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Depress Anxiety. 2014 Mar;31(3):188-95.

Exercise improves sexual function in women taking antidepressants: results from a randomized crossover trial.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In laboratory studies, exercise immediately before sexual stimuli improved sexual arousal of women taking antidepressants [1]. We evaluated if exercise improves sexual desire, orgasm, and global sexual functioning in women experiencing antidepressant-induced sexual side effects.

METHODS:

Fifty-two women who were reporting antidepressant sexual side effects were followed for 3 weeks of sexual activity only. They were randomized to complete either three weeks of exercise immediately before sexual activity (3×/week) or 3 weeks of exercise separate from sexual activity (3×/week). At the end of the first exercise arm, participants crossed to the other. We measured sexual functioning, sexual satisfaction, depression, and physical health.

RESULTS:

Exercise immediately prior to sexual activity significantly improved sexual desire and, for women with sexual dysfunction at baseline, global sexual function. Scheduling regular sexual activity significantly improved orgasm function; exercise did not increase this benefit. Neither regular sexual activity nor exercise significantly changed sexual satisfaction.

CONCLUSIONS:

Scheduling regular sexual activity and exercise may be an effective tool for the behavioral management of sexual side effects of antidepressants

PMID:
24754044
PMCID:
PMC4039497
DOI:
10.1002/da.22208
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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