Birth Control Methods and Your Sex Drive

Jan 13, 2009
Do birth control methods affect woman's libido? Many women who experience decreased sex drive may not readily associate their sexual problems with birth control method they choose. However, several studies indicate that there might be a connection between contraceptive method and fluctuations of sex drive in women.

Condoms and sex drive

According to the recent study conducted by The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, women who use condom are more likely to report sexual dissatisfaction and decreased pleasure. At the same time women who use both hormonal contraception and condoms had highest level of sexual satisfaction.

Many women do not like condoms, thinking that they decrease sexual enjoyment. For others using a condom means better protection against unwanted pregnancy and STD's, which makes woman more confident and relaxed, which contributes to sexual satisfaction. Besides, unlike hormonal contraception, condoms do no interfere with natural hormones and thus cannot influence your sex drive.

Hormonal contraception and sex drive

It is known that hormonal contraception methods work by suppressing the body's normal hormonal pattern, decreasing the level of own androgens, such as testosterone. Several studies showed that some women do experience decreased sex drive and lack of lubrication, but this might refer to a small group of women. Around 5 to 10 % of women who have lowered sex drive might need to change their birth control method. In this situation, it can be recommended to discuss this problem with your gynecologist and choose another contraception method.

Some users might benefit from using contraceptive patch, others may just need to switch to different pills. If hormonal contraception really works against your libido, you may need to consider other contraceptive options like barrier methods or IUD.

IUD and sex drive

The effect of IUD on sex drive was not well studied. Basically, an Intrauterine Device is unlikely to interfere with woman's libido, but this method of contraception may not be suitable for you. Such IUD as Mirena, which releases low doses of hormones into your body, may affect your sex drive, but it is a rare case. In this situation you may need to consult your doctor to change your birth control method.

You should know that there are a lot of factors that may contribute to decreased sex drive. It is recommended to take into account other factors like medications, for example antidepressants that may affect your libido. It can be also that you undergo a tense period in your relationships or other factors like hormonal changes after childbirth may interfere with your sex drive. Therefore it is recommended to discuss your problems with a counselor.

After all, being confident in your birth control method is better for your sex drive than worrying about unwanted consequences.