Birth Control and Female Sexual Dysfunction

Another research study showing the risk to women of oral contraceptives, this one focused on progestin-only versions. 

Using a sample of 444 sexually active married women between 20-40 years old, researchers split the group into four treatment groups and asked to complete a language specific version of the FSFI. Groups included:

  • non-contraceptive group (control) (n=222)
  • DMPA injection (n=88)
  • etonogestrel subnormal implant, (n=87) and
  • dosogestrel oral pills (mini pill) (n=47).

Those on a progestin based contraceptive showed significantly lower scores on the FSFI (reflecting higher likelihood of sexual dysfunction) than controls not using contraceptives. Those using the DMPA injection showed highest likelihood of sexual dysfunction (77.2%) vs implants (50.5%) or oral (34%). Women who had been circumcised or used the birth control over 12 months showed the highest prevalence of Female Sexual Dysfunction within these groups.

Once again, this would suggest it is important for sex therapists to assess contraceptive use with couples presenting for sexual dysfunction. Referring back to her OB/GYN for re-evaluation of her birth control method might be an important step in effective treatment of female sexual dysfunction.

See the news article on Contemporary OB/GYN

Progestin-only contraceptives and sexual function among first-time users

“The authors believe their findings indicate that there is a high prevalence of FSD in POC users, especially among women who use DMPA. Women whose partner is circumcised, have a parity greater than three times, and have used POCs for more than 12 months appear to have a greater risk, and ob/gyns may want to consider FSD likelihood when counseling these patients.”


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