It has been found by Beatrice Golomb, MD and her research team in a first-of-its-kind study presented at the American Psychosomatic Society meeting that men and women taking statins, not only saw a reduction in LDL cholesterol, but also issues with their ability to achieve an orgasm.
One thousand women and men were followed by the team of researchers led by Golomb. These participants had high levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), but no symptoms of heart disease. They were followed for six months. Those who participated in the study were randomly selected to take either a statin medication or a placebo. Statin medications include those such as Zocor and Lipitor, and they lower cholesterol by blocking a substance that your body would need to develop it. Statins can also help your body reabsorb cholesterol that is built up on the walls of your arteries and help keep further blockage in your blood vessels at bay.
It was noted by Golomb that certain studies have shown an improvement in sexual function with statins, likely because they are able to increase blood flow to the genitals. However, in her study, the ability to have an orgasm dipped right along with their LDL levels.
Golomb says the message to take home from her study is that if you’re finding yourself less able to achieve an orgasm and you’re on a statin, speak with your doctor. Sexual health is important and it should be a factor in your decision to either use or not use this type of drug.
The American Heart Association (AHA) says that a lot of the side effects of statins depend on the dose you take. So the higher the dosage, the more side effects you’ll experience. The AHA makes clear that doctors should prescribe the lowest dose that will have a patient’s cholesterol levels on target. It’s important to consult your physician before deciding to lower your dosage and not attempt to do it on your own.