Changes in libido and impotence are not the most talked-about phentermine side effects, but with over 17% of users reporting phentermine sexual side effects, these reactions are far from insignificant . Some people experience increased libido, while others haveno sex drive at all or even sexual dysfunction.
Yes, phentermine can either increase or decrease users’ interest in sex. The medication can also cause sexual dysfunction, which leads to further problems with patients’ sex lives. However, common phentermine sex-drive changes seem to vary between males and females. While male patients tend to suffer from lower sex drive, female users are more likely to report increased sex drive while taking phentermine .
The FDA’s list of common phentermine side effects includes two sex-related reactions :
These and other, unlisted phentermine sexual side effects occur in both men and women. Successful sexual arousal and performance is dependent on a delicate balance of central nervous system (CNS) signals, so it is not surprising that CNS stimulants like phentermine often affect this process - either for better or worse. Thankfully, user reports suggest these problems usually resolve in about a week, or as soon as the body adjusts to the new medication.
The most common phentermine sexual side effects include:
Phentermine promotes weight loss by stimulating the central nervous system (CNS) to create a response similar to “fight or flight”. The hormonal changes associated with this reaction suppresses appetite and boosts energy, but also signal the body to divert blood flow away from less-essential areas, such as the digestive system and reproductive organs . As a result, some phentermine patients experience sexual dysfunction due to hormonal changes or decreased blood flow to the genital region.
In men, this usually presents as erectile dysfunction, while women may experience dryness, pain or trouble orgasming during sex.
A small percentage of male phentermine users experience erectile dysfunction (ED) while taking this medication. Getting an erection requires intricate cooperation between the brain, blood vessels, nerves and hormones, and stimulant medications like phentermine can make it difficult to get aroused or achieve an erection because they disrupt this delicate balance. As a direct result of the medication's stimulant nature, male phentermine users sometimes experience erectile dysfunction as a result of decreased blood flow to the penis. More, hormonal changes associated with CNS-stimulation can also cause mood changes that make it harder to get (or stay) aroused. When any one part of the delicately balanced system is altered by phentermine, it can lead to sexual impotence.
While impotence is not as much of an issue for women, female phentermine users may experience sexual dysfunction in the form of difficulties getting (or staying) aroused, trouble orgasming or pain during intercourse . These reactions can occur for a wide variety of reasons but, similar to male patients, stimulant-related sexual dysfunction in women can stem from decreased blood flow to the clitoris or phentermine mood swings.
Phentermine can either increase or decrease sex drive.
Some patients, typically men, struggle with decreased interest in sex while taking phentermine. This is likely because stimulants like phentermine increase levels of the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Research indicates that higher levels of this feel-good chemical may counteract proerectile neurotransmitters to inhibit erections, decrease interest in sex and make it harder to achieve orgasm . As a result, phentermine can decrease libido in some users.
Other patients, however, experience the opposite effect: phentermine and increased libido come hand-in-hand. This reaction is most commonly seen in female patients. This heightened sex drive is most likely related to hormonal changes, as well as disruption of the delicate balance between the sympathetic (stress) and parasympathetic (rest) nervous systems. In fact, research suggests that increased sympathetic nervoussystem activation, as occurs with phentermine, may boost sexual response in women .
In addition tophentermine sex-drive changes anderectile dysfunction, male phentermine users also report penis and scrotum shrinkage, increased ejaculation, and not feeling satisfied after sex as reactions to this medication. Some men also describe increased frequency and decreased volume of urination while taking phentermine. Some women experience menstrual changes while taking this medication.
Click here to read more about phentermine and your period.
If your phentermine sexual side effects are mild or temporary, you may consider an at-home solution to alleviate some of the symptoms. Proper nourishment, regualr activity and the right mentality are a great place to start.
Consider these at-home solutions to combat phentermine sexual side effects:
Making nutritious dietary choices and taking care of yourself seems to help some patients recover their interest in sex, even before the weight starts coming off. Choose plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole (fiber-rich) grains and healthy fats to fuel your weight loss.
Increased activity in general promotes weight loss, but exercises that increase blood flow to the pelvic region may provide extra benefits. Lower body exercises that activates the glutes, upper leg muscles and get blood pumping to the right areas and may help alleviate sexual dysfunction/impotence or even increase sex drive . Start with a brisk walk or hike, go on a leisurely bike ride or flow through some relaxing yoga moves.
We spend a lot of time focused on things we can do to help the body get ready for sex, but the mind is important too! Practice meditation or other relaxing activities to reduce stress and allow yourself to be fully present in the bedroom. More, work on loving and accepting yourself at any size since the better you feel, the more you (and your partner!) can enjoy sex.
3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2012). Adipex-P (phentermine hydrochloride) capsules label. [Brochure]. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/085128s065lbl.pdf