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Author Topic: NUVA IS MAKING ME SEXLESS!!
turtl3lady
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Help [Frown]

I've been on Nuva Ring for a long time...I've always known that being on birth control of any kind can lower a woman's sex drive...but it's beginning to become more frustrating than anything. Yeah it's definitely effective birth control...since it keeps sex drive ultra low!!

I don't even have the urge to touch myself sexually. I am almost ALWAYS dry. I usually find myself most aroused right before my period or during my period (when my ring is out). I wouldn't mind so much, only my husband gets very frustrated...and I become so sad that I don't want to do it often because I want to be able to provide that release to him as a loving and sexual wife. I want to be able to enjoy making love to my husband but if it's difficult to become aroused and if I am always dry,. What the hack can I do?? [Frown]

I was wondering if I should just...stop using the thing. Even if it's just for a month. We typically double up on protection with condoms...but I wonder if I should skip Nuva Ring all together...so I can actually have a sex drive [Frown] sometimes we enjoy it twice a week...but I think the last time may have been three weeks ago and I am grieved that this is happening...I have been married a year and a half and this shouldn't be happening.

Should I experiment not using the ring for a month and rely just on condoms? We're usually careful...pregnancy is not ideal right now but it wouldn't be the end of the world if it happened. A condom has never slipped off or anything...is it common for semen to leak out the base of the condom? Sometimes I see a pool of fluids after intercourse but I can never tell if it's his or mine or a mixture of both or lubrication or whatever.

I just want my sex drive to go back to normal [Frown]

Thank you

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Robin Lee
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Hi Turtl3lady,

Have you talked with your healthcare provider about this? They would be able to work with you to figure out if the Ring is what is responsible for your low libido. They can also talk to you about birth control alternatives that may work better for you.

Not using the Ring, whether you consult your healthcare provider or not, is certainly always an option. You already are, from the sounds of it, consistently using a method of birth control--condoms.

Do you feel comfortable using just one method of birth control?

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Robin

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turtl3lady
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I believe I did bring up the low libido problem with my family doctor...I think she did say at one point if I felt comfortable just using condoms to go ahead. But this was a while ago and I think i wasn't quite ready to go off it. I also had the problem when I was on the pill and switched to the ring. I am in my younger twenties for goodness sake, my sex drive should be at it's best (though don't women usually peak around 30?)!

I would be a little nervous about using just condoms since I don't think my hubby and I could afford a baby financially or emotionally right now and would miss the feel without a condom...but again, it wouldn't be the end of the world. I would be happy to be starting a family...but if I use condoms
Properly I should be ok.

Also, the part about the bodily fluids, does semen sometimes leak out the base?

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Redskies
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It's very unlikely, if the condom is used correctly. Condoms are made so that the ejaculate will stay inside them. On removing the condom, the base should be held to prevent spillage. If they leaked, that'd make them pretty useless as a method of contraception, and they certainly wouldn't be recommended! The fluids you noticed were almost certainly your own fluids, or perhaps sweat, and not semen.

It sounds like you want to use another method of contraception as well as condoms. If it is your hormonal contraception which is affecting your libido, the pill and the ring are both combined hormonal methods - oestrogen and a progestin - so it might be worth considering a different kind of contraception. There are also progestin-only methods, and non-hormonal methods. If you'd like to, you can have a look at the different possibilities here: Birth Control Bingo!

There aren't really any set patterns for the sex drive of any group of people. Libido can be affected by hormones and certain other medication, but it's also very commonly affected by things like stress, lifestyle changes, health/illness, tiredness, self-esteem, body image, and happiness in a relationship. Libido also ebbs and flows. Some women reporting higher libido at 30 or older may be to do with them feeling more at ease or confident in themselves, their bodies and their sexuality, and/or being in relationships that suit them better.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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turtl3lady
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I'll look at other options as well. I don't really want to go through a whole other process for getting a new prescription though.

I do want to almost completely blame my birth control though because I used to have a high sex drive before I went on any hormonal birth control. There is actually less stress in my life than there used to be and I feel great around my husband. I notice my libido ebbs and flows with my menstrual cycle...but that's it. And it's not exactly glamorous having sex when I'm bleeding. We will do it but we don't really like the extra mess.

Thanks for the other options though. This seems complicated. I am just sad that my body doesn't want to keep up with what my heart desires. It feels like all these steps and moods need to be set for me while if I just take my shirt off for my husband, or we have a long kiss, he's ready to go! He's great with foreplay and prefers it...I just won't get revved up or wet or anything! [Frown] it doesn't make sense to me.

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Redskies
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Obviously, it's up to you what to do. It seems to me that you have the choice of 1) continuing as you are - with a lowered libido, if it's being caused by the ring; 2) of switching to condoms as your primary method of contraception - and I'd suggest that that's only a good option if you feel comfortable and confident about the protection they give you, as worry about possible pregnancy can be a big libido-downer; or 3) look into different methods of contraception, with the investment of time and effort that that involves.

