Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Birth Control Pills Can Damage Woman's Sex Drive

Birth control pills may suppress some women's sex drive long after they stop taking the pill, according to a study published today in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Birth control has long been known to alter some women's libido — but this study finds that oral contraceptives can alter the proteins found in the blood, which may be responsible for long-term damage to sex drive.

The results of this study could certainly have far-reaching effects as more than 100 million women throughout the world use birth control pills and 80 percent of American women born after 1945 have taken the pill.

Dr. David Katz, "Good Morning America's" medical contributor, said that people should not overreact to this study. He pointed out that the study took place at a clinic for women with sexual dysfunction and only surveyed 124 women. So the results could be skewed.

"You could have it [sexual dysfunction] because of sleep deprivation, stress. Alcohol can cause it," Katz said. "Very often it has to do with a relationship that is psychological."

Nevertheless, birth control pills prevent pregnancy by changing women's reproductive hormones — including the sex hormone-binding globulin, a protein that suppresses testosterone. Women whose testosterone levels have been suppressed can suffer a loss of sexual interest and enjoyment. The study found that women who had been using oral contraceptives had SHBG levels that were four times higher than those who did not.

Even those who stopped using the pill for six months to a year had SHBG levels that were almost double the levels of those who did not take the pill. The study has not concluded whether or not the SHBG levels ever return to normal.

Nevertheless, Katz said not to panic. Oral contraceptives have been proven safe and effective, and this study has yet to be substantiated.

1 comment:

Anastasia said...

It’s one of those eternal conundrums, well until a woman reaches menopause anyway. I found the Pill to be a pain in the arse in general, only used it whenever I was in a sexual relationship or in phases where I’d knowingly have sex, saw myself as partaking in sex (via an active regular social life, etc) but outside of this, I’d eliminate it. In the Sixties and Seventies, the Pill was considered to be the basis of a woman’s sexual liberation and this is true, by reducing the chance of pregnancy by 97.5% but depending on the hormone, dosage, strength of particular brands (Mini Pills, Triphasics etc), a woman’s sexual response can be affected as well. There’s no real fun requiring KY Jelly when one is nowhere near menopause, and that can happen. A few years back, the craze (in many women’s magazines) was the revelation of eliminating the actual ‘flow’/period by taking a high dose pill, but as I found out, a high dose pill can really wreck havoc on lubrication during sex, and this can truly suck when there’s no KY Jelly in sight and getting up, heading to a 24 hour chemist can ruin the moment.

These days I don’t see the pill as being 100% liberating, it’s just a compromise women have to make and although there were articles about a male pill, the female pill is the one that is used the most, and that's not truly liberating regardless of what feminists have said because it still dumps it all on the woman. It's like saying, 'hey if you don't want to get pregnant and have sex, then you have to tolerate the hormonal ups and downs', like we don't cop enough of that each time we have a period, before and during pregnancy, as well as the higher potential of postnatal depression (as a result of hormones getting their act together/adapting).