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: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

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

Humiliation tops list of mistreatment toward med students

5 hours ago

Each year thousands of students enroll in medical schools across the country. But just how many feel they've been disrespected, publicly humiliated, ridiculed or even harassed by their superiors at some point during their ...

Surrogate offers clues into man with 16 babies

13 hours ago

When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple that wanted a child but couldn't conceive.

Nurses go on strike in Ebola-hit Liberia

13 hours ago

Nurses at Liberia's largest hospital went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against a deadly Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in the west African nation.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Aug 31, 2014

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

User comments : 0