Contraceptive Use and your Libido
There are a variety of contraceptive methods available, all with the same goal of preventing pregnancy. However, some of these contraceptive methods have certain side effects, including decreased libido. Methods that can affect libido include hormonal injections, oral contraceptives, the patch, and intrauterine devices (IUD"s). Methods that do not affect libido include diaphragms, female condoms, and spermicidal gels.
There are many types of hormonal injections that can serve as contraceptive agents. While injections are typically convenient, being needed once every three months, there are certain side effects associated with hormonal injections. Hormonal injections are very effective forms of birth control, but they can be associated with irregular periods, mood swings, and decreased libido.
Oral Contraceptives (The Pill)
There are a variety of oral contraceptives available today, all differing slightly in their composition. Pills can be monophasic, delivering the same amount of hormones daily, and triphasic, where hormone amounts change. Monophasic pills have higher rates for the development of low libido than triphasic, though it is present in triphasic pills as well.
There are also a variety of birth control patches available. Typically, the incidence rates of low libido in correlation to the patch are lower than with other contraceptive methods. However, the patch is still delivering hormones into the bodily systems, and therefore can be associated with low libido as well.
Intrauterine Devices (IUD"s)
The intrauterine device is typically a T-shaped object that is surgically inserted into the uterus. The intrauterine device is an effective form of birth control for up to five years. There are different types of intrauterine devices, some of which are cause for the release of hormones. It is this hormonal release than can have effects on libido.
The Diaphragm & Spermicidal Gel
The diaphragm is a rubber device that must be inserted next to the cervix. Spermicidal gel is a cream or foam available that destroys sperm. The diaphragm is often used in conjunction with spermicidal gels. As there are no hormones involved, there will be no side effects causing decreased libido.
The Female Condom
Female condoms are typically made of polyurethane to cover the vagina and vulva. It can be inserted up to eight hours before sexual intercourse. However, female condoms can be a bit tricky to insert correctly and are known to create noises during sex.
Contraceptives: An Overview
There are many methods of effective birth control available. Many of the hormonal options (injections, pills, and patches) also exist in many varieties, having different amounts and kinds of hormones. Solving the low libido problem due to your contraceptive use may be as simple as changing to a different contraceptive. After all, the point of taking contraceptives is to be able to enjoy intercourse without having to worry about pregnancy. If your contraceptive has lowered your libido, it is probable that sexual intercourse will decrease as well. It is important to discuss your options with your physician and explain any negative side effects you are feeling, including low libido. Low libido caused by contraceptives is not something you have to live with as there are many options of birth control available.
Sources: http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/84/98116.htm http://women.webmd.com/guide/birth-control-facts