Desire and libido can be quite complex - desire and libido are very much brain-led things, so of course it's going to be complex [Smile] It's probably helpful to have a think if there's anything else that might be affecting your libido, to fully identify what's going on. It's worth remembering, too, that people's desire works differently, and can vary in the same person, too. Different people need different amounts of time and different stimuli in order to feel desire or arousal. Have you tried taking more time, or trying different things?

I wanted to check with you, too, whether what you're missing is a feeling of desire - wanting to be sexual, or wanting to be sexual with your husband - or whether you're Feeling it, but what you're missing is arousal - that is, your body isn't responding in the way you want it to?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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In alignment with what Redskies has added I would remind you that only a month or two ago, you were having some sexuality issues per concerns about newfound attraction to women when you had gotten married to a man. Then early this year, were struggling with feelings about a previous relationship.

Those are both big things, as is how a sexual relationship can often tend to change if and when move in with so eone, or make a big leap like marriage.

I would say it is just s possible, if not more so, given the data we have on these methods and their impact on libido (any method drastuacally changing libido all by itself is very unlikely), those things are either the bigger players here, or are at least part of what is going on.

FYI, in case you do try going off the ring and shifting to condoms, as a person with a vagina, not a penis, if things feel very different to you with condoms, that usually just meaqns they arent being used correctly, since so much of the vaginal canal doesnt have a lot of sensory nrve endings, so what is felt with intercourse is more pressure than fine touch. If you are not using plenty of lube with them, that is probably the biggest reason why it feels different for you. You may also find that using a non-latex condom fixes apdifferences you may be feeling wheit comes to conducting body heat. Inside, or female, condoms might be something else to try to see if you like the feel of those better.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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turtl3lady
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Thank you both Redskies and Heather for your replies.

Redskies, typically I did feel like I was missing desire to do...anything. Nothing. Whereas when I was first married or first getting into my relationship with my now husband, I wanted it ALL THE TIME. Granted, things were new and when you have a new man, things just seem all the more thrilling.

I have been almost 2 weeks now without my Nuva Ring. If there is a change, it's been minimal...also heard that it can take up to 3 months to get back to normal...I have noticed that I get wetter a bit easier and that I do want to have sex a little more often. Could I just be imagining things or is my body finally, slowly weaning off these extra hormones?

Also...side effects. I didn't realize that there could be any side effects when going off birth control. My nipples are a bit more sore than normal and I've been having some cramping. I don't want to go to my family doctor about this yet because I seem to call her once a month about anything that I appear to be worried about...a bit annoying really. Are there definite side effects in going off hormonal birth control? It seems to be a bit annoying...I just wish there was a normal side to sex and women's' bodies! Goodness.

Heather--I never really thought about all those things. The fact that I went from a long time relationship to getting married to another man 2 years later, wondering about attraction to women and having a hard time getting my ex out of my head...I suppose I have had a number of things happen over the past 4 years that maybe have taken more of a toll on me than I thought. I have a tendency to have anxiety about almost anything, which I'm sure doesn't help, but I also seem to think I can get over things quickly. That whole being "attracted to women" thing passed over quickly and never thought about it again after I asked about it on this forum. It hasn't occurred to me to think about it and even dreams and thoughts about my ex have significantly died down as well. Too, my guilt and shame regarding that which has long passed away must have taken a toll on me though I have slowly started to forgive myself because I know there's nothing I can do about it now except to move on and wish him well in life, without actually contacting him. I am doing much better at that now since we both lead different lives. I also tend to hyper focus on many different things, one at a time, and then move on (i.e. the woman thing which probably lasted about a week's worth of worry). I don't know if that's an ADD tendency, which I have, but it can get annoying. I obsess about whatever problem is in front of me and as soon as I find a solution, I move on. Especially sex. Although that pops into my head very often seeing as I wish my desire were greater but my desire and body don't seem to match up. Maybe I think too much and perhaps that puts a big damper on desire or at least in part.

Are these theories at all sound? It's hard to say...it can be exhausting to think about so many things and then wonder why I can't relax easily...

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turtl3lady
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Also--the attraction to women had always been present, since I first started looking pornography as a kid--but only in pornography, not just since I had gotten married to my husband. I don't worry about that now since I understand how it is more of an illusion; an attraction to an idea more than the actual sex of women.

And even now, I seem to have developed a major attraction to the character of BBC's Sherlock (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and this has made me wired for the past week...having this deep of an infatuation for a television character has not come over me since I was in high school. It's thrown me for a bit of a loop...I guess all my sexual fantasies has not always involved women hehe.

[ 12-19-2013, 10:54 AM: Message edited by: turtl3lady ]

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turtl3lady
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Also, also - my body has gone through physical changes since I have changed my diet for the last month and a half--eating less bread and drinking more water etc...I don't doubt this has contributed to some stresses. Since I am an overweight woman, I'm sure my self-esteem has been lower than most in regards to how I had been feeling about my body--can't be good for sexual intimacy...hoping to get build that back up again too! [Smile]
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Heather
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You know, on the whole, desire for sex -- not even getting to sexual response, arousal, orgasm, any of that -- is mostly something psychological, emotional and interpersonal far more than it is physical. It is primarily about your brain and your feelings, far more than about anything else, including hormones.

