Home US Ozempic is a wonder drug for weight loss – but this one surprising side effect could ruin your relationship and will make you question if you REALLY want to take it…

Ozempic is a wonder drug for weight loss – but this one surprising side effect could ruin your relationship and will make you question if you REALLY want to take it…

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Ozempic is a wonder drug for weight loss - but this one surprising side effect could ruin your relationship and will make you question if you REALLY want to take it...

I was wiping the kitchen surfaces and humming to myself when I felt a pair of hands on my waist. Normally I would have turned to my husband with a smile and pressed myself against him in a promise of what might come later. But now, strangely, all I felt was irritation.

The hands moved higher. I felt rage – more like PMT, irrational and deep in my gut.

“Don’t touch me,” I said. His face was shocked and hurt. I felt terrible, but at the same time detached.

My husband, Jim, and I have always had a passionate, playful and inventive sex life. From exciting role-playing to handcuffs and making love at any time of the day, sex has always been an inherent part of our 20-year relationship.

But eight weeks ago I started using Ozempic injections. All the lust I normally feel for Jim has disappeared along with the extra pounds. I feel better about my body than I have in years, but I have no desire whatsoever to have sex. The only emotion I feel when he comes near me is anger and a faint sense of repulsion.

Jim is understandably very keen that I come off the injections.

I am a nurse in my local GP practice in a busy town in Dorset and I am always busy. When you work 11-hour days, you tend to eat when you can.

The patients bring cakes and biscuits all the time and it’s impossible to resist. I never feel full and I eat emotionally. Whether I’m happy, sad, grieving or overwhelmed, my go-to is a biscuit tin, crisps or a bottle of wine. I knew I needed to make long-term changes, but I found it impossible to get started. I would try to stay away from food during the day and if I could, I would binge in the evening.

My weight gain really started during Covid and by January this year I had gained two stone. All my clothes were tight and I was uncomfortable with how I looked.

I am in my forties and I knew that much of the weight gain involved future health risks. We’re going on holiday in August and I don’t want to feel mum people are whispering about because I’ve given myself permission.

Having a 15 year old daughter I am extremely careful about dieting or restricting food so I would never skip meals. We don’t have a scale in the house – I weigh myself at work, so Ozempic seemed like a good solution. I would continue to eat with the family but just have smaller portions.

Before using Ozempic, I did a lot of research. I knew the most common side effects; mostly headache and nausea. And I discussed it with Jim, who said that if I felt like doing it, he was right behind me. I’d say he regrets that decision now.

I found an online pharmacy selling it for £170 which would last four weeks. I had to make a long questionnaire. Then they asked for a photo of me, which I sent, and then the prescription had to be approved by a general practitioner, which was done the very next day.

Within 24 hours of my first injection I lost my appetite. It was extraordinary. It was lunchtime at work, and normally I would try to talk myself into having a salad instead of a mayonnaise-wrapped sandwich or a pasta, but I realized I didn’t feel like eating. Usually medicine takes a while to kick in, but this was less than a day. It was an exciting feeling.

That afternoon I marveled at how different I felt. At that point I wanted to be heading straight for the biscuit tin, but I didn’t feel like it. I was thrilled. Obviously, the weight would melt away and I would feel good about myself in no time.

During that week I felt more and more satisfied with my decision. I had wondered if I might feel less energetic because I would eat less, but I increased my water intake significantly and woke up every morning feeling fresh and ready for the day. It was fabulous.

I didn’t see Jim much that week. He is a technical engineer and we were on opposite shifts. But then we both had the weekend off and we thought we’d go and do something nice. For us it would always culminate in sex. It was when he went in to cuddle in the kitchen that I realized I just couldn’t stand him touching me. I wasn’t terribly interested.

What the expert says…

Although low sex drive is not listed as a side effect of Ozempic, some who use it report a reduction in libido and in sensation, writes Dr. Shirin Lakhani, intimate health expert.

Ozempic (semaglutide) works by targeting the hormone GLP-1, which tells the body that it is full and that you do not want to eat more. But it also appears to suppress sexual function in some individuals.

There is no research yet on how or why this happens. Rapid weight loss can affect hormone balance, as can a restricted diet, so it may be the mechanism of action that causes this effect.

Ozempic can also cause fatigue, and some speculate that it may affect other hormone pathways.

A 2023 analysis found that non-diabetic men using semaglutide had a slightly higher risk of erectile dysfunction. In women, the effect on libido is, as far as I can tell, purely anecdotal. There is no indication that changes would be permanent.

It did not improve in the following weeks. I don’t want to deny him sex – why should he like it too? But I’ve been very honest with him and said that I’m not getting anything out of it. God help me but when he started kissing me I even used the words ‘Just keep it up’.

I react physically – I kiss him back and touch him – but I feel nothing. He’s tried everything. And I mean everything. He has put so much effort into massaging and trying different ways to excite me. But I’m just not interested. I can’t get excited in any way. Normally I orgasm easily, but now there is nothing there.

Not only has all the pleasure gone from food – I have to force myself to eat – but I also have no desire to drink alcohol. I’ve stopped making plans to go out with friends – or to dinner with my husband. And what’s the point of me and Jim going out together or going away if I don’t want to have sex?

I feel that I have lost the pleasures that make life so rich. There’s nothing like a delicious, crisp glass of white wine, a creamy curry or the sheer sweaty pleasure of great sex. but I don’t enjoy any of them anymore? I’m thinner, but I’m miserable. It’s Hobson’s choice.

Since this happened I have Googled ‘Ozempic and lost libido’ and I see others have reported it as a side effect.

Now Jim asks how long I plan to stay on Ozempic. I have said, for now, I will continue. I’ve lost ten kilos and I’ve gained enough for four more weeks. But I can see that more than a month like this can start to hurt our marriage. And it’s too valuable to risk it.

So in April I will stop the weekly injections and hope that everything will be back to normal. I’m looking forward to putting on some nice underwear, feeling sexy again with my slimmer figure and seducing my man like he deserves!

As told to Alice Smellie. Name has been changed

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