“ I never have an orgasm until I stop the pill and have an IUD ”
Photo by Christine Frapech
Sarah * started taking birth control pills at age 18, before becoming sexually active. But when she first started having sex in her sophomore year of college, it was very different from the orgasmic experiences her friends described.
“People talk about how fun is built, and I’ve never felt that,” says Sarah, now 24. Women’s health.
“[Sex] I felt good and I enjoyed the connection with my different partners, but it was never a question of pleasure, ”she continues. “Sex has become less about me and more about who I was with, and it’s not really an equal relationship.
The problem was not a low libido or an inability to be aroused; rather, Sarah’s body just didn’t seem to let her cross the finish line. The hope that sex wouldn’t be fully satisfying carried her, she explains.
Sarah continued to take her low dose estrogen pill until May 2017. That’s when she switched to an IUD Mirena, on the recommendation of a close friend who had long suffered from the same problem without orgasm. .
Things quickly changed.
“I automatically felt like I felt a lot more pleasure,” she recalls. “I had it inserted in mid-May, and from mid-June to the end of June, I was like, ‘whoa my body is so different. toe curling orgasms.
Are IUDs Really Orgasmic?
So, was an IUD really responsible for Sarah’s sudden ability to orgasm? Stephanie Faubion, MD, director of the women’s health office at the Mayo Clinic, says it’s probably a little more complex than that (though she isn’t surprised by Sarah’s story).
“Sexual dysfunction with the contraceptive pill is well known,” says Faubion Women’s health. This is because most birth control pills use two hormones, estrogen and progestin, to stop ovulation. The estrogen in the pill increases a protein called globulin in the liver, which lowers testosterone in the body, she explains.
“We know that testosterone has a lot to do with sexual functioning in women, including arousal and orgasm,” says Faubion. The specific role of each hormone in the sexual response is unclear, but one thing is clear: the pill lowers testosterone, which may also reduce the chances of orgasm for some women. (It should be noted that the Mirena IUD that Sarah switched to is a hormonal method, but it does not use estrogen, only progestin.)
She also notes that the pill can cause vaginal dryness and discomfort, which can also be a major obstacle on the road to orgasm.
Yet all bodies are different. So while some women’s sex lives can be really affected by these hormonal changes, others can be quite fine, notes Faubion.
Or is it all in your head?
To be fair, there are a lot of variables that contribute to female orgasm, says Alyssa Dweck, MD., gynecologist in New York and author of The complete A to Z for your V. “It’s not just the hormones, although they are a factor,” she says.
Much of it is mental, explains Dweck, and one obstacle can create more of it: “They always say that the biggest sexual organ in women is your brain,” she says. “So if there are relationship issues, if there is a hormone problem going on, if there are other medical issues, these are all going to be factors that will influence the potential for orgasm.”
In other words, insisting on not having an orgasm may, in fact, prevent you from having one. (Ugh!) That vicious cycle could have been a factor with Sarah’s challenges in the climax, too.
Find your O
When their patients complain about sexual function, Dweck and Faubion often recommend a contraceptive change, if nothing else in the person’s sex life has changed.
So if you find sex with the pill less satisfying than sex without the pill, talk to a doctor about what’s best for you and your vagina. And if you’ve never had an orgasm try these tips to help make it happen.
* The name has been changed at the request of the subject.
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