Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, a sexual and reproductive Doctor practising in Johannesburg, is here to help answer your pressing sex questions.
I have started taking the pill and have found that it really affects my sex drive, I barely want to have sex anymore. What are some other forms of contraceptives that won’t affect my libido at all?
Most birth control pills combine synthetic forms of the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone. The level of the hormones vary with each brand. The oral contraceptive pill is a safe and reliable and reversible method and it’s effect on libido is recognised as common. Women experience positive effects, negative effects, as well as no effect while on the pill. It is not easy to know beforehand how your libido will be affected.
Many women may miss the subtle increase in libido that is associated with ovulation or premenstrual syndrome and therefore may see this as an indication of sexual dysfunction. This is mainly due to the way the combination pills works which is by preventing you from ovulating. The pill may also cause testosterone suppression which can also diminish erotic feelings. If the reason for low libido is due to vaginal dryness that can make sex less comfortable and enjoyable, try using lubricants as they are a quick solution without compromising the effects of the pill.
If the Pill’s disadvantages for you outweigh its advantages, try a different pill. It has been shown that pills that contain drospirenone might have less impact on libido than other pills. Many women find that an alternative method of contraception such as an intrauterine device, is also a good solution. More and more couples are choosing Vasectomy (a minor procedure which is a permanent birth control performed on men) as a form of preventing pregnancy. If another method of contraception is not an option, the better option is often to take a pill that diminishes sex drive rather than worry about an unplanned pregnancy and include a clitoral stimulator and lubricants to enhance your sex life.
Remember that regardless of which hormonal contraceptive you choose, you will still require condom use to prevent for sexually transmitted infections.It is advisable to consult a fertility planning nurse or doctor for a discussion and medical check up so you do not miss any other psycho-social or medical reasons for the low libido.