The Pill and Libido
The pill inhibits the production of certain hormones such as DHEA and testosterone, which directly influences sex drive and pleasure.
It can affect libido in several ways:
- Decreased enjoyment from sexual intercourse
- Lowered sexual desire
- Decreased lubrication during intercourse; vaginal dryness
What to do next
Women who have their sex drive lowered after taking the pill can try switching to another pill or alternatively try another form of contraception that doesn’t affect libido (condoms, natural methods etc). However, if this is not an option the following nutrients may help:
- Organic Maca Root Powder (3 – 3.5g a day) – a favorite herb in South America to increase sexual desire in both men and women. The best way to take it is in smoothies. It has a malt-like (horlicks) flavour and combines well with raw cacao. Raw cacao is the highest food source of magnesium which is important for the production of sex hormones and neurotransmitters that modulate sexual urge.
- Zinc (50mg a day) – required for the production of testosterone and other sexual hormones.
- Vitamin B6 (best taken together with a B-Complex) 50mg 3 times a day. There is a proven connection between taking oral contraceptives and the depletion of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Vitamin B6 is responsible for helping the processes of your body to produce energy, along with the rest of the B vitamins. Food sources of B vitamins include: bananas, prunes, tomatoes, avocado, chickpeas, cruciferous vegetables, walnuts, hazelnuts, and the skin of potatoes. Most people get enough B6 from dietary sources, but women on birth control will need to supplement.
- Omega-3 fatty acids (1700 mg EPA & 1300 mg DHA daily) dramatically increase female libido. On higher-than-normal doses, women often see increased libido and enjoy faster, stronger and more plentiful orgasms. Work up to taking this amount gradually over about two weeks. But the highest-quality fish oil you can afford, as these will have fewer contaminants and cause less digestive discomfort.
- Cayenne pepper (taken in food) – significantly improves circulation. This “gets the blood flowing,” which of course is necessary for healthy sexual activity.
- Nettle tea – Known for its ability to boost levels of free testosterone in the blood, nettle is a powerful libido enhancer. It also helps promote improved vasodilation, or the natural relaxation of blood vessel walls. This in turn helps to improve circulation and healthy blood flow.
- Avoid alcohol, particularly before sexual encounters.
- Do not consume vegetable oils, unhealthy fats, sugar, fried or junk foods.
- Avoid excess stress.
- Eat a healthy, well balanced diet. Include pumpkin seeds and 70% dark chocolate for extra zinc and magnesium.
- Have your iron levels checked
- Make sure you get enough sleep each night (aim for 8 hours +/-).