I figured something out this week.
I think my Mirena IUD is wrecking my sex life.
I heard a report on CBC Radio the other day about Viagra for women, and the over-medicalization of female sexuality, and whether or not female sexual dysfunction exists, and blah blah blah.
And I was half-listening and buzzing around the kitchen it dawned on me. I HAVE female sexual dysfunction.
I like sex. Sex is nice. Hubby and I have a mutually satisfying if somewhat vanilla sex life, orgasm is no problem for me, everything responds the way it should.
But I don’t seek it out. Ever. I think about it sometimes in a sort of clinically detached way, like “huh, it’s been a while since I had any of the sex, wonder if I should do something about that?” And then I think “nah” and that’s it, no more nooky for another night.
I realized yesterday that we have had sex exactly twice this month. This would have been atypical even after Thing #1 was born. We had more sex when I was eight months pregnant with Thing #2 and my poor hubby admitted at that point it was a bit of a mercy mission because I was enormous, ungroomed, and spraying pre-milk all over everything.
And then I thought about last month. And the month before that. And I was standing there in my kitchen getting sort of panicky and gobsmacked about my total lack of desire for my husband – who I love very much – when the expert on the radio casually tossed off a comment about hormone-based methods of birth control affecting libido.
This will probably sound stupid to you all, but I didn’t know about that. At all.
So I sat down and thought about it – and yeah, I went on the pill at 15 and didn’t notice a decrease in Teh Horny, but what teenager does? I switched brands in my early 20s and wait a second… that’s when I started to notice the “come over and do me right now” thing was disappearing.
I went off the pill outright just before our wedding in 2004. And as I recall, we had some wicked hot sex right up until I got pregnant, and throughout the pregnancy. After Thing #1 was born, I went on a progesterone-only pill and while it still wasn’t enough for hubby, frequency was regular and outcome was satisfying.
Then when I went off them to get pregnant the second time, we had three weeks of awesome wicked sex before I got knocked up again.
Right after Thing #2 was born, I got Mirena on the advice of my doctor.
And now that I think about, my sex drive hasn’t been the same since.
It’s been 2.5 years now. My periods are gone. But I can’t seem to get below my current weight no matter what I do. I still get painful cramping once a month – or sometimes what would be mid-cycle. I have acne in places I’ve never had acne before. And I just never feel the desire to have sex. I do it anyway, and I always think “well, that was nice”, but it doesn’t set the world on fire. It’s like eating cheesecake made with Splenda. I know I’ve had dessert, but I don’t feel nicely sated, and I don’t have the urge to go back into the fridge for another piece.
I asked the internet and what do you know? Decrease of sex drive while using Mirena is extremely well-documented. Page after page of posts from women who got the thing on the advice of their doctors, just like I did, and are now suffering from stubborn weight gain, acne, mood swings, cramps, and No Interest in Sex, Ever.
I talked it over with hubby and then I felt bad all over again, because he’d been feeling very rejected (of course) but didn’t want to say anything. He was so relieved to hear that there might be a reason for my “meh” attitude about the booty call that he damn near got a flashlight and went looking to haul the thing out himself. Now I’m waiting for an appointment with my doctor to discuss non-hormonal options, although I gather there aren’t many of those out there – but this is ridiculous.
I know I wanted birth control, and certainly you can’t get pregnant if you’re never having sex – but talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater.