Skip Nav
Women's Health
What You Need to Know Before Quitting the Pill
Fitness Gear
If You've Got Big Boobs, Here Are Some Tips For Buying the Perfect Sports Bra
Healthy Recipes
18 Whole30 Dinners You'll Make Well After Your Diet Ends

Could the Pill Be Hurting Your Sex Drive?

Could Birth Control Pills Be Hurting Your Sex Drive?

Attention users of the pill: according to a new study, women who use hormonal contraceptives are at a higher risk for sexual problems. The German study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, evaluated over 1,000 women using various birth control methods; the pill, the ring, and condoms were most popular. Most of the women involved in the study were in a stable, monogamous relationship for at least six months. Researchers found that nearly 33 percent of the women were at risk for female sexual dysfunction, including lack of orgasm, desire, satisfaction, arousal and lubrication.

Women using nonhormonal contraceptives experienced the least dysfunction. Women using non-oral hormonal contraceptives — like the ring— were at highest risk, followed closely by those using oral hormonal contraceptives. Researchers can't explain the exact connection between hormonal contraception and dysfunction, but cite one possibility: oral contraceptives have been found to reduce circulating levels of androgens, perhaps leading to low circulating levels of testosterone, the hormone needed to trigger desire.

How do you feel about this study? Do the findings mirror your experiences with birth control?

Join The Conversation
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
LoEstrin 24 pretty much did all of this to me. Sex became incredibly painful as well. Took a few YEARS to (sorta) go back to normal. My hormones are still out of whack from The Pill and I completely stopped 2 years ago this June. If you're really having bad side effects, don't be afraid to try another pill. I ended up going through 8 pills (6 different formulas/synthetic hormones) before giving up, at least for now. I tried Yasmin (gave me stomach issues, possibly an ulcer), Ortho-Tri-Cyclen Lo (gave me 3 week periods on 2 different occasions), Seasonique, Estro-Step/Necon (same as Loestrin, but I wasn't on either long enough to get the symptoms), Ogestrel, and a few others. One major problem I've seen is doctors have no idea what formulas they're prescribing. You'll have issues with one pill and he'll prescribe another, but it's the exact same thing, different brand. You can look up the different formulas on Yahoo! Health. Type in your pill formula and it will give you a list of other brands that are the same thing.
hannrkelley hannrkelley 7 years
YES. it's awful. the lubrication is honestly the absolute worst thing. And every other symptom's ruining my sex life to be honest but I'm just not comfortable with any other method. As tlsgirl said "the trade-off would be bad skin, bad periods, and the possibility of a baby, so I'll just have to stick with the pill for now. " I trust myself when it comes to contraception, not my bf, and I just don't think I'd be able to deal with the constant whinging about condoms..grow up! When is that polly-filler-type male contraception going to come??? That thing sounds amazing!
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I've been on the pill for about 15 years, so it's kind of hard to remember!
flyowsley flyowsley 7 years
If you think about it...what does the pill do? It keeps you from ovulating, right? Ovulation is the time when your body wants you to make a baby, right? Studies have shown that during ovulation your sex drive is higher than other times during the month. It makes sense complete sense that the pill would damage your sex drive.
wiggle wiggle 7 years
I am totally surprised by the ring affecting sex drive.
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
I have a generic pill, and right now it's killing it. It makes me feel so stupid, and I'm 19 so I should be having sex like crazy, but I'm honestly not. I'm switching in hopes that it will return =(
betty-kraker betty-kraker 7 years
i was on the pill forever and never lost my sex drive but i did have my tubes tied and lost it
juicebox07 juicebox07 7 years
I've been on the pill for 3 years, and it has had no effect on my sex drive.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
"Most of the women involved in the study were in a stable, monogamous relationship for at least six months." Well, there's your problem. No, I'm kidding. I've been on it almost as long as I've been with my current boyfriend (3 years) and haven't noticed a difference in this department.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
This is somewhat true for me, but unfortunately the trade-off would be bad skin, bad periods, and the possibility of a baby, so I'll just have to stick with the pill for now.
What Is Lupus?
What Is CBD Oil Like?
Ways to Prevent Colds and Flus
The Difference Between Tofu and Tempeh
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds