Sexual Function Same in OCP, Injectable Progestin Users

Users' hormone levels are different, but desire and arousal similar

FRIDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Users of combined oral contraceptives (COC) and depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) have significantly different sex hormone levels, but no differences in sexual function, according to research published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jonathan A. Schaffir, M.D., of the Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, and colleagues conducted a study of 50 sexually active COC and DMPA users who completed the Female Sexual Function Index questionnaire and had serum testosterone and estradiol levels measured.

The researchers found that COC users had significantly lower levels of free testosterone compared to DMPA users (0.2 versus 0.6 pg/mL) and higher levels of estradiol (75.8 versus 62.8 pg/mL). Sexual desire and arousal scores were not significantly different.

"Our study demonstrates that sexual function is not necessarily related to hormonal changes influenced by the use of contraception. Women who are successfully using hormonal contraception may be reassured that these changes are not likely to impact their sexual experience," the authors write.

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