The Pill May Kill Your Sex Drive
Why I’m thinking about throwing out my birth control pills.
Not feeling in the mood? Blame your birth control pills.
A new study released this week confirms what many women have known for a long time – birth control pills can seriously screw up your sex drive.
Researchers at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, studied 1,086 women and found that those taking hormonal contraceptives are at the highest risk for sexual dysfunction. Women taking oral hormones (birth control pills) and non-oral hormones (the ring, the patch, IUDs, etc.) are more at risk for problems with sexual interest, arousal, lubrication, orgasm and even painful sex. Women using non-hormonal birth control (condoms, etc.) reported the most sexual satisfaction – even more than women using no birth control at all.
As much as this news sucks, it’s reassuring to me that scientists have finally confirmed what so many women have complained about for decades. As Jezebel points out, “Doctors – and the cheery ads for ‘period control’ on television – often fail to discuss this problem…now that a study has confirmed this effect, maybe doctors and drug companies alike will actually take notice, rather than dismissing women’s experiences as mere anecdotal evidence.”
I’ve never personally experienced sexual side effects from birth control pills, but I’m tormented by other big b.c. worries. I’m still terrified by their maybe-maybe-not link to breast cancer. Despite the low-dose estrogen pills I take, I’m overwhelmed with a wave of nausea each time I pop a little white pill. I also fear the other consequences of synthetic hormones for my body – and our water supply. In fact, for years, I avoided the pill altogether (a tactic I suggest for anyone who needs – or whose boyfriend needs – an incentive for condom use).
Less than a year ago, I finally jumped on the birth control bandwagon. My concerns were assuaged by my gynecologist’s promises of clearer skin, regular periods and significant reduction in ovarian cancer risk.