Does Birth Control Affect Libido? Does Birth Control Affect Libido?

Does Birth Control Affect Libido?

Are the pill and other types of hormonal birth control linked to changes in libido? Keep reading to discover more.

 When women on the pill or using other hormonal birth control methods observe a decrease in their previously vibrant sex drive, it's natural to question whether their birth control contributes. If you find your interest in sex diminishing, should you consider transitioning to an alternative method of pregnancy prevention? You can find some helpful advice below.



Does Birth Control Affect Libido?

The situation is complex. Libido, especially for women, is a multifaceted aspect, and changes in sexual desire usually result from various factors. Definitive research on whether birth control pills explicitly enhance or reduce female sex drive remains inconclusive. Interestingly, many women not using hormonal birth control often experience increased sexual urges during ovulation, a phenomenon that aligns with the evolutionary perspective of ensuring species survival. This is not the case with birth control pills, which suppress ovulation. On the other hand, severe, painful periods can affect mood and enthusiasm. In contrast, birth control leads to lighter and less painful periods, potentially enhancing overall sexual well-being, even without the backing of peer-reviewed studies.


You might have thought that being on the pill decreases your sex drive due to a reduction in your body's natural testosterone levels. However, any changes you observe are unlikely to be caused by that factor. Most studies indicate that testosterone doesn't have a decisive influence on women's sex drive, and research demonstrates that administering testosterone to women doesn't yield any significant effects.


One exception to this is that certain studies indicate the birth control shot might lead to depression in some women, potentially affecting libido. However, numerous women who opt for the shot find it appealing due to the convenience of only needing to think about birth control every three months. It's advised to avoid the birth control shot if you have had depression.

When It Comes To Sex Drive, How Can You Tell If The Pill Is Hurting You?

If your birth control prescription isn't recent and you've noticed a gradual decrease in libido over time, other factors likely contribute to your lowered sexual desire. These factors could include stress, relationship problems, or using another prescription medication (specifically, certain antidepressants have been known to decrease sex drive potentially). It's common for your sexual desire to decrease to some extent as you age, especially in longer-term relationships, after pregnancy, and when dealing with the demands of parenting and various life changes. However, many prefer not to attribute it to fatigue, stress, or relationship challenges. In certain instances, a woman might anticipate that changing her birth control method will swiftly resolve the issue.


However, rekindling her diminished sexual desire often calls for a more nuanced approach involving stress reduction, enhanced communication, and strengthening the connection with her partner. It's worth noting that a decrease in sexual desire isn't always due to fatigue, stress, or relationship issues alone. Although changing birth control methods might seem easy, it's essential to take a more holistic approach to reigniting sexual desire. This could involve reducing stress, enhancing communication, and strengthening the connection with one's partner.


What Should You Tell Your Provider If You Want To Switch?

You understand your body better than anyone else, so if you believe that your pill has influenced your sex drive or resulted in any undesirable side effects, such as acne or weight gain, there's no harm in switching prescriptions and experimenting with something new. A different progestin or estrogen level may make you feel better. In Europe, over ten variations of progestin are utilized in combination with birth control pills. Therefore, considering a pill containing a different progestin type might be beneficial.


It is worth considering exploring a formula with a higher or lower dosage of estrogen, assuming it is deemed safe by your healthcare provider. It's important to note that estrogen is crucial in enhancing lubrication and maintaining the thickness of vaginal walls. Thus, birth control pills containing estrogen could potentially enhance sexual experiences for women entering menopause.

The Bottom Line

Don't anticipate discontinuing birth control or changing to a different formula will automatically ignite a fiery sex life if other essential factors are lacking. However, pay attention to your body's signals. If you suspect your birth control affects you negatively, don't hesitate to discuss alternative options with your healthcare provider. There's no risk in changing birth control methods, provided a healthcare provider confirms that it's a safe decision for you. Just commit to giving it a three-month trial, as it can take that duration for your body to adapt to the new formula.


If you're seeking professional guidance, Mobi Doctor offers the convenience of online consultations. With Mobi Doctor, you get online urgent care.


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