Like most medications, the birth control pill comes with a few side effects. Most of them are mild and similar to the symptoms you may have right before your period—like nausea, bloating, breast tenderness, and mood swings. Thankfully, these side effects often go away after a few months.
Decades of research do not support this claim. After all, most people go on hormonal methods like the pill, patchringor shot once they enter into a long-term monogamous relationship—and people in long-term monogamous relationships tend to have less sex than they did in their early days together.
Still, you are the only one who lives in your body and the only one who can possibly know if you feel different since you started using a hormonal birth control method—so always trust your instincts. If you think your birth control might be affecting your sex drive, here are a few things to consider before you decide to part ways with your method. The idea that the pill causes libido to drop has been around for almost as long as the pill itself.
Some coverage of the subject even offers a biological explanation based on the fact that the pill reduces the amount of testosterone women produce.
Yes, even though we think of testosterone as the male sex hormone, females make it too and it is instrumental in their sex drives as well. The theory is that Birth control pills effect on sexuality decrease in testosterone, which is similar to what happens Birth control pills effect on sexuality menopause, causes a decrease in desire. The most recent research on this topic used a tool called the Sexual Desire Inventory on over women and men in heterosexual relationships of various lengths.
The tool questioned participants about both their desire for sex with their partner and their desire for masturbation when they were alone. The results initially suggested that women on non-hormonal contraceptives had higher desire on their own, while women on the pill had higher desire with their partner, but these correlations went away when the researchers adjusted for age of the women and length of their relationships.
The researchers say this suggests that the differences are more about relationships and less about birth control. Kristen Mark, the lead author on the study said in a statement: The message that hormonal pills decrease desire is really prevalent…. This research helps to bust those myths and hopefully eventually get rid of this common cultural script in our society.
Of course, if you are on a hormonal method now and finding yourself less interested in sex—or if you have a partner in that situation—mountains of research mean next to nothing. Luckily, we have some suggestions for troubleshooting—and hopefully getting your mojo back. Rethink your definition of desire. Start kissing your partner or watching a sexy movie and see what happens. Talk to your partner. Think back to a time when sex was great and try to recreate the magic, or brainstorm new ideas.
The conversation alone may be a turn-on. There are medications such as anti-seizure meds and anti-depressants that are known to cause a decrease in libido. Medical issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and Birth control pills effect on sexuality high cholesterol can also interfere with sex drive. Get in touch with your emotions. Self-esteem or body image issues can also play tricks on your desire.
Do a mental health check and be honest with yourself about whether it could be time to see a therapist or counselor to talk about your lack of "Birth control pills effect on sexuality" and any underlying issues that might be at play. You could also engage in some self-care by getting a massage, reading a good book, or going out for a night with friends.
The pill can lead to vaginal dryness, which can in turn lead to pain during sex —and pain during sex can make more sex seem less appealing. Fortunately, if dryness is the issue, lube can help! The bottom line is that you know your body best. If your sex drive feels different to you, ask your health care provider first about switching to a different hormonal method or even just a different formulation of the pill, which can have a big impact on side effects.
You can find a perfect balance between method and libido—you may just have to troubleshoot a bit.