Birth control w/ no loss of sex drive

Discussion in 'Women's Issues' started by DoctorZZZ, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. DoctorZZZ

    DoctorZZZ Member

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    Hi, I am not a woman, but I need some answers/advise about birth control.

    My gf and I have decided that we need some extra assurance against unwanted pregnancy so birth control pills seem like the logical choice. We are both in college and pregnancy is definitely not on our list.

    We use condoms and probably wont stop using them after she begins taking a pill, if only for her assurance. My biggest fear is that she'll have a loss in sex drive, which I see way too often on other boards/medical sites. She has an incredibly high sex drive and I dont want to lose that one bit. Although I believe we need to be using a more effective contraceptive than condoms alone, I am very hesitant to let her take birth control. She is 24 and has never tried it before. She says we just need to find the right one, but all I keep hearing is that it wont matter, she'll lose sex drive, sexual desire, and natural lubrication.

    I just want some advice. For instance I know there has to be a lot of women on here taking birth control, so who is using it and has had no effect on their sex drive. And maybe your recommendations on a pill. I am very curious to the real percentage of women that lose any amount of sex drive when on a pill. I might be overstressing this since perhaps only those who have lost sex drive post and complain about it. I'd like to hear some good stories... Perhaps she'll be one of those women who gain sex drive through being assured she wont get pregnant.
     
  2. Patchos

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    ^^^^ This is a Womans Issue. Thanks for posting something that women can/would want to respond to.

    I'm on the pill (Juliet 35ED, 28 day cycle) and it has not significantly changed my sex drive. I couldn't say that it hasn't affected it *at all* but not to the extent that I have noticed. I generally have a steady interest in sex, with a sharp increase just before my period. Also have the same quality/quantity natural lubrication. My doctor recommended this pill to me because it helps with skin breakouts (still getting them at 30!)

    Would it hurt to try the pill for a couple of cycles to see if there is any change in her sex drive? She can always stop taking them.
     
  3. diamond

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    Thank you to the OP for writing about a real women's issue:

    I currently take Micronor, which is a low dosage of progesterone, since a combination pill of both estrogen and progesterone gives me severe headaches.

    Progesterone has not affected my libido in any way, however each woman is different, and reacts differently to medication.

    The only drawback, is that you have a 3 hour window to take it or else it will reduce the effectiveness significantly.

    Furthermore since it is such a low dosage pill from time to time I get some spotting.

    I suppose the positives ( no loss of sexual drive, actually mine increased) outweigh the negatives hence the reason I take it.
     
  4. 1quickquestion

    1quickquestion New Member

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    Not to add to OP's worst nightmare...

    But my girlfriend starting taking birth control sometime last year, i think it was Nortrel (sythetic estrogen) and it SIGNIFICANTLY lowered her sex drive (We noticed the change at around 2 months in) . She wasn't even interested in sex anymore, and when we did do it, she couldn't orgasm (A BIG problem, because she normally got 2-3 in a session) She's off the pill now, and back to normal, thankfully.
     
  5. D_Hyacinth Harrytwat

    D_Hyacinth Harrytwat Account Disabled

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    Won't know until you try but it would be good to look into some of the brands women are posting on here. Unfortunately, she'll probably have to take them for a few months at a time so that the "initial" (more like 3-month-long) side-effects disappear.

    I take Alesse and it doesn't really change my sex drive. I'm a little dryer than usual but that's probably for the better!

    My best friend started on Tri-Cyclen Lo last year and she just got crazy-horny on that stuff.
     
  6. DoctorZZZ

    DoctorZZZ Member

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    Thanks for posting... I've began writing down any and all birth control pills and am researching them online.

    I didn't mention a few other things my gf spoke to me about.

    One of her fears is that she'll forget to take them, at the right time, or even at all each day. But we'll still use a condom anyways just in case, so even if she forgets it'll just be like what we are doing now.

    She does get some acne when her period comes near, so perhaps she might like one that helps with that, she complains about that every month. But its fine, I still get acne as well with out having a period.

    She and I have read that it may cause you to gain weight. I'm not sure of which ones, or if they all have this side-effect, but that may be a concern for her. She is not overweight now, but she seems to be thinking about that.

    Also, she said that she has heard that they can alter your breasts. I've heard maybe slightly bigger, but she thinks they can get more tender. About a week before her period she usually gets firmer breasts and they are a bit tender if I touch them or she touches them. Its not painful she says, but she wouldn't want it to become painful. Is this a problem at all? I searched online and nothing really.

    I would like her to take a low dose pill, perhaps without synthetic estrogen to start with. But she is going to talk to her friends that take birth control and a ob/gyn (older friend) that we both know and trust.
     
  7. Guy-jin

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    I really wish I could remember the name of the pill my ex took. Sorry that I can't.

    Sufficed to say, it made her an emotional wreck and killed her libido. Really terrible reaction to it.

    From my understanding out of that experience, individual reactions to specific birth control pills varies greatly.

    I think your inclination to go for a low dose pill without synthetic estrogen is a good idea.
     
