The 7-Minute Rule for How Birth Control Affects Your Vaginal Health – Vagivital
Just because caffeine comes in the form of a liquid does not mean it is hydrating. That’s not to suggest that you give up your morning cup of Joe or that cola you enjoy drinking with lunch a few times each week. But balance that out with plenty of water to encourage your body to stay hydrated.
So what, right? Most everyone I know is on an oral contraceptive, they’ve been around for many years. Well, when you look at how these medications work you may change your thinking. OCPs are made up of hormones. By placing these fake hormones in your body, the body thinks there are enough sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone), and it stops production from the ovaries, which halts ovulation and prevents pregnancy.
SHBG binds testosterone and renders it inactive. When women take birth control pills, their SHBG levels are elevated. Higher SHBG levels and an already reduced production of testosterone by the ovaries leads to little to no available testosterone. Worse yet, these levels of SHBG often remain elevated even years after OCP discontinuation.
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Estrogen, Progesterone and testosterone serve very important functions in the female body. Cardiovascular, bone health, sexual desire and arousal, mood, cognition and reproduction are all influenced by these hormones. When young women spend several years on birth control pills, with reduced production of sex hormones and elevated SHBG, any of these systems can be affected.
One study of female medical students found a significant difference in sexual function measured on the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), between those on birth control pills and those who were not. The FSFI measures desire, arousal, pain and satisfaction with sexual intercourse. The women who were on OCPs had significantly lower scores on this measure compared to those not taking them (1) Another study by Smith et al.
(2) It is also common for women on birth control to complain of painful intercourse, also called dyspareunia. Some women may have pain in the vulva or vestibule. Other symptoms that may arise are frequency of urination or burning with urination. Recurrent urinary tract infections or yeast infections are also common among contraceptive users.
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These concerns need to be expressed to your provider. If they discount the effects of OCPs or don’t know anything about it, it is time to find a new provider. The evidence is out there. Many studies have shown that OCPs have a negative impact on female genitalia, particularly to the vestibule, which most impacts sexual function.
examined how birth control pills caused the development of microscopic structural changes in the vestibule, making these women more susceptible to tears or irritation (4). Another study showed that “healthy” women without any complaints of pain in their vulvar vestibule who are taking OCPs have a lower pain threshold than women who do not take OCPs.
Yet another study looked at women who began birth control before the age of 17 and found they were 1100% more likely to have pain in their vestibule versus those who had never taken OCPs (6). In addition, Bouchard et al. found that women who do have pain in their vestibule were 960% more likely to develop vestibulodynia if they started OCPs before age 16.
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The emotional trauma and inter-relational stress this causes these young women is devastating. In 2015 an International Consensus Conference on Vulvar Pain was held to examine levels of evidence surrounding causes of vulvar pain and associated factors. During this meeting, it was decided that hormonal insufficiencies can cause vulvar pain.
Please consider this before you jump to OCP’s. Consider all options with your physician and ask them questions about this research. If they shrug it off, I would consider another provider. If you are having pain with intercourse or pain in your vulva or vestibule you should seek care from a provider who is knowledgeable about vulvar conditions.
If you have ever tried birth control you know that there are usually side effects. Since everything in the body is connected you will notice side effects with almost all options of birth control. One thing you might not have heard of is the connection between birth control and your vaginal health overall and how sometimes birth control can be a cause of vaginal dryness.
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In some cases, the pill can cause vaginal dryness leading to discomfort and possibly problems with feeling wet or lubricated when having sex. This is most common for women over 45 but can affect women of all ages. For some women birth control can affect the p, H balance in the vagina causing a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis (BV).
If you want a birth control that does not usually lead to vaginal dryness you can try the mini-pill or IUD. These however can have different unpleasant side-effects so make sure you find something that suits you and your body. When talking about vaginal health and vaginal dryness there are two hormones that affect our bodies more.
End of story. It takes some time for hormone levels and sexual response to fully rebound after the birth control pill, but once they do, let me tell you, you really have no idea what you’re missing. My body does crazy, sexy things that it simply was not capable of while I was on birth control.
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Birth control pills, rings, and patches prevent conception by preventing ovulation. To do this, they change your body’s usual monthly hormone cycles. When you take hormonal contraception, your body remains in a state resembling the second half of the menstrual cycle with increased progesterone levels and lower levels of estrogen.
