[via Jezebel] In news that should be absolutely no surprise to women everywhere, a study has come out confirming that hormonal birth control increases the risk of “sexual dysfunction” among women. The study looked at 1046 sexually active women in Germany, and those who were on any form of hormonal contraception were at much higher risk to have lower sex drives and problems with “desire and arousal.”
But still, as Anna North at Jezebel points out, it’s really great that there’s finally a study confirming this.
Now that a study has confirmed this effect, maybe doctors and drug companies alike will actually take notice, rather than dismissing women’s experiences as mere anecdotal evidence.
The irony is crushing– the Pill is considered to be so revolutionary for women’s sexuality, but all these years, women have just had to accept that it may destroy your sex drive. Obliterated libido shouldn’t be considered a “side” effect, it should be considered a big-time effect. North says it best:
Women deserve contraception that still allows them to enjoy their sex lives. But in order to provide that, doctors, researchers, and drug companies alike are going to have to listen to women — something they’re not always good at doing.
Another upsetting thing about this is that many of the side effects of hormonal birth control are held against women in society. Depression, mood swings, and low sex drive are documented side effects of HBC, but they’re shrugged off as just crazy lady shit. Women are stereotyped in our culture to be frigid– but if we’re frigid because of a pill we’re taking so we can have sex without pregnancy, rather than just inherently frigid because we’re women, that changes everything. Same shit with mood swings– when I was on the pill and suddenly started acting like a lunatic, I started to wonder about the cultural stereotype of women having irrational mood swings. It’s not that women are crazy– it’s that women are drugged.
I hope, as North does, that this study leads scientists to do more research to create a pill that doesn’t create sexual dysfuction. And I also hope that this study does a little something for how we understand women’s sexuality, or the devastating-hormone-imposed lack thereof.