It is impossible for anyone to tell you what impact your BC was having, if any, and what may be changing because of going off of it. Ultimately, that is only going to be something you can sort out over time, like in the next year, seeing what, if any, difference that makes. But I would say two weeks is too soon for big changes, and probably even too soon for small ones. It typically takes a few months for the body to really experience changes you can notice when either going on a hormonal method or coming off of one.

I wonder if you keep a journal, and might be open to keeping one expressly about your sexuality? I think making a practice of writing down how you are feeling, what excites you and does not, sexual experiences you have had in life and remember very fondly, what you want, etc. might be the route to figuring all of this out a bit more. It seems to me self-reflection, and talking with your partner about all of this, is probably the most helpful route here.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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turtl3lady
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Hmm...if sexual desire is mostly psychological...then why do I think about it so often yet have little bodily response? I remember always thinking about sex when I was younger...my first sexual experience with masturbation is when I was 7 years old. I can say that now because I had no idea what I was doing then...but only started to realize it when I was 13 or 14 years old what it was I was doing. I was experiencing orgasm at such a young age. I was playing with my stuffed animals and dolls and sometimes they would have sex with each other. That all made me really excited until I discovered pornography in high school. I stopped with the porn soon after I finished university, it no longer appeals to me. I think i know what excites me enough since I talk about it with my husband from time to time...I like when the man dominates and tells me what to do...mind you, my husband has had some emotional scarring in regards to sexuality and so it can be difficult from time to time with him but he's always excited to make love to me. I just am not sure why I have this mind block that keeps me from enjoying sex like I always thought I would. Do you think I built it up too much in my mind and now that I've had the real thing, it didn't really measure up?
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Heather
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Well, we can think about sex but not feel a desire for sex.

I mean, I think about sex literally all day, 5-7 days a week because it is my job. But that isn't the same thing at all as being turned on by something or feeling a desire for it. Make sense?

I would also add that when sex and sexuality are new for us, we are, indeed, more likely to get excited by just thinking about the topic in general. But, typically, as that newness fades, and we grow and mature, the topic or word alone will not automatically, or even often, incite sexual desire or arousal. Who we are sexually in our early teens tends to be a pretty different person than who we are as adults in this respect.

I am not sure what you mean when you talk about enjoying sex like you thought you would, because everyone's expectations differ. What do you feel yours were that feel like they have not been met?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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turtl3lady
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I think I thought sex might be more romantic or exciting and everyone knew what they were doing (they=partner). And. I know that's silly because every one starts somewhere and I know it can be more silly and fun rather than serious over strictly passionate (though sometimes it has been passionate and those moments arise from spontinaity most times). Perhaps my expectations were high or I built it up in my mind. I'm not entirely sure. All I know is that my bodily response is different from what it used to be. I wonder if I it a rise from having sex in "secret" since I only moved in with husband a month before we got married. Me and my boyfriends ou ever had sex in my parents house or their parents' houses. So being able to have my own privacy maybe changed things? I know that when we have guests in our guest room over night, I tend to get aroused then and enjoy hushed sex with my husband in the next room in the middle of the night. Who knows. I just want my sex drive back! To become wet at the thought of anything that used to excite me or what excites me now. Maybe I'm bored of my sexual situation? I have always been the type of person who craves variety...only I need to be careful because my husband has some sexual scars that need healing and I can't take him every where at once with me and I would feel bad going ahead on my own. Maybe I just think myself into circles hehe [Razz]
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Heather
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All of this? This is what I was talking about with journaling. See how you are starting to clearly identify some things you know make you feel excited? I say, start writing it down, somewhere just for you. I am willing to bet if you start doing that as a practice, this is all going to become a lot less mysterious.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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By the way, I think my friend Jaclyn Friedman's book/workbook "What You Really, Really Want," would be just the right thing for you right now.

She made something with it that I think does a very spectacular job at guiding women feeling like you have been.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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turtl3lady
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Good idea. I used to journal all the time but I haven't since the beginning of university. Thank you so much. I should like to check out that book too. I feel better. Many many thanks.
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Heather
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Glad to hear it. [Smile]

Without intending to sound patronizing, it might also help to remember that you are still pretty young. I know you are married, so that might make you feel a little older, but truly, our sexuality is something lifelong. Just like with other things in life, some people kind of figure it out - for as much as we can at any one time anyway - earlier, others later. You still have loads of time with this, and it might just take a little longer to really sort out what you want, what makes you excited, and what also works with all of the rest of your life.

I know that can be frustrating when the promises cukture makes around sex can seem so big, and so urgent, but while sex can be awesome, for sure, it really is just part of our lives and usually is not some giant, earth-shattering thing. And our sexuality, like the rest of us, really does tend to develop more over time, with us getting a better and better sense of who we are in that respect. It is not usually instant, just like, say, understanding who we are intellectually is not.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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