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Could the Pill Lower a Woman's Sex Drive?
Date:5/6/2010

Sexual dysfunction higher for those on the regimen vs. other methods, researchers report

THURSDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women who use hormonal contraception such as birth control pills may be at higher risk for having sexual problems than women who use no contraception or non-hormonal contraception, a new study suggests.

The research isn't the first to find such a link, said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego and a clinical professor of surgery at the University of California, San Diego. He has found the same link in his own research.

The new study, he said, is "more evidence that when you fool around with hormones, you fool around with your sex life."

The study is published in the current issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine; Goldstein is the journal's editor-in-chief.

"In general, hormonal contraceptives are well-tolerated and are the best noninvasive method to prevent pregnancy," said study co-author Dr. Harald Seeger, a researcher at University Hospital Tuebingen in Germany. He stressed that the study found a link, not cause-and-effect, and that many other factors come into play that can contribute to sexual problems.

The German research team evaluated 1,086 women, most in a stable relationship with the same partner for six months before answering questions about their sexual functioning and their contraceptive practices.

Using a standard index to measure female sexual function, the researchers found that nearly 33 percent of the women were at risk for female sexual dysfunction. The problems involved a range of factors, such as lack of orgasm, desire, satisfaction, arousal and lubrication.

Most of the women (87 percent) had used contraceptives in the past six months, and more than 97 percent had been sexually active in the past four weeks.

Oral contraceptives were the most popular, used by 69.5 perce
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