficulties, particularly those who are overweight. Obesity is known to not only contribute to depression[3] but can also affect your sex life.

To start losing weight and improving your health, you can add more sources of protein and fiber to your diet, while reducing your intake of processed foods. These changes can have a significant impact on your overall well-being. Additionally, you can create an exercise program that suits your needs and goals, and commit to it consistently. Remember that even small steps towards a healthier lifestyle can make a big difference in the long run. One study found that even just small amounts of exercise can already have a significant impact on your sexual performance[4].

3. Reduce Smoking And Alcohol Consumption

Many people have the habits of smoking and drinking alcohol regularly, but they can harm both your general health and sex life.

When you smoke, it’s important to understand what the chemicals inside the cigarettes you use do to your body. These chemicals are known to damage the walls of your arteries and blood vessels. They can also have an impact on blood circulation. Studies show[5] that sexual health is significantly better among non-smokers when compared to those people who smoke.

Two elements come into play when looking at alcohol consumption. First, you have to consider the fact that you’re taking antidepressants. Alcohol is considered a depressant. When you drink alcohol while on these drugs, it’s possible for alcohol to counteract the effects that antidepressants are supposed to offer you.

Studies have also found that alcohol can have a more direct impact on sexual health. For example, in one study[6], researchers found that heavy alcohol consumption led to problems having an orgasm. It can also reduce sexual stimulation, which can make it hard to “get in the mood”. Other than this, alcohol consumption is also linked to poor vaginal lubrication, as well as dyspareunia.

4. Natural Supplements and Herbs

When lifestyle changes don’t seem to do the trick, it might start to feel concerning. You may find yourself looking at the side effects of not having sex. You could consider trying some natural supplements that promise to help improve your libido.

It is important to prioritize your safety when choosing to try male or female enhancement supplements given the wide variety on the market.

A high-quality supplement may help boost your libido, increase circulation, and enhance your overall sexual performance.

You must do some research when you decide to try out one of these supplements. The main goal is to ensure you opt for a supplement that doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients that could result in serious side effects. If you’re currently taking any prescription or OTC drugs, ask your doctor about using the supplement with these pills. This can also help you understand if any potential interactions could occur.

Apart from supplements, there are also a couple of herbs that might help. You can usually get these herbs from your local health shop.

Maca root is a very popular option. You can get this herb in the form of a powder, which makes it easy to use. Maca root is considered an aphrodisiac. Studies have confirmed[7] it helps boost sex drive in people.

Fenugreek, an herb that helps improve libido, is great for men and women. Red ginseng is another popular herb known to give you a boost in energy. It also helps increase the sex drive and improve erectile function when men use it.


If you’re taking antidepressants, you may notice that your libido isn’t what it used to be. This is due to the changes antidepressants cause to neurotransmitters in your brain. Talking with your doctor is one important way to overcome this drop in your libido, as they can make changes to your medication. Several other strategies can help get your sex drive back to what it should be, even while you’re on antidepressants.



Melissa Feldman

Melissa Feldman lives in Toronto, Canada and works as an independent research writer. She spent almost 20 years writing and designing, English as a Second Language, educational materials including several textbooks. She has undergraduate degrees in both Teaching and Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Immigration. Melissa is skilled at writing compelling articles and producing academic, marketing, and creative content. She writes about a range of lifestyle topics, including health, fitness, and nutrition. She has more than two decades of experience reviewing and editing publications intended for both public and professional audiences.

Written by Melissa Feldman

More stories

Bumps on Penis: When Should You Be Concerned?

Men should take care of their total mental, emotional, and physical health including their sex organs. In some cases, men develop bumps on penis th...

Balanitis: Overview, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Several conditions can affect the male genitalia. Balanitis is one such condition that causes inflammation of the head of the penis. Fortunately, t...