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What causes low sex drive? There might be one less thing to blame

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Photo: Unsplash/Elizabeth Tsung

The birth control pill has traditionally taken the blame for a number of undesirable side effects: digestive distresslowering your sex drive, and even depression. But a new study questions one of these pieces of conventional wisdom, busting the myth that the pill takes a toll on your libido. Yes, seriously.

Published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study looked at the ways various birth control methods affected desire in relationships and if they had any impact on long-term romantic partnerships.

To measure this, 900 participants—who either used the pill, other hormonal contraception (like the ring or the patch), or nonhormonal contraception (condoms, for example)—answered a survey that determined their sexual desire, both with a partner and on their own.

The results? Women on the nonhormonal contraceptives had a better sex drive—on a solitary level—than those on hormonal methods. And, surprisingly, women taking the pill showed higher levels of libido with their partners than those on nonhormonal contraceptives.

Another influencing factor was the length of the relationship—results of the survey indicated that this played more of a role than birth control methods on sex drive.

“Yes, hormones play a role in sexual desire, but so do so many other things! So, ignoring the context and trying to pinpoint one thing to attribute low (or high) desire to is shortsighted,” lead research author Kristen P. Mark, MD, tells Yahoo Beauty.

Though it’s not a clear-cut answer to the complex relationship between hormones, birth control, and sex drive, the pill isn’t necessarily the cause of your not-so-frisky feelings.

Speaking of hormones, here’s how to make cramps and period mood swings history—the Ayurveda way. Plus, six ways to show your period who’s boss