Why don’t you want sex? We don’t have sex anymore! I’m always the one starting something, you never do!
If you’ve found yourself wondering if birth control affects your sex drive, you’re not alone.
Quick disclaimer: This is a complex topic and every woman is different when it comes to her sexuality. Plus, there are quite a few disagreements when it comes to the findings on this subject area. But for those of you who want answers, we’ve gone to all lengths to try and find some for you.
From a hormonal perspective, contraception and your sex drive are related by the changing levels of androgens, estrogens and progestin hormones in your body as a result of The Pill.
The combination of estrogen and progestin hormones in combined contraceptive pills can lower your body’s testosterone levels. Testosterone is one of several hormones responsible for regulating your sex drive, and this decrease could cause you to develop a lower level of interest in sex.
This is super frustrating for women. And it’s likely you feel the blame when your sex life (especially those in relationships) loses its spice and spontaneity.
How does The Pill, and other hormonal contraceptives, affect your libido?
Hormonal birth control decreases the amount of androgen hormones your ovaries produce.
Normally, they produce these when you’re ovulating - triggering a rise in your libido. Basically, your body is telling you it wants sex because it’s biologically wired to procreate.
But hormonal birth control stops you from ovulating, meaning limited androgens to get you fired up.
Literally. Your clitoris and vagina can become less sensitive due to the lower levels of testosterone flowing through your body. This makes sex far less pleasurable and quite frustrating for all involved.
The hormones in birth control pills can also reduce the mucus and fluid that usually shows up to the party when you’re aroused.
Dry sex is not comfortable. For anyone! Lube could be a fix here, but that doesn’t change how you’re feeling.
There are some forms of hormonal birth control that don’t have as much of an effect on libido as others.
These is always an option for you to try, or you could use barrier methods such as female and male condoms.
You may want to consider birth control products that have higher androgen indexes, which means they don’t have as much of an effect on androgen levels.
Progestin-only birth control, like the mini pill, doesn’t affect androgen levels nearly as much as the combination pill.
But it’s best to weigh all of the pros and cons of each contraceptive method before you dismiss hormonal contraceptives altogether.