I am a super sexual person. Some of my greatest conversations with girlfriends are about freaky romps and sexual faux pas. But lately, my stories have slowed because my sex life is as dry as California during a drought. Geez, I’m only 26 and should I mention I have a boyfriend who I live and sleep with every single night? Before your mind starts wandering, we have sex about 2-3 times a week…on a good week. Otherwise, we haven’t been doing it at all.
A combination of things are happening: I’m always sleepy (which could actually be attributed to working at HelloBeautiful.com), I don’t crave sex like I used to and I don’t feel as sexy.
And I think it’s my birth control.
My suspicion as to the culprit began last month, when I got so busy, I forgot to refill my birth control (Monessa) prescription. When I called the pharmacy, they told me I had to go back to my GYN because he had to prescribe me a new prescription. Sounds simple right? Not so much. Not when you work at a 24/7 company and everything closes at 5pm. So I had to find time in my busy work/ relationship schedule to go to the damn doctors. Oh and pay them a $35 co-pay. In that time, I didn’t make it to my GYN for a few weeks and something miraculous happened. Suddenly, I wanted to have sex again, and lots of it. I started to remember how just thinking about sex could get the juices flowing. That lively feeling had come back and I was sure it was because I had stopped taking my birth control.
According to Dawn Stacey, contraception expert,
There is really mixed research on this and the relationship between hormonal contraception and libido is very complex. Not all women experience decreased libido with the pill. There is some evidence that some women who use the the pill have lower free testosterone levels that may contribute to lower libido. For some women with this problem, some pills (based on estrogen/progestin combo) may be better than others.
Decreased libido is definitely not listed on the Monessa leaflet, but a quick Google search turned up these results:
“So I have been taking it for almost a year now, I am thinking on switching. I have gained 20 pounds over the time I have taken it. Can’t lose the weight either! My cravings are really bad, which also does not help the weight loss. I get super moody at times and I’m always tired. The first few months taking it, my sex drive plummeted. I didn’t want my man to touch me, look at me, I was so moody. My acne before and after my period is horrendous. The only good thing about this medication is my period is lighter. I received this medication from a Planned Parenthood clinic, I will definitely be going to a GYN next month to change this.”
So what does this all mean and what the hell do I do? While there are no “tests” that prove birth control leads to a lower sex drive, it is proven that medicine effects everyone differently. There are tons of different kinds of birth control that I may have to explore before I find the one that works perfect for me.
If you too suffer from pill side effects, here are some options to consider:
The Good, Old-Fashioned Condom: I’ve tried this before and ab-so-lu-tely hate the way it feels and it dries me up instantly. It’s also super inconvenient. If you don’t know how to properly use a condom (see below gif) it’s counterproductive (unless you’re trying to reproduce).
The Patch: Definitely beats taking a pill every day, but watch out for skin irritation.
Nuvaring: I actually started my birth control journey with Nuvaring and I hated everything about it. First of all, I could never get the damn thing high enough, which means it kept slipping. And to be perfectly honest, unless you’re making tender, gentle love every night (which, um, not everyone wants all the time), you’re going to have valid concerns that it will fall out.
But while I didn’t have a great experience with it,there are some women who rave about the little plastic ring. Once NuvaRing is in your vagina, it releases a continuous low dose of hormones. It doesn’t have to be in any specific position to work (NuvaRing.com.) It stays up there for 3 weeks and like the pill, you menstruate on your fourth week.
The Shot: “The shot” it is a solid option if you can’t remember to take a pill everyday. The shot is administered every few months. The shot may shot may reduce risk of uterine cancer, and protect you from pelvic inflammatory disease, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACOG. However, I know tons of women who got “the shot” and gained tons of weight. EverydayHealth reports, prolonged use can lower your bone density and so you should get a bone density test if you use this contraception method for five years continuously.
The IUD: With a super sensitive vagina, I am not here for anything that is inserted into my uterus and puts me at high risk for infection. While it may not be ideal for me, it may be your best option. The IUD is a T-shaped device that’s inserted into the uterus by a doctor. It can last up to 12 years and is very effective. It is reversible. IUD’s can cause cramping and your risk for pelvic inflammatory disease increases if you have an STD when inserted.
Does your birth control have negative side effects? Let me know your thoughts and what you did to solve the problem.