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One Result of Going on the Pill: Losing Your Libido

This Mother's Day, the birth control pill turns fifty. Never far from debate, the pill has spent the past five decades being hailed as a women's liberator, scorned as a moral malady, and tweaked in an ongoing effort to reduce this medication's numerous side effects. But in all that tweaking one issue has never been at the forefront, namely an attempt to reduce the effect that the pill has on a user's libido.

Partly, that's because until recently, the fact that this was even a problem was only known anecdotally. However, a German study, just published in the May issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, can finally confirm this very real part of a lot of women's pill experiences. After looking at over 1,000 sexually active women, the researchers concluded that those using hormonal contraception were, indeed, less likely to be interested in having sex.

Now that this information is "officially" out there, I have a feeling that someone will begin to tinker with existing hormones in the hopes of creating a pill (or patch, or ring, or gel, or spray) that doesn't make women see the bedroom as only a place to get a good night's rest. And while that's all fine and good, it's not really enough.

Currently, women who can't use hormones are limited to barriers (like condoms and diaphragms) and IUDs for their birth control, neither of which is wildly popular. What we really need is a better non-hormonal option. Unfortunately, what we will probably get is simply more of the same; slightly tweaked hormones wrapped in a shiny new package and marketed as having less of a libidinal effect.

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