The participants were then divided into four subgroups of oral (hormonal) contraception (OC), non-oral hormonal contraception (NOHC), nonhormonal contraception (NHC), and no contraception (NC). The group at lowest risk for FSD (highest sexual function score) was NHC (31.0), followed by NC (29.5) and OC (28.3), with NOHC (27.4) at highest risk. For desire and arousal, both OC and NOHC groups were at highest risk.
The method of contraception and smoking status were significant factors for total sexual function scores, with smokers scoring higher than non-smokers. Other factors including age, prior pregnancy, desire for children, and partnership status were not significant. Women not in stable relationships (regardless of contraception use) had higher desire but lower orgasm scores.
"In future research it would be interesting to see if there is a difference between the dosage of estrogen and the various synthetic progestins used in hormonal contraceptives in terms of an impact on female sexual function," added study researcher Dr. Harald Seeger, also of University of Tuebingen, Germany. "We would also urge some caution in interpretation of our present results and would like to highlight that this type of study cannot demonstrate causality but rather association and there might exist a multitude of factors that have an impact on female sexual function."
"This is a very important research investigation", stated Dr. Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. "There are hundreds of millions of women, in particular young women at the beginning of their sexual lives, who regularly use hormonal contraception for many years. The irony is that these women are provided a medication that enables freedom from reproductive worries but these same women are not provided information that there are significant adverse sexual effe
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