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 down 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 the promise of what was to come later. But now, strangely enough, all I felt was irritation.

The hands went higher. I felt anger – a bit like PMT, irrational and deep in my stomach.

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

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

However, eight weeks ago I started using Ozempic injections. All the longing I normally feel for Jim is gone, along with the extra pounds. I feel better about my body than I have in years, but I don’t feel like having sex at all. The only emotion I feel when he comes near me is anger and a faint sense of disgust.

Understandably, Jim really wants me to get off the injections.

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

Patients bring cakes and cookies all the time, and it’s impossible to resist. I never feel full and I’m an emotional eater. Whether I’m happy, sad, grieving or overwhelmed, my go-to is the cookie tin, chips or bottle of wine. I knew I needed to make long-term changes, but I found it impossible to get started. I tried not to eat food during the day and if I managed, I would binge eat at night.

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

I’m in my 40s and I knew that much of the weight gain posed health risks for the future. We’re going on vacation in August and I don’t want to feel like the mother people whisper about because I let myself go.

Since I have 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 at home – I weigh myself at work, so Ozempic seemed like a good solution. I would continue to eat with the family, but with smaller portions.

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

I found an online pharmacy that sold it for £170, which would last four weeks. I had to fill out a long questionnaire. Then they asked for a photo of me, which I sent, and then the prescription had to be approved by a GP, which happened the 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 convince myself to eat a salad instead of a mayonnaise sandwich or a patty, but I realized I didn’t feel like eating. Normally medicine takes some time to work, but this was less than a day. It was an exciting feeling.

That afternoon I was surprised at how different I felt. At that point I was going to go straight to the cookie jar, but I didn’t feel like doing that. I was excited. It was clear that the weight would melt away and I would feel good about myself in no time.

Over the course of that week, I felt more and more satisfied with my decision. I wondered if I might feel less energetic because I ate less, but I increased my water intake significantly and woke up every morning feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. It was fantastic.

I didn’t see much of Jim that week. He is a technical engineer and we had opposite shifts. But then we both had a weekend off and we thought: we’re going to do something fun. For us, that would always end in sex. At that point he went in for a cuddle in the kitchen and I realized I just couldn’t stand him touching me. I wasn’t even remotely interested.

What the expert says…

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

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

No research has yet been done into how and why this happens. Rapid weight loss can affect hormone balance, just like a restricted diet. It is therefore possible that the mechanism of action causes this effect.

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

A 2023 analysis found that non-diabetic men taking 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.

Things did not get better in the following weeks. I don’t want to deprive him of sex – why should he have to suffer too? But I was very honest with him and said that I don’t get anything from it. God help me, but when he started kissing me, I even used the words, “Just keep going.”

I respond physically – I kiss him back and I touch him – but I feel nothing. He’s tried everything. And I mean everything. He put so much effort into massages and tried different ways to arouse me. But I’m just not interested. There’s no way I can get excited. Normally I come easily, but now there is nothing.

Not only has all the pleasure from eating disappeared – I have to force myself to eat – but I also no longer feel like drinking alcohol. I no longer make plans to go out with friends – or to go out to dinner with my husband. And what’s the point of me and Jim dating or going away if I don’t want to have sex?

I feel like I’ve lost the joys that make life so rich. There’s nothing like a delicious, fresh glass of white wine, a creamy curry or the pure sweaty pleasure of great sex. but I don’t enjoy it anymore? I’m thinner, but I’m miserable. It’s Hobson’s choice.

Since this happened, I’ve 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 the Ozempic. I said: for now I will continue. I have lost ten kilos and have enough for four more weeks. But I imagine that more than a month like this could damage our marriage. And it’s too expensive to risk that.

So in April I will stop the weekly injections and hope that everything will return to normal. I’m eager to put on nice underwear, feel sexy again with my slimmer figure, and seduce my man the way he deserves!

As told to Alice Smellie. Naam has changed