Or your partner, or anyone, about any type of hormonal contraception. (This article makes generalisations about orientations and genders, and drug types, for the sake of clarity).
So by now most people get the vibe that hormonal contraception (HCs) aren’t good for you.
The guy you’re fucking asks if you’re taking the pill and you say ‘no’. They say ‘Ok, ermmmm, could you?’, and you say ‘No, it really messes with me I can’t take any of those hormonal options.’
So they say ‘ok’.
They respect your decision, and think maybe these drugs can make people really moody, or raise your risk of some obscure rare health problem or whatever.
But secretly they might be thinking ‘Man, can she really not take it?! Our lives would be so much easier!’
Which is fair enough if you don’t fully understand the damage these drugs can do.
So how to explain?
The only compelling bit of information you really need is “if I take hormonal contraception I might stop wanting to fuck you, and even when I stop taking it, this effect could last for months or years”
This is not to say that all your bf cares about is sex obviously, but the whole point of taking contraception IS so you can bang.
And secondly; it’s not that sex has to be the most important part of your relationship, but intimacy is one of the most important parts. If one of you has no sex drive, this doesn’t just mean you’re going to have less sex, but rather that all areas of connection can be put under strain.
Just watching a film can become stressful: One person puts their hand on the other’s leg, all they want is a cuddle… but the other one is thinking ‘oh god I hope they don’t want to have sex..’ and then they feel worried and guilty and move away a bit… and the other person feels rejected and frustrated because actually they were kind of hoping it would lead to sex but also they would just genuinely like a cuddle… And an invisible wedge starts to develop between you.
why don’t you wanna bang tho?
1. you might want to fuck other people – just not them.
Who we are attracted to is affected by our hormones.
Starting and / or stopping HCs can have this ‘un-attraction’ effect.
2. your sex drive chemicals are depleted.
Just like men, women need testosterone for healthy sexual drive and sexual satisfaction. HCs have been found to lower free testosterone by about 60%, which can mean low sex drive, vaginal dryness, and lack of sexual desire.
SHBG is a protein in our bodies that essentially swallows up testosterone; so if we have too much of it our testosterone is too low. Women who have used HCs have very high levels of SHBG, and this is found even 5 years AFTER they have stopped taking HCs! That’s a long time to be less horny.
3. your pussy is deflated.
HCs are associated with a decrease in the volume of vulvar tissue.
Ey? They can shrink your clit, decrease the thickness of your labia minora, inner lips, and make your vaginal opening less plump. Clitoral volume has been found to shrink by 20% for women on HCs!
You want to take a drug that might shrink your dick by 20%?
These changes can lead to painful sex. If you’ve used HCs before your risk of developing vulvodynia (pain in the vulvar area) is higher, and particularly if you start taking them before your 16.
Painful sex is emotionally and physically awful.
but it’s also not just about sex.
The important thing to really understand about HCs is that they don’t work by just adding a bit of chemical to your body, and your body carries on as normal, except you don’t get pregnant and you might you get some side effects from the chemical. (Although this does happen). But what they actually do is fundamentally alter how your whole system operates. Most HCs work by stopping ovulation, and this is essentially chemical castration, just like if you were to shut down a man’s balls. The effect is system wide; bone strength, brain shape, nutrient deficiency, thrush, cancer risk, migraines, weight, etc, as well as the possible mental health effects; intrusive thoughts, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, lack of concentration, etc.
1. There’s no way to tell if it will make you less attracted to them, until it happens
2. It might kill your sex life and the general intimacy within your relationship
3. You might become awful to live with
4. It’s like shutting down your balls. Your whole system is affected; health and personality, and it can take years to return to normal.
5. There are life threatening side effects
A common response that people have when stopping HCs, is they look back on the time they were on it, and realise ‘I just didn’t feel like me’ .. And if you don’t feel like you; who the fuck are you?!
Some women become more irritable, less reasonable, and more judgemental. And these effects can creep up on them gradually. Has your gf become more of a bitch over time because that’s who she is, or is it the drugs? I wouldn’t want to have that dilemma personally.
This isn’t what we want to hear I know, because some people have genuine problems using condoms, and diaphragms and fertility tracking require effort. But we have this unrealistic idea that we can sex and not have abortions or babies (or not be constantly paranoid about being pregnant); and there’s some miracle solution that makes it all easy.
It is an active mission. But it is worth it.
(Some of you are shouting, I’m on HCs, I feel fine! In which case you are blessed). Read a list of possible side effects here. The Period Repair Manual by Dr Lara Briden and The Fifth Vital Sign by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack are referenced.
Image cc: Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com