How Allergy Medication Can Affect Your Sex Life

by Lily Feinn

Once spring has finally sprung, along with the cherry blossoms and warm weather comes the much less pleasant symphony of sneezing and sniffling. Preventing these pollen attacks is usually as simple as popping a pill, but you may be surprised to learn how allergy medication can affect your sex life. If you are feeling frisky at night and sneezy during the day, you may want to think twice when using an antihistamine before hitting the sheets. Common over-the-counter medications like Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, and Benadryl could cause some unpleasant sexual side effects. And spring fever should be about a roll in the hay, not hay fever, amiright?

Antihistamines are the most common treatment for seasonal allergies, and can provide you with fast relief. When your body is exposed to allergens, it triggers an immune response and produces histamines. These cause watery eyes, runny nose, itching, and sneezing, which is definitely not a good look if you are trying to get down. Antihistamines block the effects of histamines and are often paired with decongestants which reduce swelling and make breathing through the nose easier. Both medications will dry you out, since they reduce the amount of mucus that you produce. And they don’t just act on the mucus membranes in your sinuses and throat, but all over the body including, that’s right — the vajayjay.

"Over-the-counter cold and allergy formulas contain antihistamines that dry out the mucus membranes in your nose, as well as your vagina," Alyssa Dweck, a gynocologist in Westchester, New York, told Cosmopolitan. The vagina is pretty darn amazing, constantly regulating and cleaning itself, as well as self-lubricating as necessary. Medications that change the body’s integral natural processes will do more than make you a bit drowsy. It's not a libido issue — allergy pills can dry you out this summer faster than bad hot tub sex (isn't all hot tub sex bad, really?).

If you are looking to get busy this season and still manage those sniffles with medication, make sure you are introducing lube into your sexy-time rituals. Having sex while not properly lubricated can lead to side effects more serious than the initial brief discomfort. Burning, bleeding, itchiness, pain, and urinary tract infections may also become an issue if you don't give your downstairs proper lube attention.

There are other precautions you can take to minimize allergy exposure this season before reaching for an antihistamine. Pollen counts are highest in the early morning and evening, so keeping windows closed during those times and instead using the AC will help your home stay allergen-free. Additionally, changing out of clothes that were worn outside and showering before bed removes the pollen from your skin and will make you feel better. Most importantly, have fun and be safe in the garden and in the bedroom this spring ;).

Images: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle, Giphy