Birth Control and Low Libido
As a functional medicine doctor, I work to normalize hard but important conversations about low libido. I often encounter patients who express concerns about the impact of hormonal birth control on their sexual desire. This is so incredibly normal, yet because of the subject matter, many people feel confused and alone when it comes to this topic.
Learn more about other root causes of low libido here!
How Birth Control Affects Libido
Hormonal birth control methods, such as pills, patches, and intrauterine devices (IUDs), are widely used for their effectiveness in preventing pregnancy. However, it’s essential to understand the potential side effects, including changes in libido. In this blog post, I will delve into the connection between birth control and libido, drawing on scientific studies to provide a comprehensive understanding of this issue from a functional medicine standpoint.
Factors Influencing Changes in Libido
As a functional medicine practitioner, I always consider the various factors that may contribute to changes in libido when using hormonal birth control:
1. Hormonal fluctuations: The regulation of sex hormones by hormonal contraceptives can interfere with an individual’s natural hormonal balance, potentially affecting libido (3). A functional medicine approach seeks to restore hormonal balance through personalized treatment plans that address underlying imbalances.
2. Psychological factors: The perception of birth control as a potential libido suppressant or concerns about potential side effects may contribute to a placebo effect, leading to decreased sexual desire (4). Open conversations about these concerns can help alleviate anxiety and promote a healthier understanding of one’s sexual health.
3. Individual differences: Each person’s body reacts differently to hormonal birth control, and the impact on libido. Interestingly, the delivery method of the hormones can make a big difference on the impact of sex drive. One study found that when women used estrogen intravaginally, desire was much higher than when women used oral dosing that was even higher in prescription amount (4).
Non hormonal birth control may be the answer for some women, however this should be done with much consideration. It is important to evaluate for the risk of pregnancy and a plan for if pregnancy does occur. When it comes to birth control, there is no one way right for every woman. And when it comes to low libido, there is no one answer that will reverse symptoms. Learn more About Us and what we do to help women take power of their own libido here. It is estimated that 70% of women feel that low libido impacts their interpersonal relationships. Other research shows that 71% of women improve their libido just by TALKING ABOUT IT! Part of what we do at the libido doctor is provide a safe space in our classes to talk to others as we educate you about the steps you can take to improve your libido.