Let’s Rethink Our Birth Control


Alrighty then, let's dive into everyone’s favorite topic: the wild world of birth control pills!

Back in 1961, the FDA gave the green light to those little magic pills, a.k.a. birth control pills, and boy, did they change the game! Nowadays, you can find over 60 different types on the market, and believe it or not, a whopping 12 million women in the U.S. are rockin' them to prevent unwanted pregnancies. For most women, these pills are like superheroes - affordable, efficient, and super effective. No more freaking out about surprise pregnancies, hooray!


But hey, hold up - not all women are best buds with these oral birth control pills.

Some just don't get along with 'em, and some literally hate them. And the side effects? Oh, they're real! Unfortunately, these side effects often get swept under the rug, or worse, women don't even realize that their birth control is causing the problem.


So, what are these pesky side effects, you ask?

Turns out, hormonal birth control pills can mess with your mojo.. They can mess with your desire, arousal, and even cause dryness and pain. Lots of my patients have shared their frustration, wondering if their pills were behind their sexual woes. But here's the kicker - since their doctors didn't warn them about these potential side effects, they just assumed it was all in their heads. And that makes them pretty mad, and rightfully so "Why didn't anyone tell me this could happen?" they wonder. Some have been dealing with these issues for years before finally connecting the dots.


Ironically - those tiny pills that were supposed to spice up your sex life might just be the culprits for killing your desire!

You see, birth control pills work their magic by suppressing hormones to stop you from ovulating and prevent baby-making. But in the process, they also mess with your natural androgen production, like testosterone. And you know what? Testosterone is a critical hormone for driving a woman's libido. So, when these pills tamper with your testosterone levels, it's no wonder your desire can take a nosedive. Bummer, right? (On the bright side, at least they help with skin issues!)


Here's another twist

More and more women start taking birth control pills at younger ages, and they end up staying on them for 10 to 15 years or even longer. While it's generally safe, we're not exactly sure what long-term use does to your libido. Some studies suggest that even after stopping the pills, some women still struggle to get their groove back.

But here’s the good news

If you're on the hunt for non-hormonal birth control options, there are some good options to explore:

    •  Condoms and diaphragms are classic options that still do the trick.
    • Some IUDs are hormone-free or only have "local" hormones that shouldn't mess with your whole system.
    • Oh, and as of September 2020, we've got a new player in town - the FDA-approved vaginal gel contraceptive called Phexxi! It's more effective than old-school spermicides. This little cream, made of lactic acid (you know, that stuff found in yogurt and kefir) and potassium bitartrate (a cooking ingredient known as cream of tartar), gets inserted into the vagina about an hour before the fun begins. It keeps your vaginal pH levels steady and acidic, killing any rogue sperm that dare to enter!


So, here's the lowdown

Birth control pills work like a charm for many women, no side effects and all!


    • But if you're experiencing low desire, arousal issues,  after starting these pills, you're not crazy - it's probably connected!
    • If you decide to ditch the pills, it will probably help, but it could take some extra help to get things back to normal.
    • And guess what? There are some fantastic non-hormonal birth control options out there! Just keep an open mind and explore your choices.


There you have it, my friends. The fabulous world of birth control pills and how they can play with your body and desires. Remember, you've got options, so stay informed and take charge!


(And read more in my book: Satisfaction Guaranteed: How to Have The Sex You’ve Always Wanted.)




Written By

Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus

Sex Therapist & Relationship Expert  |  Author of Sex Points & Satisfaction Guaranteed: How to Have the Sex You've Always Wanted