In 1960, oral birth control was approved by the FDA and it became popular very quickly. Still used by many women all across the globe today, there have since been numerous studies — more than 44,000 — on oral contraceptives. However, only about 100 of them have focused on the contraceptives’ influence on women’s sexual health. And even those studies had findings that did not correlate with one another. While some found that the contraceptives improved sexual health, others found the exact opposite.
Oral contraceptives contain two hormones, estrogen and progesterone, both of which suppress ovulation. Unfortunately, the Pill causes the ovaries to reduce the production of androgens, and this can lead to a hindered sexual desire because this hormone is the female’s form of testosterone. But on the upside, most women produce more than enough androgens to sustain the loss that they endure from taking the Pill. Here’s a quick look at the possible good and bad effects that oral contraceptives can have on a woman’s sexual health.
- Minimized PMS symptoms
- Less bleeding during period
- Decreased risk of developing uterine fibroids
- Increased libido
- Increased risk of vaginal dryness
- Pain during and after intercourse
- Decreased libido
- Vaginal lips and entrance may become thinner
For women who are perfectly healthy and have no sexual health issues, there most likely won’t be any adverse sexual health effects from taking the Pill. However, for those who do, the Pill may worsen these symptoms. It’s imperative for women to be fully aware of the possible side effects of oral contraceptives. While taking the Pill, it’s pertinent to keep an eye out for any changes in sexual health. If any are noticed, it’s important to speak with a doctor who specializes in family planning.