Oral contraceptives are wonderful for convenient, effective birth control. They are also great for improving your complexion and shortening your menstrual cycle. However, they can be hazardous to your sexual response. Studies have shown that taking oral estrogen, as well as Nuvaring, can cause increased production of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) by the liver.
This protein actually binds with circulating free testosterone, and results in a significant lowering of your testosterone level. The testosterone hormone is then not able to bind to receptors in the cells, and create the good effects of normal libido and sexual response. This effect is not permanent, and SHBG levels will drop to normal after stopping the medication.
One great alternative is the Mirena IUD. It is progestin only, so it does not affect SHBG levels. It provides consistent, effective contraception as well as reducing menstrual flow. It is especially helpful during the perimenopause years, when irregular periods can become troublesome. It provides excellent balance for estrogen supplementation, without having to take a nightly pill. If you have been taking oral contraceptives, and are experiencing low libido, we can measure your SHBG, estradiol and testosterone levels with a simple blood test. Come in for an appointment and we can help figure out a better plan for you.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS