One of the most commonly experienced side effects of birth control pills is low sex drive. In fact, so many women experience it, it’s become a bit of a joke, albeit a cruel one. You take a pill to have worry-free sex, only to find you no longer want to have sex!
There are a few reasons the birth control pill has a libido-squashing effect:
- Birth control pills replace your body’s own hormone fluctuations with a stream of synthetic hormones. This flattens out all the peaks and troughs. When you’re on birth control pills you are experiencing very low hormone levels.
- Testosterone is behind the sex drive of both men and women. Birth control pills are often very anti-androgenic, which means they suppress your testosterone levels. This can have the kind of effects that you like – for example clearing your skin, preventing unwanted hair growth – but it can also hit your libido hard.
- Most women when experiencing their body’s own hormone cycles will have a higher sex drive around ovulation (thanks, evolution!) and sometimes also right before their period. If you’re taking birth control pills then you are not ovulating, and you won’t experience these peaks as a result.
Okay, so when you go off the birth control, your libido should just spring back, right?
Yes, it should. However, a study released in 2006 revealed that for some women when they come off birth control pills, they will find their sex drive does not bounce back. Their testosterone levels are impacted to the point that they do not regain the kind of sex drive they experienced prior to taking birth control pills.
However, most women who’ve switched their hormonal birth control for hormone-free Daysy to prevent pregnancy say this decision improved their sex lives – including their sex drive and enjoyment. They also say it has brought more intimacy and communication to their relationship.
This study did not take into account whether the women involved actively supported their bodies in producing hormones, including testosterone, again. Depending on your reproductive health prior to taking the Pill, the length of time you’ve taken it, and when you started, you sex drive once off birth control will either return as you expect and hope, or it will need some support.
Tips for getting your sex drive back after going off birth control pills:
- Don’t stress it! It may take up to 3 months for your hormones to get back on track. You may feel some withdrawal symptoms at first, like insomnia or mood swings, which can be romance-killers. Give your body time to figure out life without the birth control pill. Start tracking where you are in your cycle – noticing when you’re ovulating and when you’re heading towards your period can bring awareness to your body. You’re probably never going to feel into sex all of the time, and that’s okay.
- Give your body the nutrition it needs to make testosterone and balance out your estrogen and progesterone. The majority of women who’ve taken the birth control pill will be deficient in magnesium, zinc and B vitamins. Choose foods rich in these vitamins and minerals as well as taking supplements daily. You can also try the adaptogen maca root powder – put it on granola, in smoothies, or add it to hot drinks.
- If you don’t see your real period within a few of months after coming off birth control pills, you can get additional support to get it to return – along with your libido-boosting ovulation and hormones. We now offer a special package that allows you to purchase a Daysy and get $100 off health coach Nicole Jardim’s “Fix Your Period” program. Nicole’s an expert in hormonal imbalance, missing periods, and low libido, post-Pill. You’ll need a regular cycle to experience a healthy, happy sex drive.