Fifty years ago, the birth control pill gave women a freedom that previously eluded them: without fear of unwanted pregnancy, women could engage in romantic or recreational sex with relative control over the prospect of pregnancy.
I’m sure many of us would agree that this was a life-changing development, aligned with the women’s movement and a gift that allowed women to have children when they wanted to, and, yes, have sex when they wanted to, too.
We never imagined that this freedom would come with a side effect that was filled with irony, but a study has recently been released by the Journal of Sexual Medicine that connects serious declines in sex drive with hormonal birth control.
Bat Sheva Marcus, Clinical Director of Maze Women’s Sexual Health in New York, had a lot to say about this in a recent article in The Daily Beast, the online news story outlet. Dr. Marcus was interviewed last week and asked to respond to the conclusions drawn in this study of over 1000 women. Her point of view is based on nearly eleven years in practice, treating women with different kinds of sexual dysfunction, low desire being the more common culprit.
Her response was declarative: “all hormones are suspect!” and estimates the pill is a contributing factor in 60 percent of the women she treats for low libido.