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  • 28Dec

    Can hormonal contraception affect your sex drive?

    There are many forms of contraception that women use today. They all have their own preferences when it comes to contraception. Some prefer surgical contraception, physical barrier methods or swallowing pills. A technique where a woman is required to swallow a pill for contraception refers to hormonal or oral contraception.

    The term hormonal contraception is used because of the fact that the pill’s role is to alter the release of hormones in the woman’s blood. Namely estrogen and progesterone. The pill is designed to reduce the level of these hormones in the blood in order to prevent ovulation. Ovulation is a release of an egg from woman’s ovary. The released egg can be then fertilized by spermatozoid during sexual encounter.

    Sceptics  say that artificial intervention in hormonal system can affect woman’s sex drive. Let’s take a deeper look.

    Reason for sex drive

    There are many physiological and psychological factors that can affect sex drive. Studies have shown that there is one particular hormone which plays a key role in the sex drive of an individual. That hormone is testosterone. It is found in abundance in men but also a significant amount of it is present in each women. When the level of testosterone in a person decreases, the level of sex drive is  also reduced.

    Contraceptive pills and the level of testosterone

    The truth is that oral contraception doesn’t just affect the level of progesterone and estrogen in the blood. It also has consequences on the level of testosterone in the woman’s body. The production of testosterone is significantly reduced. But it doesn’t stop here.

    Pill may have a long term consequence on a woman sex drive

    Pills may have a long-term consequences on a woman sex drive

    Another side effect of hormonal contraception is that it increases the level of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). This globulin is a natural inhibitor of hormones. When it binds to the already low level of testosterone available in the blood, it prevents it from functioning on the tissues. This seriously reduces any chance that testosterone can play a role in helping to increase the sex drive of a woman.

    Research has also shown that the level of SHBG can remain high even 6 months after a woman had stopped taking pills. So it is clear that the pills do have a long-term consequence on a woman sex drive.

    Another known side effect of oral contraception is decreased vaginal lubrication that eventually leads to sexual pains during penetration.

     Each woman is different

    It is important to remember that every individual is unique and we can react in different ways to the same incentive. Not all women have claimed to experience lower sex drive while taking contraceptive pills. The amount of testosterone produced in each individual differs. Some women may produce more than enough testosterone to the point where the pill may not have a significant impact on the level of testosterone in the blood. Allowing it to still have a good level of sex drive despite using hormonal contraception.

    It is crucial to have in mind that oral contraception may have huge positive psychological impact on a woman. Hormonal contraception is proven to be the most effective method of pregnancy prevention. Feeling of security can compensate the negative physiological effect and increase woman’s sexual needs. However, this is a very subjective feeling and can alternate in time and with cumulation of SHBG in body.

    If you tend to experience low sex drive after some few months of being on pills, it might be the right time to try another form of contraception. Probably the forms of contraception that have an effect on the body natural functions are not good for your body. You might want to try other means like relying on physical barriers – condoms or spermicides. Whatever your choice is, make sure you discuss it with you doctor.

    Anna L.

    It’s all about health!
    I have academic background in drugs related Chemical Technology, as well as extensive professional experience in pharma and medical companies. My main area of interest is everyday life medicine. The goal of my articles is to give people informative answers to the questions that bother them, to dispel doubts and some common misbeliefs and also to inspire everyone to keep healthy lifestyle.

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