This vaginal dryness may accompany a corresponding lack of interest in sex, but many women feel frustrated because they still experience a strong libido even when their vagina is not self-lubricating. If you are experiencing vaginal dryness as a result of taking hormonal birth control, you may want to consider another method of birth control.
Getting a birth control prescription that works for you can be liberating. Suddenly, you’re free to enjoy your partner with far less worry. Except, the trouble is, while you and your partner have secured birth control, suddenly you’re just not in the mood. What’s worse, you can’t seem to figure out what is making it more difficult for you to get it on.
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Hormonal contraception has been shown to affect your sex drive in a few surprising ways. If you’re having issues with libido, you’re not alone. Here’s what you should know about hormonal contraception and birth control. To really understand why hormonal birth control has such an effect on some women’s sex drive, it’s important to understand how libido works.
There are many different factors that will affect a person’s libido. A few common factors that affect sex drive include: A couple’s relationshipSocial factors such as school or work, Personality, Stress levels, Mental health disorders, Medications, Lifestyle, Puberty or menopause, All of these factors can cause an increase or a decrease in a person’s individual libido.
When a woman takes the birth control pill, it boosts her levels of these two hormones. Because her hormone levels are so high, her body is unable to produce an egg, which stops her from being able to get pregnant. The trouble is, the ovaries produce male hormones, known as androgens, that drive libido in women.
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While the lack of ovulation may prevent a woman from getting pregnant, it may also prevent her from getting in the mood thanks to the lack of androgens. Without these sexual desire driving hormones, it becomes trickier for women to get turned on. There are several different types of hormonal birth control medications on the market, and each of these affects your libido in different ways.
Implant contraception is a form of hormonal birth control that works by being placed directly into the arm. This device typically lasts for three years and constantly releases hormones into the bloodstream. It releases progestogen, which thickens the cervical mucus and makes it more difficult for sperm to implant in the woman.
There are many different tactics you can take for restoring your sexual desire. Your doctor will work with you to come up with a plan that makes sense for you and your lifestyle. One way to get your libido back is to simply switch your birth control. There are many different types of birth control pills out there, many of which use different hormones to help ensure your body is working as it should.
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Rather than using hormonal medications, you can choose to get an IUD or another treatment to get your androgen levels back in check. Another way that your doctor may help you get your sex drive back if you’re on birth control is by checking your hormone levels. With blood tests, your doctor can see what hormones may be causing the issue.
Treating your mind alongside your body can be the best way to resolve things. If you’re still struggling with getting your sexual desire back, you may want to try therapy for your libido. Sex drive therapy is a type of treatment that can help you and your partner to get back into your groove.
Having a quick conversation with your doctor can tell you whether or not there’s another issue at hand. Sex therapy is also a great choice for couples who are experiencing relationship issues thanks to low libido. Through guided conversations with a sex therapist, the two of you can begin to understand what’s going on a bit better.
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Blueheart is a digital version of this process, created and maintained by a team of expert sex therapists. It’s not just low sex drive that can arise thanks to birth control. Some women actually experience an increase in their sexual desire after starting a hormonal birth control medication. This often happens when a woman experiences an improved mood after taking birth control.
However, this boost in libido can also be thanks to the fact that planning around a period is no longer a worry for the couple. With her cycle more regulated, a woman may have fewer worries about getting pregnant and feel more at ease with her partner. Plus, many women experience much lighter or nonexistent periods while on hormonal birth control.
This can be great, but can also create relationship tension if you now have a higher desire for sex than your partner. If this is the case for you, explore the rest of our site to see how we can help you. Though movies and TV may teach us that women are usually the lower driven person, people who use Blueheart are at around 50/50 in the male/female split of who reports lower or higher libido.
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Having safe sex is vital for the physical and mental well-being of women. In this ever-expanding universe of contraception options, from intrauterine devices to vaginal rings, condoms and birth control pills are the most preferred choices. In such a scenario, making the right choice should not just factor in the safety aspect, but also the impact on sex drive.
Access to information will help them make the right decision which will, in turn, improve their sexual health and wellness. When it comes to contraception, you will notice that condoms and birth control are 2 of the most talked-about methods. Both have their own merits and demerits but at the same time, we must be aware of how they can affect our sex life in the long run.
Image courtesy: Shutterstock Condoms have a wide adoption rate. However, there are certain myths associated with it. For example, some couples believe the myth that condom use decreases a man’s libido, leads to impotence or reduces or disrupts sexual pleasure. The fact of the matter is that there is no evidence to suggest that condom use causes impotence or affects libido.