A New Study Is Challenging This Major Birth Control Myth
There are a lot of factors that could explain a dip in your sex drive, but according to new research, the birth control pill isn't one of them: A recent study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found no evidence that oral hormonal contraceptives reduce your libido. To figure this out, researchers from the University of Kentucky and Indiana University surveyed over 900 people in heterosexual relationships of different lengths about their levels of desire both with their partners and on their own. While women on non-hormonal contraceptives reported higher solitary sex drives than women on hormonal contraceptives, women on hormonal contraceptives like the pill reported higher sex drives in their relationships. However, when the researchers took into account the effects of the women's ages and relationship lengths, there were no significant differences to be found between the sex drives of women on hormonal birth control and those of women on non-hormonal birth control.
"Sometimes women are looking for something to explain changes in their sexual desire, which is not fixed throughout her life," said the study's head researcher Dr. Kristen Mark, PhD, according to ScienceDaily. "The message that hormonal pills decrease desire is really prevalent ... Our findings are clear: the pill doesn't kill desire. This research helps to bust those myths and hopefully eventually get rid of this common cultural script in our society." And so, while there are many reasons that the pill sucks for many people (including depression risk, nausea, and bloating, to name just a few), driving down your urge to get it on likely isn't one of them — meaning one fewer side effect to worry about.