depo-Provera and Other Biological Treatments to Reduce Sexual Drive
_depo-Provera is the trade name for a medication whose chemical name is medroyxprogesterone acetate. It is a female hormone which, when given to a man, inhibits the production of testosterone, thus reducing sexual drive. When taking depo-Provera, men are still able to engage in sexual relations, but they do not think about sex as often and their sexual thoughts are not as strong as before. Hence there is less risk that a man will act out sexual impulses in ways that might get him into trouble. Clients appropriate for depo-Provera will be referred to a consulting physician.
_The most common side-effects of depo-Provera are an increase in weight (usually less than 5 pounds), and a slight feeling of tiredness. These effects are temporary. Infrequent side-effects include headaches, upset stomach, leg cramps and blood clots; these are rare and can be detected and treated by a physician.
_The principal benefit of taking depo-Provera is that a man may not think about sex as often and will not feel compelled to act on sexual thoughts as he has in the past. Freedom from intrusive, compulsive or deviant sexual thoughts allows an individual to develop behavioral self-management techniques and to work more effectively on other issues. Furthermore, a reduction in deviant sexual urges allows men to acquire other outlets for their sexual drive and develop nonsexual ways of relating to others. Again, there is less risk that an individual will act out sexually if he is taking depo-Provera.
Evaluation for medication
_The consulting physician will obtain a medical and sexual history and then make a determination about whether depo-Provera or any other medication is indicated. This evaluation might include the results of other testing, such as a plethysmograph assessment. If depo-Provera is appropriate for the client, the physician will review an extensive fact sheet and consent form before prescribing the medication. If another clinic refers a client for medication, that clinic may chose to continue following that client while the Sexual Abuse Clinic continues the medication.
Course of treatment
_depo-Provera is given by intramuscular injection, usually twice monthly. The amount of medication in the body is monitored from time-to-time by a blood test. Since each person is unique, the duration of treatment can vary. Some men have received the medication for 6 to 8 months while others may receive it for several years or more.
_depo-Provera, or any other medication, is not a cure for sexual problems. Medication is simply a temporary means to make a person safer to be at large in the community. Therefore, clients are expected to participate in cognitive-behavioral treatment programs to learn behavioral self-management. These programs might include educational groups, individual counseling, arousal reconditioning sessions, group therapy or couple’s counseling.
_Certain antidepressants can also be prescribed to reduce sexual drive. These medications are usually less effective than depo-Provera in reducing sexual arousal. When individuals present with a combination of sexual problems and depression, however, an antidepressant may be appropriate.
Please feel free to contact us for a free initial appointment to see if our therapists are the right match for your problems. (Note: This does not apply to individual evaluations or testing for professionally-referred cases).
Sexual Abuse Clinic sponsors free annual workshops for related
professionals focusing on the assessment and treatment of sexual
offenders. We are happy to provide education, training and consultation
to your organization or group as requested.