If you’re not ready to have a baby, or if you’ve decided that children aren’t for you, you’re likely using some form of birth control. Birth control options are incredibly diverse, and some don’t even require a doctor’s prescription!
But some medical forms of birth control, like the pill, aren’t without drawbacks. For instance, does birth control lower sex drive? Is there anything you can do to keep your sex life rocking without getting pregnant?
We’ll run you through what you need to know!
What Is Birth Control?
There are so many forms of birth control it would be impossible to discuss them all in a single article. However, they all have one thing in common — birth control (also known as contraception) is something people of reproductive age use to prevent pregnancy.
While there are other reasons people might take them, like to manage painful periods, their main goal is to ensure that you don’t get accidentally knocked up. The main types of birth control people use to avoid an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy fall into four general categories — medical, surgical, natural, and over-the-counter.
Here’s a quick overview so you know what we’re talking about:
- Medical birth control - This type of birth control has to be prescribed by a healthcare provider. Most of the options we think of as “birth control” fall into this category — birth control pills (also called OCPs, short for oral contraceptive pills), NuvaRing, and the Depo injection are a few examples.
- Surgical birth control - Surgical birth control needs to be prescribed and performed or implanted by a licensed healthcare provider. Some, like a tubal ligation (having your tubes tied) or a bilateral salpingectomy (getting your tubes removed), require that you go under full anesthesia. Others are pretty simple procedures done in the office on an outpatient basis — options include intrauterine devices (IUDs) like Mirena or skin implants like Nexplanon.
- Natural birth control - Some people prefer to use natural birth control, which includes options like natural family planning (the “rhythm method”) or the withdrawal method (“pulling out”). While these may not be as effective as medical or surgical birth control, they have little to no side effects other than a higher risk of accidental pregnancy.
- Over-the-counter birth control - One other category of birth control people rely on is over-the-counter methods, like condoms (male or female) or spermicide. Many people prefer OTC birth control because they don’t have to go to their doctor, but they are still pretty effective if used correctly!
Does Birth Control Affect Your Sex Drive?
There are a ton of different birth control methods out there. Each form has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. But does birth control lower sex drive? It depends on which type you’re talking about!
The pill is the main birth control linked to decreased sex drive. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone is affected the same way! Everyone’s body is different, so while one person may notice that their sex drive has taken a hit while using OCPs, others may notice theirs has gone through the roof or not changed at all.
How Can You Raise Sex Drive While on Birth Control?
If you’re part of the unlucky group of people with a lower sex drive on birth control pills, we’re here to help. The whole point of birth control is to let you have sex without having to worry about unintended pregnancy, so it kind of defeats the purpose if you don’t want to get down while on it.
Luckily, sex is our business, and we’ve got some suggestions to help raise your sex drive. These tips work for everyone, too, so even if you’re not on the pill, we’ve got you.
Increase the Foreplay
Foreplay is the most useful tactic for increasing your sex drive that you’re probably skipping over. We get it — life gets busy, and we don’t always have the time we need to have a marathon sex sesh.
But even if you have 10 or 15 minutes, set aside at least a portion for adequate foreplay. (Pro tip: if you have to have a quickie, try our Quickie Kit to take it up a notch).
Foreplay is often stereotyped as a gendered concept, but studies have shown that nearly everyone wants more! More foreplay not only gets your motor running and helps put your brain and body in the mood but also increases the chance of orgasm.
Even just a few minutes of making out, manual stimulation (fingering or a hand job), or oral sex can take your sex life from a four to a 10.
Shake Things Up
Does birth control lower sex drive? It doesn’t have to if you also shake things up!
Not sure where to start? We’ve got a few suggestions:
- Try Arousal Oil - Sooner or later, we become experts in our own bodies. Pop quiz! How quickly can you get yourself off versus how long does it take another person to get you there? It can be difficult to surprise yourself, but Awaken Arousal Oil with CBD gives you a way to increase your sensation and pleasure exponentially.
- Try a new position - Routine can be good for some things, but it’s a real killer in the bedroom. You can only have the same missionary sex before you start creating your grocery list in your brain instead of staying engaged with your partner. Trying a new position can remedy this and make your sex hotter than it's been in a long time.
- Use lube - If your sex drive is low, you may not make as much lube as you need to keep things fun and comfortable. This then becomes a vicious cycle — you’re not making enough lube, so you get in your head about it, which then causes you to be even more out of the mood. The good news is that there’s an easy remedy — lube! We’re big fans of our Intimacy Sex Oil with CBD, which can keep the party going for way, way longer.
Try a Little Solo Action
Sometimes all you need to remind yourself how fun sex can be is a little solo time. We’re huge believers that masturbation is crucial for a healthy sex life and developing a greater appreciation and awareness for your body. When was the last time you engaged in some self-love?
In addition to helping to jump-start your sex drive, masturbation is also great for your mental health. It can boost your self-esteem, help reduce stress, and even release “happy” hormones like dopamine and oxytocin into your system. Seems pretty good for just a few minutes in the shower or before bed (or between meetings), right?
Remember that not being interested in self-love can also signify that your birth control may impact your sex drive.
When To See a Doctor
Does birth control lower sex drive? While there is no “normal” sex drive because it is individual to everyone’s body and circumstances, there are a few things to look for that should prompt you to pick up your phone and give your doctor a call.
- Your relationship is starting to be negatively impacted - In a relationship, sex is often about more than just getting off. Sex is a way to maintain closeness and intimacy with your partner. If you lack that connection, especially if it’s the result of a sudden drop-off, it can be tough on any relationship. If you’ve noticed that your relationship is starting to suffer due to a lower sex drive, it’s worth contacting your doctor to discuss.
- It’s really bothering you - The importance sex has on your life is going to vary. For some people, sex is already super low on their priority list, so having it take a dip isn’t going to impact them much. For others who love having sex (with others or with themselves), a low sex drive will seriously affect their quality of life. If your lack of interest in getting down is stressing you out or tanking your self-esteem.
- Nothing you’re trying at home is helping - Even if you haven’t noticed a change in your relationship with yourself or your partner, you may want to check with your doctor if you’ve unsuccessfully tried to find ways to boost your sex drive. They may want to change up your birth control or can suggest other ways to get you back to getting busy in no time.
The Bottom Line
Does birth control lower sex drive? It definitely can! If you’re on birth control, especially birth control pills, and have noticed less interest in having sex (with yourself or your partner), don’t ignore it. While sex drive will naturally ebb and flow throughout your life, be proactive and get ahead of it by taking steps to keep your sex life fun and exciting.
Foria is here for you, no matter where you are in your life, and we’re determined to help everyone continue to enjoy sex for as long as they want.
Want more? Sign up for our newsletter