Women taking non-oral and oral hormonal contraceptives were at highest risk of Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD), according to a study of female German medical students published today in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Interestingly, women taking non-hormonal contraceptives were at lowest risk for FSD, more than women not using any contraceptive.
"Sexual problems can have a negative impact on both quality of life and emotional well-being, regardless of age," said researcher Dr. Lisa-Maria Wallwiener of the University of Heidelberg, Germany. "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."
"The causes of FSD are multifunctional and in recent years the possible role of hormonal contraception has been discussed," said fellow researchers Drs. Christian and Markus Wallwiener, University of Tuebingen, Germany. "Women tend to be aware that sexual dysfunction is often influenced by various factors such as stress and relationships, but our study has shown it might also be influenced by exogenous hormone application."
1,086 women were included in the study (roughly 2.5% of the overall female medical student population in Germany), who completed questionnaires designed to identify problems with sexual function, as well as other lifestyle factors including desire for children, pregnancy and whether they were smokers. 87.4% had used contraceptives in the last 6 months, and 97.3% had been sexually active within the last four weeks.
To analyse the effect of contraception on sexual function, women using multiple forms of contraception or who had not been sexually active within the last four weeks were excluded, leaving 1046 participants. Of this figure, 32.4% were considered at risk for FSD: 5.8% at high risk for hypoactive sexual desire disorder, 1% for arousal disorder, 1.2% for decreased lubri
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