How Birth Control Can Send You Into a Sex Slump


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The culprit of a slowing sex drive may be hiding in plain sight: Your birth control. And among all your birth control options — from the pill to the patch and IUDs — the most likely to slow your libido is the method you're most likely to be using: The pill.

"Although excellent for contraception, the pill works by shutting down the ovaries — and the ovaries also make testosterone, albeit in small amounts, but enough to give some libido," explains Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine. While most women won't see their sex drives plummet on the pill, you may have cause for concern if you've recently changed brands or started the pill and noticed your libido dip. About 15 percent of women, Minkin says, experience this.

See More: The 3 Most Common Sex Problems Newlyweds Face

If you fear your pill is sending you into a sex slump, there are several options you and your ob-gyn can discuss. For example, you could switch to a pill that contains "a progestin that has some androgenic, testosterone-like activity," says Minkin. "And for some women, they do provide a bit of libido."

You could also consider swapping the pill for another birth control method, such as an IUD. "It won't suppress ovarian action, so it lets the ovaries make their testosterone," Minkin says.

For other women, a sex slump induced by birth control could come from another common contraceptive: Condoms. "Some methods, such as condoms, interfere with spontaneity," which is a key ingredient for a satisfying sex life, Minkin says. "If so, why not switch to an IUD, or the pill?"

The important thing is to discuss your concerns with your ob-gyn, who can help you decide the best birth control for your libido and lifestyle.

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