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How Birth Control Can Affect Your Sex Drive

Birth control pills are the most effective way of managing different hormonal conditions. The fact that they can lower people’s sex drives is understandably stressful.

Birth control is one of the most effective ways of managing a variety of hormonal issues, from irregular periods, to acne and ovarian cysts. But whenever you alter your hormones, there’s a possibility of throwing your body out of sync, sometimes even messing with your libido.

Hormonal birth control options, like the pill, work by shuffling around your neurotransmitters in order to rearrange whatever is out of balance. These neurotransmitters are responsible for the fluctuations of your mood.

“Most studies suggest that fewer than 5% of people on birth control experience a decrease in sex drive, meaning that most women using contraception don’t notice a difference,”  gynecologist Dana Shanis told the Huffington Post. “Some women even notice an improvement in their sex drive while using birth control. This could be because they’re less worried about becoming pregnant.”

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Birth control hormones can at times decrease your levels of testosterone or increase them, thus altering your sex drive. While a change in sexual appetite is not common — in fact, the majority of women who report a change in libido say they have more desire to have sex —  there are still cases where the pills you consume take a toll on your body and relationships.

There are options with no side effects

The one way to limit these changes in hormones would be to use a birth control option that’s hormone free, such as condoms, copper IUD, diaphragms, and such. While some of these methods are effective methods of preventing pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, they won’t address plenty of the solutions that birth control pills provide, such as preventing cysts, controlling irregular periods, managing acne, and more.

Gynecologists also explain that our sex drive is made up of a combination of mental and physical processes. While there’s a hormonal component to your libido, a large percentage of it is psychological, meaning that you could be experiencing a reduced sex drive due to a variety of stressors like physical discomfort, period irregularity or cramps.

Finding a birth control option that works for you is a complex process, be that a hormone pill or something else. Finding the right fit for you involves a good amount of trial and error. Before you make any decision, you should talk to your doctor and explain what’s going on with your body and what you’d like your birth control option to do for you.

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