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Men on Ozempic Are Reporting "Embarrassing" Sexual Side Effects

Men taking the medication claim on Reddit that they are experiencing erectile dysfunction.

With pretty much any medication, you run the risk of encountering some unwanted side effects. Semaglutide injection medications, including Ozempic, are no different. Patients taking Ozempic and other brands have reported experiencing severe gastrointestinal issues, personality changes, and painful rashes, among other troublesome conditions. Now, some men who are on semaglutides are reporting sexual side effects, mainly in the form of erectile dysfunction (ED).

RELATED: Doctor Says Ozempic Raises Certain Health Risks by Up to 900%.

Several Reddit threads are filled with discussions about experiencing ED while on weight-loss drugs, with men sharing their experiences and consulting one another for advice. One Redditor, a 61-year-old man who says he never had ED issues in the past, shared his frustrations about semaglutide, which is the active ingredient in both Ozempic and Wegovy. (Ozempic is only approved to treat type 2 diabetes, not chronic weight management, but it is often prescribed off-label.)

"Now after 6 weeks on semaglutide, my compass is pointing south. ED isn't listed as a common side effect online," he wrote on Reddit.

A poster in his early 40s shared similar concerns, writing, "There have been a few times in the past few months, since going to 1mg [of Ozempic], when my partner has been in the mood and I haven't been able to perform or to sustain performance levels I was previously capable of."

A 23-year-old poster said he'd also run into issues after increasing his dose of semaglutide.

"It's a little embarrassing having to troubleshoot this in front of a new partner," he wrote.

Scientific evidence gives some weight to these claims. A study published in February in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that males without diabetes on Ozempic and Wegvoy had a higher risk of developing ED and testosterone deficiency.

During a presentation at the Annual Fall Scientific Meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America late last year, Brian Liao, lead study author and medical student at John Sealy School of Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, cited these results as surprising.

"Our findings [were] in the opposite direction of the expectation, where we expected that weight loss would improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction," Liao said, per Urology Times.

RELATED: Ozempic Patients Reveal Major Side Effect When You Stop Taking It.

As a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist, semaglutide works by mimicking a hormone to slow gastric emptying and make you feel fuller longer. But GLP-1s can have other effects.

"Studies have shown that GLP-1 receptor agonists, including semaglutide, may have an impact on testosterone levels in men," Steven Batash, MD, board-certified gastroenterologist and weight-loss expert at Batash Endoscopic Weight Loss, told People. "Testosterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in male sexual function. Reduced testosterone levels can result in a decrease in libido, as well as other sexual concerns such as [erectile dysfunction]."

While research in this area is still limited, some men taking semaglutide were able to combat sexual side effects by lowering their dosage or discontinuing use.

The poster who shared that his ED issues were "embarrassing" posted an update, writing that he spent a week off of semaglutide before starting a new 0.075-mg dose. He said he experienced "zero issues with ED" after this and didn't need to resort to taking ED medications such as Viagra or Cialis.

"Everything feels back to normal and is 'on command' like it used to," he wrote, noting that he also introduced daily growth hormones to his routine.

A patient taking Ozempic to treat his type 2 diabetes said that he went from "completely normal sexual function to finding it impossible to achieve or maintain an erection," even with the help of Cialis and Viagra. But while his doctor said the treatment shouldn't affect his ability to perform, after stopping use for two weeks, he said he was "back to functioning normally sexually," albeit with higher blood sugar levels.

"I will go back on Ozempic as I understand the importance of maintaining healthy [blood sugar] levels and I guess say goodbye to sex again," the Redditor concluded.

Low sex drive and ED are not listed as currently listed as side effects of Ozempic or noted in the drug's prescribing information. In response to a request from Best Life, Novo Nordisk declined to comment.

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Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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