Are Your Allergy Meds Messing with Your Love Life?
Antihistamines can reduce your sex drive. We asked an expert for the simple fixes
Spring allergy sufferers know that the struggle is real: There's barely any time for you to get jazzed about the snow starting to melt before pollen and mold rear their ugly heads, leaving you sniffling, itching, and feeling just plain blah.
But before you reach for your usual antihistamines, consider this: These meds can throw a wrench in your love life. (8 Surprising Things Affecting Your Sex Life.)
Antihistamines work, in part, by drying out your mucus membranes. That helps relieve nasal congestion, but since your vagina is lined with mucus-producing cells, it also makes it harder for you to get wet, and that can put a damper on your arousal, says Lauren Streicher, M.D., author of Sex Rx. The fatigue caused by some allergy drugs can also crush your libido. (The Easiest Fix for Low Sex Drive You've Ever Heard.)
Luckily, you don't have to choose between sneezing, sinus pain, and itchy eyes and between-the-sheets action. Try these tricks instead.
1. Go natural. Butterbur supplements have been shown to be about as effective as antihistamines at treating allergy symptoms. The study-proven dose: Three tablets a day, each containing about 8 mg of the compound petasine. ($44, lef.org.) (Learn about eight other Natural Remedies for Coughs, Headaches, and More.)
2. Try newer drugs. First-generation antihistamines tend to cause more severe symptoms than newer second-generation formulations, says Streicher. You can find a list of the different types here, but a good rule of thumb is to avoid anything that says it will make you drowsy; these tend to be older types.
3. Use lube. If you love your antihistamine and can't bear the thought of switching, lube can help ease dryness until allergy season is over and you can stop taking the drugs. Try a long-lasting option like Replens Vaginal Moisturizer ($12; walmart.com). After you insert it, it delivers moisture for up to three days, so you'll be ready whenever you feel like a romp. (Check out the Best Lube for Any Sex Scenario.)