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Sexual Satisfaction Influenced By Contraceptive Choice

Sexual Satisfaction Influenced By Contraceptive ChoiceA new study from The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University suggests that many women think condoms undermine sexual pleasure, but those who use both the pill and condoms report higher overall sexual satisfaction.

The study authors believe this inconsistency reflects how women think about their contraceptive method when asked questions about two different aspects of sexuality — sexual enjoyment and overall sexual satisfaction.

When considering overall sexual satisfaction, which goes beyond the immediate sexual moment and includes factors such as sexual self-esteem and relationship satisfaction, women who used both condoms and hormonal methods reported the highest levels of sexual satisfaction.

On the other hand, when asked directly about the effect of contraceptive methods on sexual enjoyment, women who used condoms, either alone or with hormonal methods, were far more likely to report decreased pleasure, suggesting women feel condoms make sex less pleasurable.

Those who used only hormonal methods, such as the birth control pill, were unlikely to associate their method with decreased sexual pleasure.

The study, published in November’s issue of Sexual Health, begins to answer questions about contraceptive methods and women’s sexuality — an area largely ignored by researchers.

“The public health community has paid little attention to women’s sexual experiences with contraceptive methods, especially condoms,” said Stephanie Sanders, associate director of The Kinsey Institute and a co-author of the study.

“If women think condoms detract from sexual pleasure, they may be less inclined to use them consistently.”

Findings include:

  • Only 4 percent of women who relied on hormonal methods of contraception reported decreased pleasure, but hormonal users reported the lowest overall sexual satisfaction scores.
  • While 23 percent of women who used both condoms and hormonal methods reported decreased pleasure, they had the highest sexual satisfaction scores.
  • Women who used condoms alone or along with a hormonal method were six to seven times more likely to report decreased sexual enjoyment compared to those who used hormonal methods only.
  • Women with no history of a sexually transmitted infection were more than twice as likely to report that their method decreased sexual pleasure.

Authors of the study (PDF) include lead author Jenny Higgins, of Princeton University, Susie Hoffman, of Columbia University and Cynthia Graham, of the University of Oxford.

Source: Indiana University

Sexual Satisfaction Influenced By Contraceptive Choice

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Sexual Satisfaction Influenced By Contraceptive Choice. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 25, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/12/09/sexual-satisfaction-influenced-by-contraceptive-choice/3474.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.