  8. D_Hyacinth Harrytwat

    D_Hyacinth Harrytwat Account Disabled

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    One of my friends set an alarm on her cell phone. At 8pm it would go off and she would say "oh silly me, I seem to have set it at 8pm instead of 8am" and then within the next 15 minutes, would excuse herself from the group. She finally told me why she did that when I started taking BCP! Brilliant and discreet.

    This is also something that you'll just have to see for yourself. I started craving chocolate while on the pill but at the same time, lost my appetite for the first few months so in the end I lost weight. I won't quote your paragraph on breast tenderness but same deal with the "suprise" element of taking hormones in a pill for the first time :tongue:.

    Glad you're doing this! Check out sexual health clinics too, if they're available. Doctors there know oodles about BCPs and you might be able to score free/cheap pills as well as free condoms!

    As an added plus, not sure if it's a concern with your gf or not, but a friend of mine and myself have noticed less "unwanted hair" after we started taking the pill. She has much clearer skin from having a more steady "dose" of hormones, instead of the huge fluctuations her body wants to produce, too.
     
  9. ManlyBanisters

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    Whoa there, Rodeo-Joe!! It's not your choice. If she wants to take birth control she can take them and you do not get a vote.

    OK - now that that is cleared up... The only person I can speak for is myself, I was on the combined pill for several years in my late teens and early twenties and it never had an adverse effect on my sex drive. I am also fairly shite at remembering to take tablets and what not - that one I remembered, all bar once and by that time I'd been taking it long enough that being 12 hours late did not effect my (in)fertility. In fact, the self reminding urge for the pill was so strong that sometimes I still find myself thinking 'did I take my BC pill?'... and it's been 11 years since I was last on them!! :eek: But what SC said about the mobile phone reminder is a good idea too.

    Acne during periods - yes, it may help. I never had bad, bad problems but in my teens I'd get more spots with my period before I went on the pill - that eased up when I started taking the pill and never came back when I stopped. Was it growing up? Was it the hormones? I don't know. Her doctor may be able to help her with that.

    Weight gain: there is no one pill (type / brand) that will cause your gf to gain weight - Each woman is different and responds differently to each different type of pill depending on the hormone levels. Again - her health care provider can advise her on this.

    Breasts: I've never heard a woman I knew in my personal life complain of major breast difference on the pill. The combined pill certainly had no effect on mine.

    Just a reminder - I know you are trying to be informed and involved and that is great but saying you'd like her to take a pill of type X or Y is, essentially, irrelevant. She and her healthcare provider need to work out what is best for her - you need to respect that.

    A final thing, something you didn't mention but a big risk for pill takers; clotting. Does your gf smoke cigarettes? Has your gf ever had a DVT or a blood coagualtion issue? Does anyone in her family have a history of DVTs or other blood coagulation issues? If you can say yes to any of those questions it is vital that she bring that up with her health care provider. Essential. Smoking and taking the pill can cause coagualtion problems, up to and including a potentially fatal DVT. A history of DVT in the woman or her family is for some health care providers a big no-no for the pill and, at least, cause for concern and close monitoring. Coagulation issues are not rare.

    I wish you both all the best.
     
    #9 ManlyBanisters, Jan 19, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  10. kiwimarty

    kiwimarty Member

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    My girlfriend had issues with taking the pill so it was condoms only until a few months ago when she started getting pain in her the ovary area - this was initially and incoclusively diagnosed to be either ovarian cysts or endometriosis - not ideal. Until further tests are done ( after an observation period) she has been prescribed Yasmin which apparently can help ease symptoms. Since then I have absolutely noticed a difference in her libido. Hopefully it's only an adjustment her body is making.
     
  11. Guy-jin

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    It's surprising to me that someone possibly bearing an ovarian cyst or endometriosis is being prescribed BC. :eek:
     
  12. kiwimarty

    kiwimarty Member

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    As I said, apparently it can ease symptoms in both possibilities. Or so the specialists say.
     
  13. DoctorZZZ

    DoctorZZZ Member

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    Thanks for all the responses, they've helped a lot. Sorry if I offened manlybanisters. I did not mean it like that at all. You're right that I dont have any right to tell her what to do with regards to this. I am for birth control, but what I meant was that I am hesitant to let her take it without proper research and knowledge. I did not mention it before, but she jsut started her period and she thinks she should go on a pill before or right after it is over. She hasn't even been to a doctor yet. I'll take her whenever she wants to go, I'll make time. But I am not telling ehr to take this or that. I am just trying to gain knowledge. She doesn't have a computer atm, but I dont know if she would be looking this stuff up anyways.

    I read more about progesterone(progestin). Which seems like a good option as my gf doesn't really like the idea of taking synthetic estrogen. She said this before we decided to go this route.

    One problem is that it has to be taken at the right tiem each day, which might be a problem with her. She forgets things often, but i think she can handle it.

    Also her friend told me to take her to a women doctor, which does seem to make a lot of sense. She said that when she went to a male doctor he was sort of on autopilot and just prescribed her the most popular choice. Which is not what I want to happen. I think she said she ended up going to a women and said it was better.
     
