"Can anti-depressants help with premature ejaculation?"
I’ve tried just about everything to stop myself coming too soon but it’s still happening. I read online that taking things like Prozac or another anti-depressant can help. Is that true? It seems like a strange link to me. Why would these affect how long you last in bed?
Because anti-depressants work on our brain and, with most things, our brains control what our body does. The brain has what’s called ‘neurotransmitters’ - chemicals released by the brain that tell our nervous system what to do (eat, sleep, run, fight... orgasm). A lot of sex research that’s been done recently focuses on the brain and PE is no exception.
Studies have found two particular neurotransmitters seem implicated in PE. You’ve probably heard of both of them. Serotonin is the ‘happy hormone’ which affects our sleep, mood and appetite for food and sex. Researchers found men with PE had low levels of this neurotransmitter and one of the main functions of anti-depressants is to boost serotonin levels, so it stands to reason there might be an affect on PE. So far, results have been semi-promising though not extraordinary. Some say it helps, other say the side effects of anti-depressants - like decreased desire - put them off (and sort of defeats the purpose of taking them in the first place!).
Dopamine, another ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter, is released naturally by the brain when we fall in love but also stimulated by things like alcohol and drugs like cocaine. Studies show people whose brains are flooded with dopamine are more likely to orgasm quickly than those with low levels. (Which is contrary to what most people who use either drug tend to report, in my experience. Lots of heavy coke users say they feel highly aroused but can’t orgasm and plenty of alcoholics report the same.) Research has shown PE sufferers tend to have low serotonin levels and higher dopamine levels than usual and, based on the results of this research, this is where anti-depressants come in.
If you are considering them as an option, get yourself along to your GP. They will check you’re fit and healthy and talk you through the side effects. You can then decide if you’re prepared to put up with these for a (possible but not guaranteed) spin off of lasting longer. (Natural serotonin boosters include sunshine, laughing and exercise. Obviously preferable to taking medication but their effectiveness isn’t as noticeable.) NEVER buy anti-depressants or any drug online. You have no guarantee of what’s in it. It could be a placebo - which will do nothing - or, worse, be made from something harmful (like rat poison).