Posted by: Hannah | 10/28/2010

TMI – you have been warned

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.



  1. I would describe almost exactly the same transition – plenty of sex right up through pregnancy #2 and since then – meh. Sadly, I am not on any form of hormonal birth control and have nothing to blame for my apathy.

  2. You can switch to a non hormonal IUD can you not? Keep in mind that sex drive can also be lowered by plain old life-being tired and busy. I mean, I LURVE my new man and find him to be my personal cheesecake, but there’s still the odd night where I’m just.. NO. Tired, cranky, etc. And I’m on nothing (aside from unplugged oven)

    Might be worth a conversation with yr OB/GYN if nothing else…

  3. You can. And I may decide to do that. I’d agree if it were the odd night when I said “nay nay” but it’s every night, and has been every night, well, for 2+ years.

    Unless I’ve been drinking before bed. And since I don’t think I want to be an alcoholic with a better sex life – at least not yet – ob/gyn it is. 😉

  4. […] few months back I posted about my cursed Mirena IUD and how I was pretty sure it was causing my libido problems. Which is a nice way of saying I became […]

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