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New Link Between Birth Control and Female Sexual Dysfunction

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It looks like some women taking oral contraception may want to rethink the risks. A new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine shows that women taking oral hormonal contraceptives are at the highest risk of female sexual dysfunction (FSD) compared to women taking other kinds of contraceptives.

FSD has yet to be completely explored or even explained by researchers and medical professionals. Though we have spent years investigating and finding cures for male sexual dysfunction, we have a long way to go for females. According to the researcher Dr. Lisa-Maria Wallwieiner of the University of Heidelberg in Germany, "FSD is a very common disorder...the most common complaint appearing to be low desire." FSD can appear in other forms as well including vaginal dryness, lack of arousal, etc.

Though we have often associated FSD with external factors such as stress, relationships, and internal hormonal levels, this new study suggests that taking hormonal birth control may be another factor.

Over a thousand women were included in the study - the majority had used contraceptives in the last six months and had been sexually active within the last four weeks. Just over 32 percent of participants were at risk for FSD - almost six percent for hypoactive sexual desire disorder, 8.7 percent for orgasm disorder and 2.6 percent for satisfaction problems.

Factors such as age, prior pregnancy, and relationship status were not factors in evaluating risks.

As Editor-in-Chief of the Journal points out, it's ironic that a drug used to provide freedom for women to have sex without risks is the very thing that is keeping them from necessarily enjoying a satisfying sex life.

It raises the question, "Do we stop taking the pill?" Well, I'm not the person to ask that question. First, assess your sexual health and your overall health. Think about how these factors may have changed when you started taking hormonal oral contraceptives. And then go see your doctor. Talking to a medical professional about these risks will help you decide if you should actually change your method of birth control or if you should think about alternative methods of treatment for possible FSD.

I leave it to you readers - do you think the study will change the numbers of women who use oral contraceptives? Do you think there is a correlation between taking these drugs and FSD?

Add a Comment1 Comments

Please note that this is an observational study and it only invloved one group of women. This study does not state that the pill causes low desire .

I do not mean to be critical of your report but it would be helpful to your readers read the WedMD summary on this journal article. The Editor of the Journal is making a rather sweeping statement when he states that " it's ironic that a drug used to provide freedom for women to have sex without risks is the very thing that is keeping them from necessarily enjoying a satisfying sex life. "

No one has ever said that the pill was without risk. It does have risks like all medications. The question is rather does it cause low desire and this study does not answer that question and the authors of the study even stated women should continue to take the pill and not base stopping the pill on this study.

May 8, 2010 - 5:37am
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