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The Pill and Sexual Dysfunction

Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a medical condition that affects countless women.  This may include a decrease in sexual desire, sexual arousal disorder, orgasmic disorder and pain.

The cause of FSD can be attributed to a variety of issues.  The health of a relationship, anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, body image and religious and cultural beliefs can all be contributing causes.

Another cause which is not often discussed in hormonal contraception is low testosterone.  Studies have shown that use of birth control pills decreases testosterone levels.  Other studies reveal that women who use oral contraceptives experience problems with sexual desire and libido.  One researcher found that there was a significantly lower incidence of sexual thoughts, interest, and days of sexual activity per month compared with nonusers of the pill.

In addition to the above the use of oral contraceptive is also associated with an increase in sexual pain disorders such as dyspareunia (pain with intercourse) and vulvadynia (vulvar pain).

Not all women who take oral contraceptive develop sexual dysfunction but many do.  However, if you have experienced any of the above problems then it might be worthwhile to explore other methods of contraception.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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