Can birth control pills affect my sex drive?

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Someone asked us:

How much do birth control pills affect sex drive in women? I’ve been taking them for close to a year now, and haven’t had any urge to have sex for couple months.

While some find that using birth control to decrease their risk of pregnancy empowers them to feel more in control of their sexuality, it’s true that a small number of people experience a decrease in their sex drive while using hormonal birth control, like the pill.

The good news is that switching the brand of pills you use, or switching to a different method like the IUD or the shot may help. Different kinds of brands and methods contain different combinations of hormones, which may affect each individual differently. You should raise your concern with your nurse or doctor at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center, who can suggest another brand or method.

While you make plans to talk to your doctor about your birth control method, it may help to consider if there are other factors that may contribute to your decreased sex drive. Many experience temporary decreases in their sex drive at different times in their lives. It can stem from a number of different causes — stress depression or anxiety, some medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, certain medications, or lifestyle changes like a break-up or taking care of a child.

You deserve to find out the reason why your sex drive has changed. Talking to a health care provider and thinking about these other factors are good next steps.

-Emily at Planned Parenthood