Birth Control and Sexual Desire

Liza a 23 year-old woman in a three year relationship asked me if the birth control pill caused low sexual desire, as she had noticed a deep dip in her sexual desire after going on the pill. Her boyfriend had noticed the change in her sexual desire as well and was hoping it did not mean she was no longer interested in being with him. This made her very sad, not to mention confused.

I assured Liza that she was not alone and that the pill may have long lasting effects on sexual desire in women.  I also mentioned that low sexual desire may be the result of having been in a relationship for a while. Regardless, it is important that Liza make her sex life a priority.

There are a number of research studies on female sexual function that have demonstrated that women on the pill have lower sexual desire and arousal than women who use condoms or no contraception.

I assured Liza that there were ways she could increase her sexual desire. Women today are busy in many ways and it is important to keep sex on the front burner especially when desire dips for any reason. Making time for sex and being mindful while engaged in intimate relations is vital to increasing sexual pleasure.  Using a sexual desire gel/lubricant during intercourse and/or self-stimulating while visualizing your genitalia during sex is key to increasing desire and pleasure.  Women need to understand their responsive desire, meaning, as long as a women is becoming aroused and experiencing other aspects of the female sexual response cycle, such as excitement, plateau and orgasm and the sex is pleasurable, this is perfectly normal.  Sex toys may also be of some benefit to sexual desire if the couple is comfortable with that idea.

Keeping in mind that intimacy is the most important aspect in a relationship and being vulnerable with a partner increases pleasure.  To that end, have morning sex, share your fantasies and surprise your partner with a sexy new outfit or role play.

Increasing sexual desire requires thought, persistence, and sometimes work and may not “just happen” for you any time in your relationship. Be mindful of this and you can ensure a healthy and happy sex life that encompasses sexual desire for your partner.

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