I’m Susan Bratton, your trusted hot sex advisor. And I’m here with my friend Dr. Jolene Brighten. Jolene and I will be talking today about the changes that your vagina undergoes when you take birth control, and what you can do to reverse them.
We’ll be talking about vaginal dryness, recurrent yeast infections, and the worst of all painful sex.
The myth going around is that only young girls get yeast infections and only old ladies get vaginal dryness. Actually a lot of my patients who are on hormonal birth control complain of vaginal dryness. How does the birth control pill or any of these synthetic hormonal birth control options work?
Let’s make a list of our synthetic hormonal birth control options. We’ve got pills, patches, IUD, implants, shots and we’ve got NuvaRing. These work by stopping your brain talking to your ovaries. And in doing that it’s shutting down your entire reproductive system. Which sounds like a good idea if you don’t want to have a baby, but it’s not.
If you’re taking a medication that stops your brain and ovaries from communicating and stops the ovaries from producing all of those wonderful hormones, it’s going to have an impact on tissues that specifically stimulate the vagina.
We see vaginal dryness is really common.
Now on top of that when we go into menopause or when you’re on hormonal birth control, you can still lean on your adrenal glands a bit and they’ll kick out something called DHEA which is a precursor to testosterone and estrogen.
So here’s the deal though. You may try to kick out some DHEA, but the birth control messes with your adrenals. But even if you can get any little bit of testosterone out, your liver is affected by these hormonal contraceptives and it’s causing it to kick out more sex hormone-binding globulin, which is grabbing onto the testosterone. And we often think about testosterone just being for orgasms.
You need testosterone to have orgasms, soft tissue in your vagina and for lubrication. And so birth control can dry up all lubrication. The other thing that your doctor probably didn’t tell you is that we go through a whole menstrual cycle. There’s this ebb and flow and it’s a beautiful symphony of hormones. And through all of that, there’s different times of the month where you’re going to have more vaginal secretions, more lubrication. That tends to be when the testosterone starts to rise. You feel like you’re getting in the mood. Now, the vaginal secretions start and it’s a whole mechanism Mother Nature put together to get a baby.
Nicole Harlow of “Girl Meets Body” actually goes through, what I call the fertility finger test. I named it so becuase you swipe your clean finger in your vagina every day and you look at the vaginal secretions and you can tell where you are in your ovulatory cycle.
But if you’re suppressing the vaginal secretions with the pill or one of these synthetic hormonal contraceptives, then you’re not getting the data you need to know when you’re ovulating.
It is all tied together with women because there’s also your mood, what your breast tissue looks like and your basal body temperature. There’s even the moon cycle and their science to show that as well.
What breaks my heart is women coming to me and saying, “Well what’s wrong with me?” There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not broken. This is about a drug, a pharmaceutical that’s altering that natural hormonal rhythm. And that’s why a lot of women find themselves needing to use a lot of lubes.
I only like natural organic lubes because if you won’t put it in your mouth, you shouldn’t put it in your vaginal canal because they are the same tube made up of mucosal tissue.
We know birth control causes dysbiosis. That is the good gut bugs. They’re imbalanced with the bad gut bugs. Here’s what you need to know about yeast. Yeast is not bad, it is just opportunistic. And if you give it the opportunity to grow it is going to do that. And so we see yeast infections. This is well documented and very common for women who are on hormonal contraceptives. The other thing that’s really concerning is that the younger you’re put on hormonal birth control, the more likely you are to have painful sex and specifically at the introitus, the opening.
If you don’t have testosterone, you don’t have lubrication. Your clitoris and all your sexual tissue cannot become engorged. That uterus may not move back and if a penis abruptly meets the cervix, it’s some of the worst pain in the world you’ve ever experienced.
I had a patient whose doctor told her that she should consider a hysterectomy because she couldn’t give her husband doggystyle because it was too painful. This is what we get in women’s medicine. We get contraceptives, IVF and when you’re done with the babies. That was his solution to a 33 year old. I said, “You’re on hormonal contraceptives. When’s the last time you had an orgasm? And she says, “Maybe never.” When she was pregnant, she had orgasms and she said, “Doggy style actually was an issue.” I told her, “Well that’s a key in your history.” But she thought she was broken. She thought that she couldn’t be a good wife, a good woman. It’s a very sad story. And her doctors only solution was, “We’ll remove the organ that’s in the way.” No, there’s natural physiology.
For women, foreplay really happens throughout the day. When you’re taking care of the kids and you’re doing the dishes and when you help us out and we feel safe, we feel cared for and protected. That’s really some of the secret sauce to foreplay starting at 24 to 48 hours in advance. There’s so many things that have to be right for you to enjoy and relax into your sexuality. But the very first thing is to remove the roadblocks to any vaginal dryness, recurrent yeast infections, and painful sex. All of these things can be fixed through getting good hormonal balance and bringing your body back into its natural equilibrium.
So if you’re wondering, “How do I get off the pill or these hormonal birth control contraceptive options.” I have a couple of pieces of advice for you. One is, watch our video on non-hormonal contraception so you can see what your options are getting off birth control. And then once you’re ready to get off of the pill. You can take Dr Brighton’s birth control hormone reset program.
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Get your body regulated again. Get on non-hormonal birth control. Then you’ll be able to get to feeling more pleasure and sensation in your entire vulva. It’s called Expand Her Orgasm Tonight. Expanded Orgasm, is a light clitoral stroking technique because your clitoris does not need a lot of pressure to feel pleasure. Especially if you’re coming off of things like painful sex, vaginal dryness or other vaginal infections.
Expanded Orgasm is a practice for partners. You can do it to yourself or with your partner. It gives you the time to get fully engorged and turned on and it gives you some orgasmic training.It helps you begin to take that moment of orgasm and stretch it out over time. It will help you become more orgasmic and multi orgasmic in many ways.
Gorgeous pleasure and beautiful sensation is your birthright. Not in your Yoni, but in your whole body and your whole life. So I’m Susan Bratton, your trusted hot sex advisor here with Dr Jolene Brighten my amazing friend who I know you just loved, and we’ll see you on the other side.
VAGINAL DRYNESS AND YEAST INFECTIONS ← Watch the video.