Impact of Contraception on Female Sexual Function

Petra M. Casey, Kathy L. Maclaughlin, Stephanie S. Faubion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Sexual dysfunction is common among US women of reproductive age, many of whom use contraception. Various contraceptive methods have been associated with changes in sexual function. Methods: In this narrative review, we selected key articles based on our collective clinical experience. We summarized findings and best practice recommendations for addressing a woman's contraception and its potential relationship to sexual function. Results: Although some hormonal contraception is associated with sexual dysfunction, studies show mixed results based on route of administration and progestin component. Interestingly, nonuse of contraception also appears to be associated with sexual dysfunction and dissatisfaction. Low-dose vaginal estrogen, lubricants, and moisturizers may be used for treating vaginal dryness in the setting of hypoestrogenic states in reproductive-age women. Conclusion: A review of current contraception is appropriate for women presenting with sexual health concerns. Sexual dysfunction chronologically associated with a contraceptive may be addressed by trial of an alternative method. A multidisciplinary approach to treatment is recommended, including sex therapy, pelvic floor physical therapy, and consultation with a women's health specialist as needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-213
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • contraception
  • dyspareunia
  • female sexual dysfunction
  • genitourinary syndrome of menopause
  • oral contraceptive pills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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