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Old 07-05-2009, 03:04 PM   #1
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purplesilhouette HB User
how quickly does libido change on the pill? how long is too long to be on it?

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum so I apologize if this subject has been discussed before. I've been taking a low does birth control pill (Junel FE) for a little over 2 years and while I was aware that libido loss was a risk, I didn't know that it could be permanent. Needless to say this has scared me and I can't find very much information on the subject which makes me even more anxious. I can't tell if I've had a decrease at all in my sex drive and it's even harder to tell now that my boyfriend and I have been forced apart leaving me with no gauge for my own desires, either with him or with anyone else (we're each going to grad schools on either side of the country and it's very depressing, so i've been anxious about the pending separation the last few months we were together thereby preventing any orgasm possibility, and now i'm still so emotionally attached that i don't care about anyone else). I never really felt like my drive was low but since I started the pill right when we first decided to start having sex I have nothing to compare it to.

What I'd like to know is the following:
1) if you felt a change in libido on the pill, how long did it take after you started taking it for the change to set in? how severe was the difference in sex drive?
2) if you did feel a change in libido and consequently stopped using the pill, did it increase again after you stopped? how long were you using it?
3) if you've taken breaks on the pill (use it for a few years, stop for a while, use it again for a few years, etc), did it make a difference?
4) when people speak of long-term effects of the pill, how long is long-term? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

I realize these are loaded questions, but any sort of insight or information at all would be very helpful and I would appreciate it a lot. I really like being on the pill, but I don't want to lose my sex drive in the future either, so I feel stuck and I don't know if it's worth the risk down the road.

Thanks!

 
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:35 PM   #2
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EllieFrog HB User
Re: how quickly does libido change on the pill? how long is too long to be on it?

Sounds like a difficult situation... I hope it gets better
To answer your questions... It all depends on the type of pill that you're taking and the way that your body responds to the new hormones. I used to take a low dose pill as well (OTC Lo) and I experienced problems with it.

1) The libido change happened gradually. I would say a few months went by when I realized that there was a serious change. The difference was very significant. I went from wanting sex a lot like any other normal 18 year old, to being almost disgusted about the though of having sex. It became a huge chore.
2) I eventually stopped taking the pill for a variety of reasons, including the libido change. It took a longgggg time (at least 6 months) for me to get some if it back. I never went back to normal 100%. I was on that pill for about 2 years.
3) After stopping the pill I took a break for a little over a year. After that I went on a different pill. Though my libido isn't as low as it used to be, it's still pretty low on the new pill.
4) Long-term really depends on the symptoms that you are referring to. Libido change can be permanent and for that long-term would mean many years. Other symptoms, such as irregular periods (it tends to be common after stopping the pill) last maybe a few months and I wouldn't consider that long-term. Basically, to me, long term means for over a year at least. It really depends on how you look at it.

Hope this helps.

P.S. For me the libido wasn't even as big of an issue as the horrible mood swings and weight gain while I was on that pill. After switching to a different one I realize that it works much better for me as I don't experience those horrible side-effects anymore.

 
Old 07-07-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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kira8 HB User
Re: how quickly does libido change on the pill? how long is too long to be on it?

The pills had a very gradual effect that I didn't notice until I thought about the change about 2years later. Getting off the pills for me was practically instant results for libido though. I had tons of other symptoms for months and my period was not regular for another year but my sex drive went through the roof within the first month off pills. It did settle back down to normal after a few months.

I started birth control pills early in high school and took yasmin from probably junior year until 5 years after highschool so 8-9years consistently on birth control pills.

 
Old 07-08-2009, 12:50 PM   #4
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purplesilhouette HB User
Re: how quickly does libido change on the pill? how long is too long to be on it?

Thanks ladies!

Kira, I have a question for you though, when you say you experienced tons of other symptoms, what kind of symptoms were they? Like, severe mood swings and bleeding, or more mild/predictable symptoms, like irregularity, smaller breasts, tenderness?

 
Old 07-09-2009, 11:58 AM   #5
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kira8 HB User
Re: how quickly does libido change on the pill? how long is too long to be on it?

I had terribly oily skin, acne, greasy hair, etc.. for months. My stomach got upset easily for the first 2months off the pill. I couldn't wear my contacts for several weeks at a time because they would blur or my eyes would get dry and they'd become painful. The few times I did have my period it was extremely heavy and I spent days just laying on the couch. If it wasn't for the fact I lost my insurance there's no way I would have stayed off the pill long enough for all those symptoms to mostly go away. I still had less trouble with acne and easier periods while on the pill than off even after my body seems to have adjusted to no longer being on it. I'd gladly take the slight lessening of my sex drive over what it was like getting off birth control and the return of uncomfortable periods I've had since then.

 
Old 07-10-2009, 01:46 AM   #6
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Re: how quickly does libido change on the pill? how long is too long to be on it?

Personally after 10+ years on the pill I stopped altogether, all of the BCP I took gave me migraines (I've tried around 7-8 different ones) which I was willing to put up with for a while. What my doctor didn't tell me, but I learned from research:

The pill can kill your sex drive, cause mood swings, depression, weight gain, migraines, headaches, diarrhea, dry vag, yeast infections, excessive urination, and nausea. It doesn't necessarily stop break outs, help with cramps, and while your period MAY be shorter you could have or develop spotting issues throughout the month.

For me the pill was a HUGE mistake (I had most of the above symptoms regardless of the pill the entire time, many developed over time and so I did not equate them with BCP) and my doctors failed miserably at explaining the possible side effects/preparing me in any way. I did not realize just how bad the pill messed me up until I did some reading and stopped taking it.

Symptoms can appear after months or even years of use and they can sneak up on you. That's what happened to my libido. I've been off the pill for almost 2 years now and it is no where near 100% (more like 60-70% at best... when on the pill sex sometimes made me feel sick, I had very little interest). I also developed a very sensitive stomach that has not improved since stopping the pill. It takes very little to make me sick ...

I think the pill is wonderful for some, but the side effects are trivialized or not mentioned at all... more studies need to be done on the long term affects which last even after the pill is stopped...

 
Old 07-11-2009, 05:44 AM   #7
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purplesilhouette HB User
Re: how quickly does libido change on the pill? how long is too long to be on it?

Wow. Thanks again for all the info. So would you guys say your acne/cramps/whatever you were taking the pill for was worse upon stopping the pill compared to before you started? Or was it comparable?

 
Old 07-15-2009, 09:38 AM   #8
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unsureLiz HB User
Re: how quickly does libido change on the pill? how long is too long to be on it?

I would say acne & cramps went back to normal after I stopped taking the pill. Personally my acne was not really helped by being on BCP, but I did have less cramping.

Last edited by Administrator; 03-18-2012 at 03:43 PM.

 
Old 07-18-2009, 02:35 AM   #9
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purplesilhouette HB User
Re: how quickly does libido change on the pill? how long is too long to be on it?

Thanks Liz. It's good to hear things only went back to normal rather than getting worse. I didn't have any severe noticeable changes upon starting the pill, so i'm hoping i won't have any severe ones when i stop, but it seems like symptoms really do differ enormously from person to person. i daresay i feel a bit like a guinea pig.

 
Old 07-21-2009, 02:48 PM   #10
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dolysods HB User
Re: how quickly does libido change on the pill? how long is too long to be on it?

my cramps/acne basically disappeared with bcp. This last time i was on Yaz for 2 yrs, fatigue being the biggest side effect.. I wasn't seeing anyone so i can't vouch for the low libido. I know years ago when i was on Lo Ovral, i had a sex drive. .but i was also younger I do believe i angered more easily when on the pill/yaz. I basically went back on the pill because my cramps were getting horrible and i was calling off work like i did in high school. I'm in my early 40's just when your body can start other lovely changes.

I would ask your obgyn to run some blood tests to check your hormone levels (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) The bcp's are hormones and you may not be getting what you need. You can purchase hormone saliva kits online and i believe you send to a lab.

It is really hard finding a bcp that is perfect for you. It can take up to 3 months to really know how your body will react. Some people have instant side effects, others do not.

Last edited by dolysods; 07-21-2009 at 02:48 PM.

 
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