A dry vagina doesn’t always indicate a lack of interest in sex. In fact, hormonal birth control (including some forms of the pill, as well as some contraceptive patches, rings, and injections) can render your vagina desert-dry even if your libido is otherwise all-signals-go.
It seems ironic that products designed to increase sexual fun by decreasing the chance of pregnancy would have this effect. After all, 1960s guardians of public morality decried “the pill” precisely because they feared easy contraception would lead to increased sexual activity.
To understand this apparent contradiction, it helps to review a few of the basic facts about estrogen and birth control
Estrogen’s role in your body
Estrogen contributes to multiple functions throughout your body and mind. It aids in cardiovascular functioning and contributes to bone health. Estrogen also plays an important role in the limbic system, affecting cognition, mood, and behavior.
A cyclical increase in estrogen levels triggers ovulation. Estrogen also promotes vaginal lubrication. In addition to enabling your body to produce its own natural lubricant, estrogen helps maintain the thickness of the vaginal lining. When your body’s estrogen production levels decrease, the vaginal lining can become thinner. This thinning, along with lack of natural lubrication, can make contact between your vagina and any other object – fingers (your own or somebody else’s), a tampon, a penis or sex toy – uncomfortable or even painful.
How hormonal birth control works – and how it affects your vagina
Anything that interferes with your body’s estrogen production can affect vaginal moisture. Birth control pills, rings, and patches prevent conception by preventing ovulation. To do this, they change your body’s usual monthly hormone cycles. When you take hormonal contraception, your body remains in a state resembling the second half of the menstrual cycle with increased progesterone levels and lower levels of estrogen.
Decreased estrogen levels can change the environment of your vagina from hot and steamy to Saharan. This vaginal dryness may accompany a corresponding lack of interest in sex, but many women feel frustrated because they still experience a strong libido even when their vagina is not self-lubricating.
Weigh the pros and cons
If you are experiencing vaginal dryness as a result of taking hormonal birth control, you may want to consider another method of birth control. Discuss the pros and cons of your current method with your physician. The use of hormonal birth control can have health benefits, preventing or reducing health issues ranging from acne to anemia to PMS to ovarian and/or breast cysts. People who experience irregular periods often find that hormonal birth control makes their monthly cycle more regular.
Hormonal birth control can also have negative side-effects beyond vaginal dryness. Spotting between periods, breast soreness, as well as headaches or migraines sometimes occur among women using these types of birth control. Discuss with your physician what benefits and drawbacks you experience using your current form of birth control. You might want to consider other forms of birth control if you feel the negatives outweigh the positives.
Like rain after a drought
If you choose to remain on hormonal birth control even though you experience vaginal dryness, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life without sex -- or to sex without pleasure. Membrasin® Vitality Pearls with SBA24™ can help support natural vaginal moisture. Intimacy is always more pleasurable if there’s a bit of spontaneity involved. Traditional lubricants can be effective but the moisture is short-lived and the “moment” can fade as you pause to reach for the tube.
If vaginal dryness due to birth control is negatively affecting your sex life, don’t limit yourself to relying on a lubricant. Membrasin® Vitality Pearls could be your answer to more comfortable sex while maintaining passion and spontaneity.