Contraceptive methods shape women's sexual pleasure and satisfaction

Dec 08, 2008

New data from The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University demonstrate that many women think condoms undermine sexual pleasure, but those who use both hormonal contraception and condoms report higher overall sexual satisfaction.

The study authors suggest that 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 Stephaine 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.

Source: Indiana University

Explore further: Face transplants change lives, identity

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Women leave their handprints on the cave wall

Oct 15, 2013

Plaster handprints from kindergarten, handprint turkeys, handprints outside Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood—are all part of modern life, but ancient people also left their handprints on rocks and ...

Online matchmaking a hit with Saudi couples

Feb 13, 2013

In ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, where the sexes are strictly segregated, traditional matchmakers face tough competition from blossoming marriage services on online social networks.

Recommended for you

Face transplants change lives, identity

9 hours ago

Patients are prepared to take significant risks in order to be considered for a face transplant, says Dr David Koppel, director of the largest craniofacial unit in the UK and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor ...

British Lords hold ten-hour debate on assisted dying

Jul 19, 2014

Members of Britain's unelected House of Lords spent almost ten hours on Friday discussing whether to legalise assisted dying, in an often emotional debate putting the question back on the agenda, if not on the statute books.

AbbVie, Shire agree on $55B combination

Jul 18, 2014

The drugmaker AbbVie has reached a deal worth roughly $55 billion to combine with British counterpart Shire and become the latest U.S. company to seek an overseas haven from tax rates back home.

User comments : 0