Birth Control Pills and Vulvodynia

A recent study published in The British Medical Journal found that low-dose estrogen plus levonorgestrel birth control pills seem to be the safest in terms of cardiovascular risk. 

It is important to note that all hormonal birth control pills have the potential to cause vulvodynia. The tissue in the vulvar vestibule has androgen receptors so the tissue needs adequate levels of estrogen and testosterone to stay healthy. The birth control pills increase a protein in the blood called SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) that can decrease the level of estrogen and testosterone in the vulvar tissue which can cause the tissue to be dry and painful with penetration.

So, if you feel that intercourse has become painful since starting birth control pills, your hunch is likely correct. It’s not in your head. Call us to discuss!

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