  14. ManlyBanisters

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    You didn't offend - I should have figured it was a poor turn of phrase and not a poor attitude - I think it is great that you are taking this much interest. :smile:

    The mini-pill is absolutely great for some women and is, as far as I am aware, the safer option. In terms of timing and forgetting to take the pill maybe she could discuss the idea of implants with her doctor:

    http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/youth/health/contraceptives/implant.htm
    Contraceptive implants

    As to the male / female doctor actually that entirely depends on the person. If she is more comfortable on the physical side of things with a woman then she should look for a woman - In my personal experience the best Ob/Gyns I've dealt with have been men. I happened to get lucky in the first Well Woman clinic I went to with a very good male doctor who explained everything and kept up to date with research and listened to his patients. (that last thing is the most important.) The woman I saw there when he was out one month was just awful and didn't listened to a thing I said - all I needed was a repeat prescript and she wrote it for the wrong pill, luckily I noticed. The male docs I've had here in France have had a better manner and way of dealing with me too. But that's just my personal experience - it really does vary.

    As regards the timing of when she starts - she'll need to be on the pill for a full cycle at a minimum before it can be considered effective* and for the combined pill (and the mini-pill, I think) she will need to start taking it in the first 7 days of her cycle - so her period starts and within 7 days of it starting she takes the first pill.

    * The recommendation is back up contraceptives for a week - but I'd go with a month to be on the safe side - because it takes more than 1 week to know if the pill does not suit her for some reason.
     
  15. DoctorZZZ

    DoctorZZZ Member

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    I never knew implants existed. I guess I'll tell her that tonight about that. They seem great, except for having a foreign object in your arm and I dont know if she'll go through with the putting it in part.

    I also thought of patches, but it seems the failure rate on those is sort of high"er" than pills.

    We are going to a doctor monday, so I'll know a lot more then. I'll probably post more questions/concerns. Its a male ob/gyn, but she'll be talking/going to a woman there. Not exactly sure what that means.

    I've read a lot of "good" things about the mini-pill, and it does look like the safer option. But it has its risks as well, but the more I think of it I dont think she'll forget to take the pill each day, and a 3 hour gap seems like a pretty good time-frame.

    Whats the time frame on other pills, estrogen ones perhaps?

    Can it be taken at any point in the day? I'm assuming she can take it at a time that she knows she'll be awake and aware, like sometime at work, like when she takes lunch. Or I dont know she has to think about that more. To be honest I can see myself calling her for a while to make sure she took it, it'll probably take me a while to trust she took it, as like I said, she is prone to forget things.
     
  16. D_Hyacinth Harrytwat

    D_Hyacinth Harrytwat Account Disabled

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    I take a combined hormone one (Alesse) and this is exactly what it says in the instructions:

    "Take a pill at approximately the same time every day until the pack is empty."

    Some people say that with some pills you can have a 6 hour window but I'd rather not take chances on that.
     
  17. ManlyBanisters

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    When I was on the combined pill I tried to take it at about 6pm every day because that was a time my student self was normally both awake and sober... normally :redface:

    I did miss that time by up to 6 hours more than once and never fell pregnant as a result. In fact, once I missed the pill altogether til 11am the next morning (and had had sex with my b/f that night) - I went to my doc to get the morning after pill and he explained that I didn't need it - I'd been on the combined pill for about 6 months without break at that point and apparently even a full 24 hour gap would not have been enough time for my body to reassert its fertility. That's something the mini-pill won't do for you, but the mini-pill has other benefits and some women react badly to the oestrogen in the combined pill. It's all a matter of balancing what works best both physically and lifestyle wise.
     
  18. Young N Sassy

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    Ahh endometriosis is awful, so I pray for her sake she doesn't have that. I hope everything goes well.
     
  19. zman9119

    zman9119 New Member

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    My GF has been on the depo-subQ provera 104 shot for 9 months now. This is the new depo shot which has 33% less hormone and uses a smaller needle. She just got her 4 shot (you only have to go in every 3 months and you have a two week window you can go in). One nice benifit is that if she starts within the first few days of her period, its is effective right away.

    The only side-effects for her was her breast grew a little bit and it always seems that she gets super horny about a week after her shot and it last (for her) until she is about due for her next. She has had no weight gain, but weight loss (about 5-7lbs as of this last appointment).

    The other nice thing is it also pretty much has stopped her periods too. For the first 6 months, she spotted every once in a while, but for the last 3 she has had nothing.

    At planned parenthood, the cost of the shot is 35$ every 3 months. So, in my opinion, for the cost of condoms for 3 months having sex daily, it is well worth it.



    .z
     
    #19 zman9119, Jan 22, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  20. OPPinSLC

    OPPinSLC Member

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    My girlfriend has started taking yasmin for irregular periods. I have noticed a big drop in her libido. We used to have sex around twice a week, now it's down to once a month or so. So in that sense, yasmin is great for birth control ;) lol (I'm laughing through the tears).
     
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