New Study: No Correlation between Hormonal Contraception and Women Sexual Issues

Pregnant Woman

Every fertile woman has the ability to become pregnant. But when she’s not ready, she turns then to contraceptive methods. The latter that are also referred to as hormonal methods are based on hormones that could be estrogen or progesterone, or both. These hormones are placed or injected in the body, or taken orally as it’s the case with oral contraceptives that are the most famous methods of contraception. Yet, a number of scientific studies have tried to find an answer to relation between these contraceptive hormones and some issues in sexual function of women.

A new scientific study carried by a group of researchers from Department of Sexological Research, Psychiatric Center Copenhagen, Denmark, is one of these studies that explored the relationship between women’s sexual function and Combined Hormonal Contraception (CHC).

According to this study, which is published in an International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, several studies have associated CHC “with an increase in sexual desire measured by the FSFI (Female Sexual Function Index) Desire domain score compared to desire at baseline.”

And based on that hypothesis correlating between hormonal contraceptives and sexual issues, the mentioned study has investigated a sample community of active women. But, researchers find that “contrary to (our) hypothesis, CHC use was in general not correlated with a higher level of sexual problems or sexual distress.” However, they “found that more women using CHC containing anti-androgenic progestin reported sexual problems and sexual distress than women using CHC containing other progestins.”

Researchers stressed out that this study “is the first reported cross-sectional investigation of CHC users that has included the FSDS (Female Sexual Distress Scale) questionnaire to measure sexual distress.” The results revealed that “significantly fewer CHC users reported sexual distress compared to non-HC users and that fewer women in the OP-CHC group reported sexual distress compared to both the AAP-CHC and non-HC groups.”

To find more detailed answers about what’s related to women sexual issues, researchers have investigated several other factors. “The results showed that age, children living at home, alcohol consumption, and smoking were not correlated with women’s sexual function” the study mentioned.

But what’s related is the couple’s relationship status. “In our study, a short-term stable relationship (0–2 years) was significantly correlated with not having sexual problems, and a long-term stable relationship (3 or more years) was significantly correlated with having sexual distress” researchers said.

Nonetheless, the relationship stability is a not always a positive sign, but worries of a relationship partners can transform into a negative effect. The study stated it clearly that “a stable relationship could have a positive effect because of greater sexual activity in the initial stages, but have a negative effect later in the relationship derived from worrying about partner satisfaction and other relationship problems.”

To sum up, this study has eliminated correlation between CHC and women sexual issues, and researchers expressed that “CHC use in general is not correlated with a higher degree of sexual problems or sexual distress.” Though, they are calling for “further research and longitudinally controlled studies, including blood samples … to reveal the nature and extent of CHC effects on women’s sexual function.”


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