Sex and Oral Contraceptives

When you see your gyno it's important to be able to discuss the issue of sex: not just sexual risks and STDs (although you definitely need to discuss that); but the whole topic: your libido, your arousals, your orgasms, your partner relationships, your cycle and sex, any pain, any prior unwanted sex,it's all important and all of these concerns may relate to the use of birth control pills. Gynos love to look at hormone levels, and in turn, we love to try to tag our sexual behavior to specific hormones, lack of hormones, or lack of effective hormone levels. To the extent that oral contraceptives can alter our sexual hormones, being on the birth control pill might affect how your sex life is. A study attempted to be the first to look at how sexual function was on birth control pills and it was just published on line.
Overall women did not have adverse effects on their sexual function although when researchers looked specifically at desire, arousal, and pleasure which all decreased slightly. Orgasms and responsiveness were not adversely affected. Thus it is possible that sexual function can change when on a contraceptive. This study evaluated the women over 3 months of use, thus it cannot be fully extrapolated to women on the birth control pills longer. Initially women do require time for the hormone levels to be steady, so it's important not to jump to conclusions based on just a very short time on the therapy. This study did look at ages 18-35, although most sexologists would say a teen's sexual response is very different from a mature woman in her thirties. Other possible confounding factors for some women are: low initial arousal rates, use of other medications, chronic infections, or low lubrication. It would be worth consulting with your gyno if you have any of these conditions and to see what therapies might be available to you.

Overall sexual function was similar in women in the oral contraceptive and placebo groups. The PFSF domains desire (-4.4, 95% CI, -8.49- -0.38, P = .032), arousal (-5.1, 95% CI, -9.63- -0.48, P = .030) and pleasure (-5.1, 95% CI, -9.97- -0.32, P = .036) were significantly reduced in comparison to placebo, whereas orgasm, concern, responsiveness and self-image were similar between groups. The mean frequency of satisfying sexual episodes and personal distress were also similar between groups. - See more at: http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/jc.2016-2032#sthash.mQHFAhum.dpuf

Overall sexual function was similar in women in the oral contraceptive and placebo groups. The PFSF domains desire (-4.4, 95% CI, -8.49- -0.38, P = .032), arousal (-5.1, 95% CI, -9.63- -0.48, P = .030) and pleasure (-5.1, 95% CI, -9.97- -0.32, P = .036) were significantly reduced in comparison to placebo, whereas orgasm, concern, responsiveness and self-image were similar between groups. The mean frequency of satisfying sexual episodes and personal distress were also similar between groups. - See more at: http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/jc.2016-2032#sthash.mQHFAhum.dpuf

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