The connection between birth control pill and low libido

Antidepressant manufacturers estimate that 2% to 16% of antidepressant users experience sexual dysfunction. However, a 2001 study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry examined 412 men with previously normal sexual functioning who were being treated with antidepressants, and it found that 59% reported sexual dysfunction, 62% of the men and 57% of the women (women reported more severe symptoms). Dysfunctions included decreased libido and inability to have an orgasm. Comparable rates of sexual dysfunction have been found in a 2010 Psychiatry Investigation study.

In antidepressant trials, 30% to 40% of subjects routinely gain relief from depression, and so the percentage of antidepressant users who suffer from sexual dysfunction is higher than the percentage of people who gain relief from depression.

Medications can have a negative effect on libido, especially serotonin receptor uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) used to treat depression. That's because these drugs raise a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is inhibitory to the sexual reflex.

The connection between birth control pill and low libido

Interestingly enough, the little pill that prevents pregnancy could also affect a woman's desire to have sex in the first place!

Birth control pills affect libido because they cause production of sex-binding hormone globulin proteins, which bind up extra sex hormones — like testosterone — so that they're not active, thereby dampening libido for some women.

The availability of the "pill" has long been thought of as a key turning point and catalyst for women's sexual freedom. It may now prove to be its undoing. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine investigated the incidence of sexual dysfunction in more than 1,000 German medical students and found that those who used hormonal contraception methods, including the pill, were at a significant higher risk of sexual dysfunction. The findings have come as a surprise to many researchers and physicians, although physicians who treat female hormonal dysfunction have been aware of the side effects for a long time.

The birth control pill can suppress hormone production, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone for years after discontinuing the use.

Below you can watch a video of Dr. Kent Holtorf discussing causes and treatments for low libido:

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