Birth Control Pills And Sex Drive. Do Pills Lower Libido?
There has been a lot of speculation about the effects of birth control on women’s libido. However, scientists have come to discover that the elements that drive a woman’s desire to have sex are not compatible with scientific methods. The research into the relationship between birth control pills and sex drive has continuously produced different results.
The science on birth control pills and sex drive
An analysis of the research studies conducted on this topic shows that most women reported no link between birth control pills and their sex drive. However, there are various ways in which the contraceptives can alter your bodily functions which can cause you to lose interest in sex.
Many scientists consider testosterone to be a sex drive hormone. Estrogen, which is common in many birth control pills, has been linked to a reduction in testosterone levels in the body. This is because estrogen contributes to the increase in sex hormone-binding globulin. It traps some of the testosterone in the body.
In a study appearing in the Journal of Sexual Medicine scientists found that the level of sex hormone-binding globulin in women taking birth control pills was four times higher than in women who had never used hormonal contraceptives.
Another factor that might lead to lower testosterone levels is the lack of ovulation. Most oral contraceptives work by releasing hormones into the body that mimic pregnancy. In return, this helps to prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation. However, some women experience a rise in the testosterone levels mid-cycle. The increase in testosterone causes some women to experience a spike in their sexual desire.
However, since ovulation does not occur when taking birth control pills, there is no spike in testosterone. Therefore, a person might miss this rise in sexual appetite once they get on the pill.
Birth control pills can affect lubrication
One of the side effects of low-dose birth control is that it may make it harder for a woman to get wet. Although this is not a sign of low sex drive, it does affect some women’s ability to get turned on. Read more on our separate blog: Do Birth Control Pills Impact Vaginal Lubrication?
Challenges in research
It is really hard to pin down what low sex drive means to different people. For some, it might mean that they are not that into it. Others might be repulsed by the thought of having sex. This is one of the reasons why studies keep giving different results on the connection between birth control pills and sex drive.
What to do if your pill is affecting your libido
If you feel that there is a link between your birth control pills and sex drive, then you should switch to another pill or method. Read on for information on both.
Switch to another pill
The beauty of oral contraceptives is that they come in different varieties. If your birth control is not working for you, you can switch to another pill with the help of your physician.
Pills containing drospirenone are known to be anti-testosterone. If your pills contain it, you can switch to a pill that has levonorgestrel which is considered to be pro-testosterone.
Switch to another method
If pills just aren’t working for you, you can opt for an alternative birth control method. An IUD is a good option since it does not prevent ovulation. The copper IUD may even be better since it is not hormonal.
Mikko Törmä is certified pharmacist and has over 15 years experience in pharmaceutical industry, pharmacy and has worked also in Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Mikko is a professional writer who’s main focus is to make medical science simple to read and understandable, so that ordinary people can easily benefit from the research & recommendations made by professionals. His deepest interest is in the public health and to provide fair access to primary health care for everyone.
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