Uh-oh. First we heard warnings that the pill could cause breast cancer in future, and now its said to be slowing down women's sex drives.
Researchers led by Lisa-Maria Wallwiener, MD, of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, conducted a survey on more than 1,000 medical students about their sex lives and contraception choices.
More than 87% of the students reported they had used contraceptives in the last six months. Eighty percent said they were in stablerelationships; 97% reported being sexually active in the previous four weeks.
The students were divided into four groups: those who used oral hormonal contraception; those who used non-oral hormonal contraception, such as a vaginal ring; those who used non-hormonal contraception; and those who didn’t use contraception. Overall, the study results showed that:
* 32.4% were at risk for female sexual dysfunction * 8.7% were at risk for orgasm disorder * 5.8% were at risk for hypoactive sexual desire disorder * 2.6% were at risk for satisfaction problems * 1% were at risk for arousal disorder * 1.2% were at risk for decreased lubrication * 1.1% were at risk for pain
In addition to contraception choices,stress,pregnancy,smoking, relationship status, and a desire for children all influenced sexual function. Women who were in stable relationships, were nonsmokers, who had not been pregnant, and were not actively trying to have ababywere more likely to use oral contraceptives like the birth control pill, the research team reports. Women not in stable relationships -- regardless of their contraception use -- had higher sexual desire but lower orgasm scores.
"Sexual problems can have a negative impact on both quality of life and emotional well-being, regardless of age," says Wallwiener, who lead the study. "FSD is a very common disorder, with an estimated prevalence of about two in five women having at least one sexual dysfunction, and the most common complaint appearing to be low desire."
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