This thread is really old, but still I have a link that is very important for many couples:
Oral Contraceptives Permanently Reduce Libido?
Oral contraceptives for women cause the female body to overproduce sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) which is a protein that binds to testosterone. Testosterone enhances sexual desire in women just as it does in men. Researchers led by Irwin Goldstein and Claudia Panzer at Boston University have found that SHBG levels remain elevated even a year after women stop taking the pill and women may suffer sexual dysfunction as a result. (same article here)
Hormonal changes induced by oral contraceptives (OC) are not immediately reversible after discontinuation of use, according to new research issued today at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Fourteenth Annual Meeting and Clinical Congress.
Despite the benefits of OC, their use has been associated with sexual dysfunction and androgen insufficiency. OC are known to decrease serum testosterone levels by decreasing ovarian production of testosterone and by increasing production of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) from the liver. It has been assumed that these changes are reversible after discontinuation of OC use.
In the study of 102 pre-menopausal women with female sexual dysfunction, SHBG values in the OC group were seven times higher than those in the never-user group. OC lowers the free androgen index, in part, by substantially increasing SHBG levels. Despite a decrease in SHBG values after discontinuation of OC use, SHBG levels remained continuously elevated for up to one year in comparison with those in the control group. The free androgen index may remain low for a prolonged period.
Decreased libido, problems havng orgasms, painful intercourse, and other side effects of the Pill may be long lasting and perhaps even permanent for some women. Dr. Panzer warns:
“It is important that when doctors advise women to take oral contraception that potential side-effects, including loss of sexual appetite and arousal, are pointed out.
“If, as our study suggests, the Pill can cause a long-term or permanent loss of libido, that is something women need to be made aware of.”
Parenthetical aside: The Pill has been in use for 45 years and yet a major side effect from its use is only being discovered now. Keep that in mind the next time a fairly new drug is found to have an unexpected side effect and the US Food and Drug Administration comes under a chorus of criticism for failing to foresee some problem. Discovery of drug side effects is hard to do even when a drug has been studied for decades.
Will women who have suffered a decreased desire for sex from taking oral contraceptives have to resign themselves to permanently reduced libidos? Maybe not. Drugs exist which suppress SHBG production.
The picture following treatment with tibolone was quite different. There was only a minor influence on circulating estrogens, and SHBG levels were reduced by 50%. Androgens are known to suppress SHBG production at the hepatic level [9,10,26,27]. After oral intake, tibolone is rapidly converted into 3α- and 3β- hydroxy tibolone, both having estrogenic properties, and the Δ4 isomer, which is known to possess progestogenic as well as androgenic activity. In fact, the receptor affinity for this isomer is about 40% of that of the potent androgen dihydrotestosterone [3,4]. The marked reduction in SHBG levels and as a consequence increased concentrations of free testosterone implies an enhanced circulating androgenic activity. This may be important as regards some clinical effects of tibolone.
A drug to suppress SHBG production would need to be either safe to take for the long term or capable of resetting liver SHBG production in a way that sticks once the drug is stopped. It is time to start looking in earnest for such a drug.
By Randall Parker at 2005 May 26 07:08 PM Brain Sexuality
Decemeber 2007: 5.8" BPEL x 4.9" MSEG
Current:-------->7.7" BPEL x 5.7" MSEG (7.2" NBPEL)
Current Goal:--->7.6" BPEL X 5.8" MSEG Do or do not, there is no "try".