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Lost That Lovin' Feeling? Don't Blame the Pill

actor most suspected to play a role, said Schaffir. ‘It was shown that the birth control pill decreased the concentration of free androgens, including testosterone, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a loss of libido. Chemical changes occurred, but they did not apparently impact sexual behavior for the vast majority of women,’ he said.

Similarly, the effect of progestin on women’s sexual desire was not dramatic. ‘A small minority of all the users of progestin were actually bothered by a low libido,’ said Schaffir.

Based on his review of studies dating from 1975 to 2004, Schaffir found that only a small minority of oral contraceptive users experienced a negative effect on sexuality. Furthermore, he found no reliable predictor of a negative effect in those who experienced such side effects.

‘Studies showed that it was a problem for a small number of women using birth control pills to experience decreased libido, but it didn’t happen predictably in any specific sub-population, or with any particular type of hormonal contraception,’ said Schaffir. ‘In fact, changes in sexual desire could as likely represent a combination of biological, psychological and social phenomena as any hormonal effect.

‘The available literature illustrated that decreased libido is an idiosyncratic, unpredictable reaction in a small minority of women,’ stated Schaffir.

Schaffir reassured patients and clinicians that women should continue to use oral contraceptives without fear of an adverse effect on libido. ‘Don’t let such fear factor into your decision of whether to take hormonal birth control pills,’ said Schaffir.

If you are experiencing a diminishing sex drive, you may want to ask yourself:

? Have you recently started taking a medication?

There are some medications that are known to interfere with libido, and antidepressants are probably the most notorious group, said Schaffir. You may want to
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